Oriel’s Provost, Lord Mendoza, has been awarded a CBE for services to art and culture in the New Year Honours List, announced on 30 December 2022.
Throughout his career, Neil has advocated for the importance of supporting talent, creativity and enterprise through high quality educational, cultural and heritage engagement.
During the pandemic, Neil was appointed as Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), providing an expert and independent voice to the government, advising them on how the UK’s vital cultural and heritage sectors could be protected and revitalised. In this post, Neil took a lead role in the creation of the £2 billion support package rolled out by the government to support and protect Britain’s cultural, arts and heritage institutions as they battled to recover from the terrible impact of the pandemic.
In 2021, Neil and his Co-Chair Professor Andrew Thompson delivered the Boundless Creativity Report, the culmination of a joint research project between the UK Research and Innovation’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the DCMS. The report looked at the effects and response from the creative and cultural sector to the pandemic, examining the role of innovation in shaping cultural experiences during the pandemic and making recommendations on how the sector could maximise the potential of new digital and immersive technologies to thrive in the future. Most recently he has been the advisor to the Commission on Culture and Local Government.
Alongside his other roles, Neil chairs the Culture and Heritage Capital Board at the DCMS. He is Chair of The Illuminated River Foundation, Chair of Civic Future and on the board of the Ashmolean Museum. He was previously Commissioner of Historic England, Chair of the Landmark Trust and Chair of Children and the Arts.
Neil’s lifelong passion for the UK’s artistic and cultural institutions continues to play an important part in his day-to-day activities, and is central to his desire to protect and improve Oriel’s historic buildings, ensuring that they are preserved for generations to come.