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Music industry boss Rob Dickins made chair of British Architectural Trust Board

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Former chairman of Warner Bros Music Rob Dickins has been announced as the new chair of the RIBA’s British Architectural Trust Board (BATB)

The appointment comes almost two years after veteran journalist John Tusa quit the role in a row over the cultural committee’s relationship to the RIBA. 

The BATB oversees the RIBA’s architectural collections, public and cultural programming as well as holding responsibility for the institute’s award programmes. Since Tusa’s resignation, it has been chaired by RIBA president Ben Derbyshire.

Dickins is an instrumental figure in UK music and culture, and credited with reinventing The Brit Awards as a successful major TV event in the 1990s.

He has held many high-profile positions in the arts, most notably as a trustee for the V&A and the National Portrait Gallery and chair of the Theatres Trust, National Museum of Childhood and the BPI (British Phonographic Industry).

Dickins said he was ‘privileged’ to have been appointed to the role, adding: ‘Architecture requires disciplined imagination, technical skills and good practice, which the RIBA strongly supports. But there also should be the soul and passion of an artist, and it is this I believe the BATB can help to develop further with a programme that can educate, provoke, entertain and inform within the broader world of the Arts.’

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Rob to the British Architectural Trust Board. His knowledge of business and his understanding of the national arts sector will be great assets as we shape our cultural offer and engage with our audiences, now and in the future.’

In March last year, letters leaked to the AJ revealed how Tusa had quit his role following two fraught meetings during which RIBA board members allegedly attempted to erode the powers of the BATB and accused it of lacking transparency.

‘It began to feel like “open season” on the very existence of BATB, of a devolved culture programme, even a free run towards dismantling it,’ Tusa wrote at the time.

Dickins will serve for up to three years as the chair of the board.

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