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Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, and Chief Whip

First published:
5 April 2023
Last updated:

In January, I announced I had appointed Roger Lewis to lead a task and finish group to review Cadw’s governance. I am pleased to provide an update about this.

Cadw continues to recover from the pandemic, with a strong recovery in visitor numbers and income. The review is a follow-up to one carried out in 2017, which considered the different operating models for Cadw. This recommended that Cadw remained within government as an “internal agency”. At the time, it was agreed that five years would be needed for these arrangements to become established. We have now reached the fifth anniversary and I believe it is timely to consider how effective these business improvements have been.

The business improvements were intended to facilitate better planning and provide greater flexibility for recruitment within budgets to allow Cadw to continue to develop its visitor business and commercial activities and to support its vital work to manage and protect Wales’ heritage and deliver its legislative and policy responsibilities.

The principal business improvements included the establishment of an internal operating board for Cadw (including non-executive members) and a formal system of delegation and internal freedoms (including financial, operational, HR, procurement and other delegations).

The task and finish group comprises a small coordinating team including the chair of the Cadw board Jane Richardson and Emma Plunkett-Dillon, formerly of the National Trust in Wales and an expert with many years of experience in the heritage sector.

The wider task and finish group will be made up of a range of experts who will advise on a number of different aspects of Cadw’s functions. They include:

  • Henry Owen-John, whose previous roles have included Commissioner of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, deputy director of the Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust and regional director for Historic England
  • Martin Cherry, former head of listing and research director at Historic England
  • Nichola Andrews, group director at Historic Royal Palaces
  • Roger Thomas, former senior partner at Eversheds
  • Ruth Fabby, former director at Disability Arts Cyrmu
  • Steven Foulston, senior executive in human resources at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
  • Sarah Dickins, former BBC Wales business and economics correspondent.

It will also include trade union and staff representatives and will identify a number of key consultees.

I have asked the group to present its initial findings by July and draft recommendations in September. The final report will be published in October 2023.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.