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Sir David Rowe-Beddoe

Sir David Rowe-Beddoe is a successful businessman, but he is also an example of how one individual can have an extraordinary impact for a charitable cause. He has worked determinedly for the last 11 years to aid and promote the economic and social development of Wales. Sir David is currently Chairman of the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) in Cardiff where, over the last 4 years, he has inspired the fundraising of over 104 million for an international arts centre.

Sir David has a long track record of public service for Wales. He was Chairman of the Welsh Development Agency and of the Development Board for Rural Wales, Patron of the Prince's Trust, current President of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and President of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. He was appointed Chairman of the Representative Body of the Church in Wales in 2002 and has successfully effected significant changes in the financial structure of the Church.

In 2001 Sir David was appointed Chairman of the WMC. Within a year of taking on the role, he had successfully turned around the project, risking his personal reputation in the process. Through his clarity of vision and strategic approach, he inspired confidence in private and public funders and brought commercial and political parties to the table, to share the common goal of building an international arts centre in Wales.

Within 3 years, Sir David had succeeded in funding one of the largest ever arts projects in the UK, and had attracted more private sector funding than Wales has seen since the building of the National Museum in the 1920s. He was the catalyst for one of the largest donations by a private individual of 10 million to a UK arts project, from businessman Sir Donald Gordon. Overall Sir David has succeeded in securing an 82 million public funding package, some 22 million in private donations, and attracted a 1 million sponsorship deal from HSBC. The WMC is now seen as one of the most exciting arts developments in the world and as a new platform for world art. It is admired for its distinctive architecture, for which it has received a Riba Award for buildings of high architectural standards that make a significant contribution to their environment.

Sir David has lifted expectations of what can be achieved, raising Wales' confidence as a competitor on the world stage, and has developed a culture of giving to the arts in the UK and a philanthropic culture in Wales.

"Sir David Rowe-Beddoe has shown exemplary leadership skills - not just in his work with the Welsh Millennium Centre, but also with his work for other causes in Wales - the nation would be a culturally poorer place without his influence and work."

David Goldstone