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Meet our Cultural Leadership Board chair

The chair of the Cultural Leadership Board is Skinder Hundal MBE.

Skinder currently works as the global director of arts at the British Council, where he has overseen major cultural programmes such as the Golden Lion-winning British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2022 and has spoken for the sector at major events such as the Davos World Economic Forum.

He became chair of the CLB in May 2023.

A headshot image in black and white of a man looking directly at the camera. He is wearing a shirt with a jacket on top.

Skinder Hundal MBE

Skinder has a personal connection with the West Midlands, having been born and brought up here, and still lives in the region.

As chair of the WMCA's Cultural Leadership Board, he will lead its work to drive forward the region’s vibrant cultural sector, which directly supports more than 24,000 jobs and has an economic footprint of £1.1 billion.

In addition, arts, culture and heritage deliver a number of other benefits linked to health and wellbeing, skills development, volunteering, pride of place, attractiveness of place for inward investment, and community cohesion. 

The appointment of a global advocate of Skinder's calibre and reputation is a major coup as the WMCA looks to underpin its support for the region's arts, heritage and cultural sectors.

This is a key moment for the WMCA and the Cultural Leadership Board, given a total of £4.1 million has just been allocated from the underspend of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to deliver a regional culture and heritage legacy programme.

In addition, a new formal partnership with the likes of Arts Council England, Historic England, Sport England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the National Lottery Community Fund and Visit Britain was announced as part of the WMCA’s Deeper Devolution Deal.

This will see the development of a regional culture and heritage framework to support the region’s cultural sector, and to ensure more people have opportunities to take part in arts and heritage activities.

Skinder said: “I am delighted to accept the position of chair of the WMCA Cultural Leadership Board and look forward to working with the WMCA, the Mayor of the West Midlands and our key stakeholders across the region and beyond.

“The West Midlands has such a rich cultural and artistic heritage, and we now have an opportunity to build on the major cultural events that showcased our world-class cultural offer nationally and internationally. The recent devolution deal with the Government and the Commonwealth Games Legacy Fund all provide opportunities to harness key opportunities for the region and our cultural sector.

“We also know there are some key challenges which will need to be addressed, and we can only achieve this by working together. One of my first tasks will be to work with the WMCA and other key stakeholders to champion a new, ambitious and distinctive vision for culture and heritage in the West Midlands. I look forward to starting work on this, together with the other members of the WMCA Cultural Leadership Board.”

Read our Cultural Advocacy toolkits for the West Midlands