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New English Heritage chief vows to modernise

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Sir Neil Cossons is officially to take the helm of English Heritage from Sir Jocelyn Stevens (aj 23.9.99) and has vowed to work with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (cabe) to put more focus on twentieth-century design.

English Heritage was 'as much about tomorrow as any high-tech company', Sir Neil told the AJ after last week's appointment by the dcms. He takes over on 1 April 2000. He said: 'Public taste moves forward and it seems English Heritage has a duty to lead and anticipate that change in the context of 20th-century buildings.'

He said eh would work with cabe because 'both should be patrons of new architecture where it impinges on historic buildings, such as the v&a's Spiral.' He also aimed to play a stronger role in urban regeneration and forge closer links with developers in overturning urban decay.

Cossons has been a director of the Science Museum since 1986 and retires from that position next year. Sir Jocelyn has been chair of eh since 1992.

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