Peter Mearns, the former marketing and communications director at the Northwest Development Agency, has joined Liverpool contemporary arts centre, Bluecoat.

He will replace Sue Harrison as Chair next month.

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During his time at the NWDA, the organisation supported the growth of the Liverpool Biennial, Manchester International Festival and Mearns was deeply involved in Liverpool’s Capital of Culture bid.

He has since operated as an independent marketing and communications advisor.

“We are delighted to welcome Peter as our new Chair. Peter joins the organisation at a pivotal time, as we prepare to celebrate the 300th anniversary of our landmark building in 2017. Peter’s expertise will advance our ambitions to develop Bluecoat as a centre for artists at the heart of the city and I very much look forward to working with him,” said Mary Cloake, chief executive of Bluecoat.

Mearns has a long list of non-executive roles, including Chair of Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art; Deputy Chair of Storyhouse, Chester; Trustee of Open Eye; Committee Member of Tate Liverpool and Deputy Chair of the Aerial Trust.