Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:20 UK

Barbican boss to take over Wales Millennium Centre

Mark Taylor Pic: Nick Treharne
Mark Taylor is due to leave his job with the Barbican and take over at the WMC at the end of August

A director of one of Europe's largest arts centres, The Barbican, is to take over as the chief executive of the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC).

The announcement of Mark Taylor's appointment was made by the WMC's board chair Lord Rowe-Beddoe.

My Taylor, 47, takes over from Judith Isherwood who has stepped down to take up a post in Australia.

The WMC in Cardiff has experienced financial difficulties over the five years since it opened in 2004.

In 2007, the assembly government agreed to wipe out the WMC's £13.5m debt, and treble its annual funding from £1.2m to £3.7m.

Mr Taylor has been commercial director of the Barbican Centre in London since 1996 and is credited with increasing the centre's net income from an average of £2.3m to £4.4m in 2008/09.

'Calibre'

Speaking about the appointment, Lord Rowe-Beddoe said: "I am delighted that we have secured someone of Mark's calibre as we move forward from a most successful start-up to being a significant player on the world stage.

"The centre (WMC) has achieved so much in its first five years.

"I am now looking forward to seeing Mark's commercial acumen, ably assisted by the centre's executive team, bring even greater success to our national centre for the performing arts."

Mr Taylor, who is married with two children, is due to take up post at the end of August.

He said: "My 20 years in London has allowed me an amazing level of exposure to arts and culture, and the wider entertainment business.

'Global business'

"Combined with extensive international experience, this has given me a truly world perspective and a unique appreciation of different cultures and their values.

"Arts and entertainment is a growing and thriving global business and Wales Millennium Centre sits at the heart of bringing the world to Wales and taking Wales to the world."

Following the announcement, the managing director of the Barbican Sir Nicholas Kenyon said: "We are absolutely delighted that Mark has been offered this major new role, which is a real tribute to him and his outstanding work at the Barbican.

"We will be very sorry to lose him. During his many years work here he has driven our commercial operations, established the Barbican as a leading conference venue, and masterminded the award-winning redesign of the centre.

"All of us here at the Barbican wish him the very best of luck with his new role and look forward to working with him in the future."



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