Arts Council England has appointed Simon Mellor, currently the general director of the Manchester International Festival, as its new executive director, arts.
Mellor, who will join ACE in March 2012, succeeds Andrew Nairne who left the post in November to become the director of the Kettle's Yard gallery in Cambridge. As executive director, Mellor takes on responsibility for leading the development of ACE's national arts strategy and policy agendas. Current acting executive director, arts, Barbara Matthews, will return to her post as director, theatre, in March.
Mellor said: "This is a tremendously exciting time to be joining the organisation and I'm looking forward to working with Alan and the team to help make the Arts Council's plans to achieve great art for everyone a reality."
ACE chief executive Alan Davey said: "I'm delighted to welcome someone of Simon's calibre and track record to the Arts Council . . . He'll bring fresh ideas as we continue to make sure arts and culture remain at the heart of what we are as a country.
Mellor has previously worked as executive director of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, as well as at the South Bank Centre, Gloria Theatre Company, the Battersea Arts Centre and the Pegasus Theatre, Oxford.