Ann Limb

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Ann Limb

Ann Geraldine Limb CBE DL FRSA (born 13 February 1953) is a British educationalist, business leader, charity chair and philanthropist.[1][2] In September 2015, she became the first woman Chair of The Scout Association[2] since the organization was founded by Robert Baden Powell in 1907.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Limb was born in Moss Side, Manchester, the daughter of a butcher,[4] and studied at Marple Hall County Grammar School for Girls, now Marple Hall School, followed by the University of Liverpool.[1] She is a Fellow Commoner of Lucy Cavendish College University of Cambridge.[5][6]


Career in further education[edit]

From 1976 until 2001, Limb had a career in further education.[7] In December 1987, she was appointed Principal of Milton Keynes College.[8] At the time, aged 34, she became the youngest ever FE College Principal. After a decade, she moved to Cambridge Regional College, serving as Principal there until 2000.[7] She then took up the post as Chief Executive University for Industry, Ufi.[9]

Economic development and housing[edit]

From 2005 to 2011, Limb was the Chair of the Milton Keynes Partnership and a Ministerial appointee to the Board of Homes England. From 2011 to 2019, Limb was chair of the country's top performing LEP, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP).[10][8]

In November 2017, Limb was appointed as the independent business Chair of the UK Innovation Corridor.[11]

Arts and culture[edit]

Limb is Chair of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival,[12][13] a multi-arts festival that engages people with music and sound in unusual spaces and places. The biennial festival, founded in 2010, runs for 10 days in July across central Milton Keynes.

Limb sits on the Council of Arts Council England South East Regional Council and led the bid for Milton Keynes to be European Capital of Culture in 2023.[14][15]

Charity and philanthropic activity[edit]

In 1998 Limb founded the Helena Kennedy Foundation, a social mobility charity supporting access to higher education.[16][17]

In July 2018, Limb made a major donation to Milton Keynes Gallery to enable the creation of the Limb Family Foyer in the newly extended gallery.[18]

Other roles[edit]

From 2016 - 2020 Limb served as Chairman of the executive committee, and Deputy Chairman of her London club, the Athenaeum.[citation needed] She is also Vice Chair of the City & Guilds Group City and Guilds of London Institute.[19]


Limb's academic honours include: Fellow Chartered Institution for Further Education,[20] Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts FRSA,[21] Fellow of the City and Guilds of London Institute (FCGI),[22] Inaugural Fellow of Milton Keynes College,[23] and Honorary Doctorates from Anglia Ruskin University,[24][25] University of Bedfordshire,[26][27] Open University,[28] Manchester Metropolitan University,[29][30] Sheffield Hallam University,[31][32] and University of West London.[33] She is a fellow-commoner of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.[34]


In 2019, Limb was named in the Northern Power Women 2019 Power List as an inspiring role model and agent of change, rooted in the North of England.[34][35] In the same year she was also celebrated as #1 LGBTQ+ public sector role model on the 2019 "OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists", supported by Yahoo Finance and published annually by diversity charity INvolve.[36][37]

Personal life[edit]

Limb married her partner of 33 years Dr. Margaret Cook on 11 May 2019[38] and lives with her in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Burke, Jude (8 February 2016). "Ann Limb: Fighting her way to the top". FE Week. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Leadership Team: Chair of the Board". The Scout Association. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Boy Scouts movement begins". HISTORY. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  4. ^ McVeigh, Tracy (10 October 2015). "Scouts' first female leader vows to get more girls round the campfire". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Fellow Commoners". Lucy Cavendish College. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Dr Ann Limb CBE DL | Lucy Cavendish". Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  7. ^ a b Burke, Jude (February 8, 2016). "Ann Limb, chair, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership". FE Week.
  8. ^ a b Burke, Jude (2016-02-08). "Ann Limb, chair, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership". FE Week. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  9. ^ "Dr Ann Limb OBE DL takes over as Chair of the ENTRUST". Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  10. ^ "Dr Ann Limb CBE DL: Chair of SEMLEP". South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  11. ^ "The UK Innovation Corridor". UK Innovation Corridor. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  12. ^ "Be part of something amazing . . . - Milton Keynes International Festival". Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  13. ^ "The Team". International Festival Milton Keynes. 2021-02-04. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  14. ^ "Dr. Ann Limb CBE DL". Arts Council England. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Ann Limb | Arts Council England". Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  16. ^ "History". Helena Kennedy Foundation. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Ann Limb". Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  18. ^ "Thank You ← About ← MK Gallery". Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  19. ^ "Our Trustees | City & Guilds Group". Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  20. ^ "New Beginnings: An Exciting Future for the Chartered Institution for Further Education". Fe Charter. 2019-10-30. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  21. ^ "South East Area Council | Arts Council England". Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  22. ^ "Our Trustees | City & Guilds Group". Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  23. ^ "Milton Keynes College holds its inaugural higher education graduation ceremony". CitiBlog. 2014-11-11. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  24. ^ "ann-limb - ARU".
  25. ^ "Dr Ann Limb CBE DL | Lucy Cavendish". Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  26. ^ "Milton Keynes students' graduation joy - | University of Bedfordshire".
  27. ^ "Education and Sport Newsletter - Autumn 2014". Issuu. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  28. ^ "Milton Keynes' Ann Limb receives honorary doctorate". beMK. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  29. ^ "News Detail, Manchester Metropolitan University". Manchester Metropolitan University.
  30. ^ "News Detail, Manchester Metropolitan University". Manchester Metropolitan University. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  31. ^ "The Doctor will see you now - honorary awards for cast and crew of iconic BBC show | Media | Sheffield Hallam University".
  32. ^ "Alumna named in the Northern Power Women 2019 list | Sheffield Hallam University". Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  33. ^ "Dr Ann Limb". Charity Futures. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  34. ^ a b "Dr Ann Limb named on Northern Power Women's 2019 Power List". Lucy Cavendish. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  35. ^ "Dr Ann Limb CBE DL". Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  36. ^ "The OUTstanding Top 30 LGBT+ Public Sector Leaders 2019". 30 October 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  37. ^ "2019 Top 30 LGBT+ Public Sector Executives". OUTstanding. INvolve. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  38. ^ "Dr M.A. Cook and Dr A.G. Limb - Marriages Announcements". Telegraph Announcements.

External links[edit]