Sir Neil Cossons, currently director of the Science Museum, is set to be named as the new chairman of English Heritage.
eh has made a recommendation from the five shortlisted for the job to culture secretary Chris Smith. The job will pay £210 a day for two or three days' work a week, as opposed to Sir Jocelyn Stevens' £40,000 salary, and will start in Spring next year. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport would not confirm the recommendation, but said Cossons appeared to be the front runner.
Matthew Saunders, secretary of the Ancient Monuments Society, welcomed the news. 'This is good in view of some of the other names suggested, including John Major, which seems beyond imagination,' he said. 'Cossons will be a steady, knowledgeable pair of hands, instead of the bumpier ride they have had under Sir Jocelyn Stevens. He has great virtues, but losing his temper isn't one of them. The staff deserve this after years of not knowing what mood the chairman is going to be in that day.'
Sir Jocelyn Stevens will remain chairman of eh's Stonehenge working group.