The co-founder of Britain’s Shakespeare touring group is to take the reigns on Plymouth’s cultural future as the city prepares for the Mayflower 2020 anniversary.

Dominic Jinks has been appointed as the executive director of Plymouth’s Culture Board and will take up the post in June.

Adrian Vinken, chief executive of the Theatre Royal and chair of the board, said he was confident Mr Jinks would “make a real difference in the city.”

Mr Jinks has more than 15 years experience in the arts with a background in theatre and is currently head of arts and culture at the University of Exeter.

He was previously head of resource development at the Arts Council England and in his early career co-founded The British Touring Shakespeare Company.

“To me, it is very clear to see how driven Plymouth is as a city and the importance that is placed around culture,” he said.

“I look forward to beginning this position and working collaboratively to improve the cultural offer.”

The Culture Board was set-up to provide strategic direction for cultural development across the city and to oversee the effective delivery of The Vital Spark, a plan developed in 2009.

Adrian Vinken said: “We had an exceptionally strong group of candidates to choose from and in the end we were unanimous that Dominic was the right choice and feel confident he will make a real difference in the city in years to come.”

The Culture Board is made up of representatives from private sector businesses, the cultural industries, educational organisations as well as Plymouth City Council.

Professor David Coslett, deputy vice-chancellor at Plymouth University and vice chair of the board, said: “Dominic has a wealth of experience in brokering investment in the arts and culture.

“He has that special combination of arts and cultural expertise, combined with business knowledge and charismatic leadership. He is fresh, focused and will drive cultural planning for the city.”

“This is a key appointment for the city,” added Councillor Peter Smith, deputy leader of the council.

“We’ve got some really big milestones coming up, most importantly Mayflower 2020, and we need to ensure we are prepared with events and activities that make Plymouth top of the list as a cultural destination.”

Mr Jinks will be involved in creating new events, attracting funding and major investment to the city and leading plans for arts and cultural activities of local, national and international significance, according to a council spokeswoman.

Lindsey Hall, CEO of the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), welcomes his appointment. "Dom's arrival is a real step forward for the city and it's commitment to cultural and creative futures for our young people. There is a wealth of great stuff happening - we're looking forward to creating better connections, clear pathways, progression routes and most importantly celebrating and championing everything the city has to offer."

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