Creative Scotland Announces its Chief Executive

Creative Scotland 2009 Ltd is delighted to announce that the Chief Executive of Scotland’s national arts and culture body, Creative Scotland, will be Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of the NewcastleGateshead Initiative for the last five years.  Andrew has 30 years’ experience of working in the arts media and creative industries.

Andrew’s appointment as Chief Executive will be effective from the date that Creative Scotland is formally established. However, as Chief Executive Designate, he will be invited to participate in Creative Scotland 2009 board meetings, from later this month.

Ewan Brown, chair of Creative Scotland 2009 Ltd said: “In Andrew Dixon we have found someone with the qualities essential to lead our new national arts and culture organisation, Creative Scotland. I am delighted we have been able to secure someone of Andrew’s calibre, with experience grounded in cultural policy, cultural regeneration and partnerships, both local and international.  Andrew will work with the existing Creative Scotland 2009 board to ensure continuity and momentum as we move towards the establishment of the new organisation in the summer.”

Andrew Dixon said: “I believe I have the track record and leadership experience to meet the bold creative vision set for Creative Scotland.  I’m excited to be back working directly with culture and creative organisations and believe that Creative Scotland offers an exciting opportunity to engage the nation and deliver a new model of cultural development of international significance.”

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop warmly welcomed the appointment, saying: “With Andrew Dixon’s combination of leadership skills, experience of the arts and culture and his success in building strategic partnerships across the public and private sectors, CS09 Ltd has appointed an excellent candidate to lead the new organisation.  These skills will enable him to fulfil the Government’s ambitions for Creative Scotland – and the pivotal contribution of the arts and creative industries to a modern, confident nation.”

Notes for Editors

1.         Andrew Dixon started his career as administrator and youth projects director of the Major Road Theatre Company. After five years as an arts officer in Local Government he moved to Northern Arts, progressing to become its Chief Executive and was a member of the national executive team of Arts Council England for three years before moving to his current role promoting NewcastleGateshead as a world-class place to live, work, learn and visit.

As Chief Executive of Northern Arts, Andrew raised the profile of the region through advocating for, and finding partnership funding for large projects such as the Baltic, the Angel of the North and The Sage Gateshead. He also initiated the merger of three funded film agencies to create the Northern Film and Media Agency. When the regional arts boards became part of Arts Council England, he oversaw the merger of Northern Arts into the new organisation and took a national leadership role, designing the Arts Council’s Regional Lottery programme, and chaired its trading company which runs the ‘Own Art’ scheme.

As Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, he has been running a public private sector partnership with 176 members, promoting cultural festivals and events and managing tourism and conference marketing for the ‘twin cities’.   He led the bid to host the World Summit on Arts and Culture in NewcastleGateshead in 2006 and was Programme Director for the summit attracting delegates from 70 countries to the North East. In his role, he has spoken widely on culture and regeneration, creative industries and cultural tourism and has advised local authorities, government agencies and cultural organisations nationally and internationally. He has been a tutor and mentor on the Clore Leadership Programme. 

Andrew was voted Alternative Businessman of the year in 2005 for his public sector work in North East England and in 2008 received an honorary doctorate from Northumbria University. He has been a member of the North East Economic Forum and is a board member of enterprise agency Entrust.  He has worked regularly with Ministers, national and local politicians.

Andrew Dixon is aged 51.  He was brought up in the Lake District and holds a BSc in Managerial Sciences from the University of Bradford where he was also Secretary for Social and Cultural Affairs.

Other roles

Andrew Dixon has had various other non executive roles including:

  • Council of Durham Cathedral
  • Governor Gateshead College
  • Adviser to Mushroom Works (Creative Industries)
  • Fundraising advisory board The Sage Gateshead
  • Development Committee Theatre Royal
  • Board of Swallows Foundation

He will relinquish all current North East based appointments to move to Scotland.

2.         Creative Scotland 2009 Ltd has negotiated terms and conditions in accordance with public sector pay policy. The salary scale for the Chief Executive’s post is £120,000 – £136,700 per annum.    This post does not qualify for bonus payments.    

3.         The Scottish Government intends to establish Creative Scotland as a Statutory Non Departmental Public Body (NDPB) through the Public Services Reform Bill, currently undergoing Stage 2 scrutiny by the Scottish Parliament.   In December 2008 the Scottish Government set up a limited company, Creative Scotland 2009 Ltd, under the chairmanship of Ewan Brown to take responsibility for all the practical transition arrangements, including staffing, systems and processes. The company works closely with the Joint Board of The Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.  Subject to Parliament’s agreement, the new NDPB will come into being in the first half of 2010.

4.         Creative Scotland will:

  • encourage and sustain artists and creators of all kinds
  • ensure that their work is accessible to all
  • ensure that as many people as possible can participate in creative activities
  • extend and increase the wider benefits of arts and culture, including their contribution to the promotion and development of Scotland’s unique national culture and its wider place in the international sphere.

5.         Photograph: a photograph of Andrew Dixon is available from the media contact below.

6.         Andrew Dixon will be available to meet the media at 5pm, Meeting Room 1, Scottish Screen, West George Street, Glasgow.


Contact: Michelle Jordan
Phone: 0131 240 2498