Ros Kerslake, the chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, has announced that she will step down at the end of 2021.
During her five years at the funding body, Kerslake spearheaded a number of transformation programmes, including a new strategic funding framework, organisational and governance structure, and brand.
She led the Heritage Fund’s response to the Covid pandemic, including the launch of a £50m package of National Lottery funding to support heritage at the start of the crisis.
She then led the Heritage Fund in distributing emergency funding on behalf of two government departments.
Kerslake was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year in recognition of her achievements. She said she is keen to have more time to develop other interests and plans to develop a portfolio career.
Kerslake said: “When I became chief executive I was told that this is the best job in heritage and that is definitely true. I believe in the power of heritage to change people’s lives, and during the past five years I have been so proud to be have been part of all the amazing achievements we have made in supporting our heritages and communities.
“It will be a wrench to leave, but I feel that having delivered the strategy I set out when I joined, this is the right time for someone else to take the Heritage Fund forward to the next stage. It has been in my thinking for some time that once our new chair [Simon Thurley] was appointed and settled in to their role it was a good time to move on.
"I know that I leave the Heritage Fund in great shape under Simon’s leadership, and that it will go from strength to strength.”
Recruitment of a new chief executive will get underway shortly, according to the Heritage Fund.
Thurley, who joined the Heritage Fund earlier this year as chair of trustees, said: “I am sure I speak on behalf of us all in saying that Ros has been an inspirational and innovative chief executive, never more so than in the way she led the Heritage Fund’s response to the crisis last year.
“What she has achieved, particularly in turning around the organisation to deliver emergency funding to the sector, has been outstanding and there are many across the industry who are hugely grateful to her.”