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Professor Dai Smith reappointed as Arts Council of Wales Chair

Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, today, [18 August 2009], announced the re-appointment of Professor Dai Smith as Chair of Arts Council of Wales.

Professor Dai Smith's current term of appointment ends on 31 March 2010, and he has agreed to serve a further term until 31 March 2013.

Alun Ffred Jones said: "I am pleased that Professor Smith has agreed to continue his work as Chair of the Arts Council. His considerable knowledge and experience in the arts sector will be valuable over the next three years as the sector faces a challenging time and as we work to meet commitments in the One Wales document."

Professor Dai Smith said: "I am pleased and honoured to be asked to take Arts Council of Wales through a further three years as its Chair. I have no doubt that the creativity and vitality of the arts in Wales is ever more essential to our development as a civic society of weight and purpose. The challenges on many fronts may be severe but our resolve will be equal to them. I look forward with great anticipation to the excitements we will help engender and the rewards we will help bring to the Welsh people. "

Dai Smith was born in the Rhondda in 1945 and educated at Porth County and Barry Grammar School. He read History and Literature at Balliol College, Oxford; Columbia University, New York; and University of Wales, Swansea. From 1969 to 1993 he taught History at the universities of Lancaster, Swansea and Cardiff. In 1986 he was awarded a Personal Chair by the University of Wales.

In 1993 he joined the BBC as Editor of Radio Wales and from 1994 to 2000 was Head of Broadcast (English Language) at BBC Wales where he commissioned a number of notable and award-winning programmes, especially in the Arts and in Drama. Professor Smith is a renowned historian and prolific writer on the arts and cultural issues. He is well known as a broadcaster on radio and television.

Professor Dai Smith was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Regeneration) at the University of Glamorgan from 2001 and had particular responsibility for initiatives relating to the social, economic and cultural contribution which the University made within the community. In March 2005 he left this post to accept appointment as Research Chair in the Cultural History of Wales at Swansea University.

Professor Smith has not carried out any political activities in the last five years and does not hold any other Ministerial appointment.

For more information, please contact Non Jones on 029 2089 8980 or Gareth John 029 2089 8931.

The Arts Council of Wales was established under Royal Charter in 1994. The Arts Council of Wales is an Assembly Government Sponsored Body, funded largely by grant-in-aid from the Welsh Assembly Government, and responsible for the distribution of funds from the National Lottery to art in Wales. It is responsible for developing and improving the knowledge, understanding and practise of the arts; and increasing the accessibility of the arts to the public, in co-operation with other public bodies.

The power to appoint the Chair and members of the Arts Council of Wales is contained in Section 4(2) of the Royal Charter 1994. These powers vest in the Welsh Ministers by virtue of the Government of Wales Act 2006 and are exercisable by the Minister for Heritage.

Under the Government of Wales Act 2006, Welsh Ministers have the power to appointed a Chair and up to 17 Members to the Arts Council.

The Chair has a time commitment of 2.5 days per week while Council meetings are held up to 10 times a year at venues around Wales. The post is currently remunerated at £43,160 per annum. In addition to this, all reasonable expenses incurred on Arts Council business are reimbursed. Members are not currently remunerated.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be made public.

This appointment has been made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments' Code of Practice.