A journalist, author and former Sunderland South MP has been appointed as the new Chair of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ Strategic Board.

Chris Mullin is to take up the role in September 2023 and will lead the organisation which manages nine regional museums and galleries including Great North Museum: Hancock, the Discovery Museum, and Laing Art Gallery.

Mullin was previously an MP representing Sunderland, and has served as a Minister in three government departments between 1999 and 2005.

He was formerly Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the North East of England from 2012 to 2017 and is also a Member of the Northumberland National Park Authority.

Mullin will take over the role from Baroness Joyce Quin, who will step down in September.

Quin said: “I am personally very much looking forward to working with Chris – he is a respected figure who will bring Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums excellent networks both in the region and nationally and provide great leadership to support the executive team. ”

Mullin joins at the organisation begins exhibitions such as National Treasures: JMW Turner at the Laing Art Gallery in May 2024 – featuring Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire on loan from the National Gallery and capital developments at Discovery Museum, Segedunum Roman Fort and Stephenson Steam Railway.

Mullin said: “’I am honoured to have been appointed to chair the board of Tyne &Wear Archives & Museums, which plays such an important role in the cultural life of the region, and I look forward to working with the director Keith Merrin and representatives of the responsible local authorities.”

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