Maria Balshaw confirmed as director of Tate

Maria Balshaw, new Tate director. Courtesy National Museum Directors’ Council

Maria Balshaw, currently director of Manchester’s Whitworth gallery and Manchester City Galleries, has been confirmed as successor to Tate director Nicholas Serota. The decision was widely reported but has not been formally announced as it needed the approval of prime minister Theresa May. Balshaw is the first woman to take up the position.

Balshaw has been instrumental in the cultural regeneration of Manchester, overseeing the £15m transformation of the Whitworth (part of the University of Manchester) which subsequently won the Art Fund Museum of the Year Award in 2015. Appointed head of culture for Manchester City Council in 2014, she secured major funding from central government for the creation of The Factory, the £110m arts venue planned on the former site of Granada’s TV studios, which will host the city’s international biennial arts festival.

Serota, who has led the Tate galleries since 1988, will take up his new role as chairman of Arts Council England next month, although his formal leaving date has yet to be announced.

17 January 2017