After months of delays and uncertainty English Heritage has finally unveiled Sandy Bruce-Lockhart as its new chairman.
Currently the head of the Local Government Association, Bruce-Lockhart will take over the top spot in August, replacing Neil Cossons who was meant to step down in March, but stayed on due to the lack of a successor.
Bruce-Lockhart's appointment by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell follows a long-winded search to find a new chair, involving a re-advertisement and calls to speed up the process in the House of Lords (Lords to debate potential lack of chairman at English Heritage
A farmer since 1968 and a former leader of Kent County Council, Bruce-Lockhart will be thrown into the deep end when he is eventually handed over the reins - among his roles will be the implementation of the Heritage Protection in the 21st Century white paper.
Bruce-Lockhart said: 'This is a terrific time to be taking on such an important role. The nation's built heritage is as loved by the public as it has ever been in the past.
'The months and years ahead contain many opportunities - and challenges - for English Heritage, and I am honoured to have the chance to lead them through this period.'
The new chair will serve for five years and will pocket £45,000 a year.by Richard Waite