Press release

Preferred candidate chosen for AHRC Chair

Professor Sir Drummond Bone selected as the government’s preferred candidate to be the Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Professor Sir Drummond Bone has been selected as the government’s preferred candidate to be the Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Sir Drummond Bone is Master of Balliol College at the University of Oxford, Chair of UK Libraries Research Reserve project and Chair of the iGraduate Group.

The previous AHRC Chair, Sir Alan Wilson stepped down at the end of December 2013.

The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee will hold a pre-appointment hearing on 27 January 2014 and report on Sir Drummond Bone’s suitability for this post.

Notes to editors

  1. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year (2013-14) the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK.

  2. Pre-appointment scrutiny hearings enable Select Committees to take evidence from candidates for certain key public appointments before they are appointed. Hearings are in public and involve the Select Committee publishing a report setting out their views on the candidate’s suitability for a post. Pre-appointment hearings are non-binding but ministers will consider the Committee’s views before deciding whether to proceed with the appointment.

  3. The Chairs of the all of the Research Councils are listed as posts suitable for pre-appointment hearings. That list was published in the government’s Response to the Liaison Committee’s First Special Report of Session 2007-08 Liaison Committee, First Special Report of Session 2007-08, Pre-appointment hearings by Select Committees: Government Response, HC 594.

  4. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set 4 ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 9 January 2014