AFFORDABLE housing boss Joe Docherty has been appointed North East chairman of Arts Council England, which also makes him a member of its national council
Mr Docherty is executive director, enterprise and development for Home Group, the North East charity which has become one of the country's biggest social enterprises, employing more than 4,000 people.
Previously he was chief executive of Tees Valley Regeneration where he oversaw the signing of more than £1 billion of private investment into the region.
He also led a cultural and social renaissance programme which was responsible for commissioning sculptor Anish Kapoor to create Temenos, a giant landmark sited at the heart of Middlesbrough's regeneration area. It was conceived as the first of five Tees Valley Giants to be located in different towns in the area.
Mr Docherty was a trustee of Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead from 1999 and 2007 and also chaired its finance and general purpose committee.
After his appointment to the Arts Council England post by culture minister Ed Vaizey, Mr Docherty said he was delighted, “particularly as we are in a time of crucial change for the arts in England.
“The North East has developed an international reputation for excellence in the arts and I look forward to working with colleagues and partners to build on that success.”
Alison Clark-Jenkins, regional director, Arts Council England, said: “‘Our interim chair, Peter Standfield, has carefully guided council through a complex investment process.
“(This) appointment is a great outcome. Joe Docherty is a key figure in the region and the aspirational vision of the Tees Valley Giants is just one example of his fundamental commitment to arts and culture.”