Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, has appointed Patrick Plant to the Board of the British Library, for terms of four years, starting on 15 May 2012.
Patrick Plant is a commercial property lawyer with 25 years experience and extensive commercial contacts in the UK and abroad. Mr Plant has recently retired as an equity partner of the global law firm, Linklaters, having, for a number of years, acted as its Global Head of Real Estate where he acted as lead counsel on a number of major property projects. He remains as partner consultant with the firm responsible for a number of roles, including overseeing the firm’s global premises network. Mr Plant is also a Non-Executive Director with Falcon Property Trust.
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the greatest research libraries in the world. Taken together, the scope of its remit, the scale of its operations, the range of its services and the international importance of its collections are without equal. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection.
By 2020, the British Library aims to be a leading hub in the global information network, advancing knowledge through its collections, expertise and partnerships, for the benefit of the economy and society and the enrichment of cultural life. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Over 4.1 million items are consulted in the Library’s Reading Rooms every year, 812,000 visited Library events and exhibitions on 2010/11 and over 10 million people.
Board members may claim £9,130 per year for their part-time contribution, in return for approximately two days per month dedicated to the role. These appointments have been made in accordance with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for political activity in the last five years (if any declared) to be made public. Mr Plant has declared no political activity.