Co-chairs appointed for new Buckinghamshire Cultural partnership

Gareth Willliams, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health 

Two acclaimed co-chairs have been appointed to spearhead “Buckinghamshire Culture”, the partnership set up to drive forward a cultural strategy for Buckinghamshire.

Bill Morris LVO and Professor Julius Weinberg will work together to lead the partnership, which has been set up to make the most of the rich cultural opportunities that exist in the county.

Both chairs bring a wealth of experience to the role; Bill Morris LVO led the team which delivered the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies including the opening and closing ceremonies and torch relays. He now advises the International Olympic Committee and other worldwide clients in major events and complex cultural projects.

Julius Weinberg is the Chair of Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills). He previously qualified in medicine from the University of Oxford and has completed training as a physician in infectious diseases, general medicine and public health medicine. As a clinician, he worked within the NHS and as a consultant/lecturer in Zimbabwe.

Over the last two years, Buckinghamshire County Council has been working with partners across the county to develop the new cultural strategy for Buckinghamshire.

“Buckinghamshire Culture” aims to use culture to make the county a creative and exciting place to live, study, visit and do business. To achieve this, the action plan sets out four county-wide objectives:

1. A thriving economy and more high-quality jobs
2. Equality of access to cultural activities and opportunities
3. Improved health and wellbeing of our residents
4. Re-vitalised heritage and transformed places

Gareth Williams is Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health. He said: “I’m delighted that we have Bill and Julius on board as co-chairs – both of them are talented and experienced and will bring their skills and energy to drive our ambitious cultural strategy forward.

“Buckinghamshire is so rich in culture and there is a wealth of opportunity up for grabs – this will bring cultural organisations together in a shared vision to make sure culture brings new jobs and investment to the county alongside using culture to improve lives, support wellbeing and other social challenges.

“Everyone involved in development of the Buckinghamshire Cultural Strategy and Buckinghamshire Culture would also like to share their thanks to Milly Soames for being a warm and passionate interim Chair.”

A new ‘Bucks Cultural Outreach Officer’ post has also been created thanks to funding from the Rothschild Foundation.

Ellie Stout, the Rothschild Foundation’s Head of Grants shared: “As a supporter of the Bucks Cultural Strategy, the Foundation is delighted that this important initiative will gain from the expertise and vision of both Bill and Julius. As a member of the cultural partnership I look forward to working alongside them to ensure that the impact of the Bucks Cultural Strategy is felt far and wide across the county.”