Ros Kerslake to stand down as head of NHLF

 Ros Kerslake is to step down as CEO of the National Heritage Lottery Fund at the end of 2021 after five years.

She announced her decision on Twitter: “…after much consideration I am standing down as CEO of @HeritageFundUK at the end of the year. It will be a huge wrench, but it feels like the right time to hand on to someone else to take this brilliant organisation forward”.

A lawyer by training, she joined the then Heritage Lottery Fund in 2016 from the Prince’s Regeneration Trust. Her decision comes seven months after the appointment of Simon Thurley as the fund’s chairman.

Kerslake has guided the NHLF through major changes to its funding framework, governance structure and brand and is credited with leading a number of transformational programmes benefitting the heritage sector. Leading the response to the Covid she introduced a £50m programme of support and led the distribution of emergency funding. She was made a CBE last year for services to heritage.

“When I became chief executive I was told that this is the best job in heritage and that is definitely true” she told the Museums Journal. “I believe in the power of heritage to change people’s lives, and during the past five years I have been so proud to have been part of all the amazing achievements we have made in supporting our heritages and communities.”

She said that having delivered the strategies she set out to do when she joined, it was time to go. “It has been in my thinking for some time that once our new chair [Simon Thurley] was appointed and settled into their role it was a good time to move on” she added. "I know that I leave the Heritage Fund in great shape under Simon’s leadership, and that it will go from strength to strength.”

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