Regional arts board

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The regional arts boards were arts organisations in the regions of England.

The regional arts boards were formed in 1990. Richard Wilding, a senior civil servant, was asked by his former minister to review the structure of regional arts support in England. Wilding’s report recommended setting up twelve English regional arts associations with ten regional arts boards.

This changed the nature and structure of regional arts. These were independent non-profit limited by guarantee companies with some local authority representation on their management boards, but the democratic role and the link between subscription and governance was broken. Payment of a subscription did not guarantee a seat or a vote.[citation needed]

The ten new Regional Arts Boards lasted until 2002, when following an unexpected announcement in 2001, Arts Council England (as it had become) absorbed them into a single new body, thus reverting to the policy of regional offices it had abandoned in the 1950s. The ten regions were also reduced to nine, bringing them into line with regional development agency areas.