Souter joined HLF in 2003, having previously been Director of Planning and Development at English Heritage. With more than 30 years’ experience of policy development and operational management in the public sector, she worked in the Departments of Health, Social Security and the Cabinet Office, before moving out of the civil service.

“I have been very privileged to lead the wonderful team at the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund since 2003,” she said. “By the time I leave I will have been here for 13 years – over half the organisation’s lifetime – during which time we will have committed more than £4.8bn of National Lottery funding to over 28,000 projects across the UK and I have worked with three great Chairs in Liz Forgan, Jenny Abramsky and Peter Luff.” She said that as HLF began to think about its next Strategic Framework it felt like the right moment to ‘wrench’ herself away and to start planning ‘my own new projects’.

"I have released a red kite chick, stood on the top of York Minster, had Magna Carta explained to me by primary school children, and seen the interpretation of Stonehenge transformed. I have walked the Belfast Hills, seen Dylan Thomas celebrated in Swansea and the great museums and galleries of Scotland rejuvenated to welcome the next generation of new visitors." Carole Souter remembers her eventful 13 years at HLF

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of both NHMF and HLF, said: “It is impossible to overstate the contribution that Carole has made to the heritage of our nation through her inspirational leadership of both funds. Working with her has been a total pleasure. Her professionalism, her collaborative approach and her extraordinary concern for every member of the Funds’ wonderful staff will be greatly missed by people across all heritage sectors and organisations.”

The process for recruiting Carole’s successor will begin in the next few weeks.

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Main Image

The new exhibition at Salisbury Cathedral, Magna Carta: Spirit of Justice, Power of Words, was part-funded by HLF. Photograph by Ash Mills