Byatt and Hebden join Cheltenham Festivals

Byatt and Hebden join Cheltenham Festivals

Antonia Byatt has left her position at Arts Council England to take up the post of director of The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Rod Hebden has also been appointed as Cheltenham Festivals' director of development.

Byatt is currently director of literature and south east at Arts Council England and was previously head of literature at the Southbank Centre. Hebden joins Cheltenham Festivals from the National Trust where he is head of corporate partnerships.

Louise Emerson, c.e.o. of Cheltenham Festivals, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Antonia to Cheltenham to spearhead our plans for further growth and development of our ground-breaking literature festival. Antonia has a portfolio of skills and expertise which will enable us to extend our international reputation as well as continuing to embed quality and innovation through everything we do.”

She added: “Cheltenham Festivals raises 96% of our funding each year and so the director of development role plays a very important part in our future development. Rod brings exactly the experience and skill we are looking for at this time to ensure our financial stability and growth in coming years as well as leading the team.”

Byatt said: "I am really excited and honoured to be the new Director of Cheltenham Literature Festival.  The festival has a fantastic history and reputation and I am looking forward to working with the team, all the contributors and its sponsors to continue developing its brilliance for all the people who will enjoy it in future.”

Hebden said Cheltenham "lead the way" in UK festivals, attracting a wide audience, thanks to internationally acclaimed artists, authors, and thought-leaders at the festivals themselves; as well as year-round educational outreach.

Byatt and Hebden will take up their positions on 18th January 2016.

Cheltenham Festivals consists of four festivals in jazz, music, science and literature and a year round education and community programme.