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Lord Mendoza to speak at Future Cities Forum's summer 'Cultural Cities'

Neil Mendoza by John Cairns

Future Cities Forum is delighted that Lord Mendoza will lead our June 'Cultural Cities' debate. This is part of a series which started in January with Gus Casely-Hayford, Director of V&A East. These discussions look at the challenges and opportunities for the cultural sector including both traditional and emerging cultural districts in London post-pandemic.

Our January discussions have had input from Somerset House Trust, Historic England, the developers behind Olympia London's regeneration, Yoo Capital, and architects Pilbrow & Partners.

Lord Mendoza was appointed as the government’s Commissioner of Cultural Recovery and Renewal in May 2020 and chairs the Culture and Heritage Capital Board. He previously served four years as a non-executive director at Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. He is Chair of The Landmark Trust and the Illuminated River Foundation.

He became Provost of Oriel College, Oxford, in 2018, following a career building businesses in the creative and finance sectors. In this role is focused on successfully sustaining Oriel’s 700-year history for the College’s 550 students and 250 academic and support staff. Prior to joining Oriel College, he led the year-long Mendoza Review of Museums in England on behalf of DCMS (2016-17).

The Mendoza Review was undertaken in response to the Culture White Paper produced in 2016 which called for a wide-ranging review of national, local and regional museums working closely with the Arts Council (ACE) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It looked at what the national infrastructure for museums 'is, could be and should be'. The review's themes included growing and diversifying audiences, contribution to place-making, delivering cultural education and digital innovation.

The review recommended a joined up-approach between the sector's main funding bodies, the DCMS, ACE and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It also advised a stronger development function for ACE, working with the Local Government Association to support local authorities in their work with museums. It made recommendations on a framework for ACE to work closely with other bodies like Historic England on collections and on buildings which are at risk.

Lord Mendoza is a former Commissioner at Historic England, Chair of Children and the Arts and former Vice Chair of Soho Theatre. He joined the Board of MeiraGTx, a US-based gene therapy company in 2015 and continues to act as a consultant for Bookmark Content, the company he founded as Forward Publishing in the 1980s.

An advocate of building and supporting talent, creativity and enterprise through high quality educational, cultural and heritage engagement, Lord Mendoza is a mentor to young professionals across a range of sectors.


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