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Last Updated: Friday, 5 December, 2003, 17:47 GMT
New chair for Arts Council
Sir Christopher Frayling
Frayling is rector of the Royal College of Art
Art historian Sir Christopher Frayling is to take over from Gerry Robinson as the new chair of Arts Council England.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell made the appointment, describing Sir Christopher as a "mighty advocate for the arts and culture in England".

Mr Robinson has spent five years at the arts body and is credited with securing massive increases to the arts from government funding and modernising the structure of the organisation.

He said: "Christopher's appointment is marvellous news for the arts and for the Arts Council."

During his chairmanship, government funding for the arts has increased from 189.6m in 1998/99 to 412m by the end of the current spending period in 2005/6.

Sir Christopher, who has been rector of the Royal College of Art since 1996, said: "Gerry will leave a council in excellent shape, and which works more closely than ever before with the Regional Arts Councils.

"So this has become one of the key roles in the arts across the whole of England, and I look forward to bringing to it all the energy, passion, visibility and commitment I can muster."

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