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Home > Banknotes > Banknote Character Advisory Committee

Banknote Character Advisory Committee

The role of the Advisory Committee is to advise the Governor on the choice of characters for new banknote designs.

For each anticipated new banknote design, the Committee will choose the field for the banknote’s historical character, applying selection criteria identified by the Committee.
Once a field has been identified public nominations will be sought.  Applying the selection principles announced in December 2013, and the outcome of public focus groups, the Committee will reduce the initial long-list of characters identified during the nomination period to a final shortlist from which the Governor will select the character(s).
The Advisory Committee is chaired by Ben Broadbent (Deputy Governor, Monetary Policy) and also includes Victoria Cleland (Director of Notes and Chief Cashier) and three external experts: Sir David Cannadine, Sandy Nairne and Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey, that will help decide both the field and characters for future Bank of England notes.
Once the core Committee has identified the field for nominations for a particular banknote, a further three independent members, with expertise in the chosen field will be invited to join the Committee. 
During the £20 character selection process, John Akomfrah, Andrew Graham-Dixon and Alice Rawsthorn, all experts in the field of visual arts, joined to assist in the short-listing process.
The external core members of the Committee serve a fixed five year term after which they may be replaced or re-appointed; the field experts serve as full Committee members until the character(s) for that banknote has been chosen.

Core Committee members

Ben BroadbentBen Broadbent - Chairman (Deputy Governor, Monetary Policy)
Ben became Deputy Governor on 1 July 2014, with specific responsibility for monetary analysis and notes. 



Victoria ClelandVictoria Cleland (Director of Notes, Chief Cashier)
Victoria is Chief Cashier at the Bank of England, leading the teams with responsibility for all of the Bank’s involvement in banknotes from design to distribution. 


Professor Sir David CannadineProfessor Sir David Cannadine
David is a British historian and author, specialising in the political, social, and cultural history of modern Britain and its empire, and the study of history over time.  He is currently teaching at Princeton University and is also the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’s General Editor.  He has previously been a member of Royal Mint Advisory Committee and chair of the Blue Plaques Panel.  Picture (c) Melissa FitzGerald

Sandy Nairne
Sandy Nairne
Sandy was Director of the National Portrait Gallery from 2002 to early 2015.  He was previously Director of Programmes at Tate, and before that worked at the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (now Modern Art Oxford). He has previously worked as curator and writer. He is Chair of the board of the Clore Leadership Programme, and Chairman of the Fabric Advisory Committee of St Paul’s Cathedral.  Picture (c) Tom Miller 2003

Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey
Baroness Lola Young
Lola began her career in theatre and television, before becoming a writer, cultural critic, public speaker and broadcaster.  A professor of Cultural Studies she subsequently became Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority. She became an independent member of the House of Lords in 2004.  She has sat on the Boards of the South Bank Centre, the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts and The National Archives and is currently a trustee of Somerset House and Commissioner for English Heritage.

Independent members

Alice Rawsthorn
Alice Rawsthorn writes about design in the International New York Times, which syndicates her columns worldwide.  She is also a columnist for Frieze magazine, and the author of several books including "Hello World: Where Design Meets Life".  A trustee of Arts Council England from 2006 to 2013, Alice is a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery and the contemporary dance group Michael Clark Company, as well as chair of trustees at the Chisenhale Gallery.  She was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to design and the arts.
Andrew Graham-Dixon
Andrew is a leading art critic, Andrew has presented a number of landmark series on art for the BBC. He has written a number of acclaimed books, on subjects ranging from medieval painting and sculpture to the art of the present. He has served on the Government Art Collection Committee, the Hayward Advisory Committee, and the board of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.
John Akomfrah
John is an English artist, writer, film director and screenwriter. He was one of the founders of the Black Audio Film Collective, which was active between 1982 and 1998, and which was dedicated towards examining issues of Black British identity through film and media. From 2001 to 2007 he served as a Governor of the British Film Institute. From 2004 to 2013 he served as a governor of Film London. He was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to the film industry.