Best Arts Council news for years

The Government has appointed Darren Henley, head of Global Classic FM since 1999, as chief executive of Arts Council England.

Now that’s a breath of fresh air.

Darren is a commercial operator with a passion for music who travels up and down the country and is familiar with the workings of the outmoded subsidy system. He replaces Alan Davey, a career civil servant who resisted change and never said boo to a minister.

Darren is his own man. He will stand up to the Govt where necessary and to his chairman, Peter Bazalgette, once he has got his feet under the table.

If the arts in England stand for progress, this is it.

darren henley

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  • And if even a fraction of the dated, patronising, reductive, box-ticking dogma that Bazalgette has been touting in advance of his speech on Monday is really to become official ACE policy, the sooner Henley starts standing up to him, the better.

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