New director appointed for Glasgow School of Art

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Penny Macbeth,Image source, Glasgow School of Art
Image caption,
Penny Macbeth will take up her new role in May

The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) board has appointed Penny Macbeth as the school's new director.

Ms Macbeth, who is currently Dean of Manchester School of Art, will take up the post in May.

She succeeds Prof Irene McAra-McWilliam who was appointed on an interim basis in November 2018.

The world-renowned art school has faced major challenges in recent years, most notably two devastating fires in four years.

In May 2014 a blaze destroyed the iconic Charles Rennie Mackintosh library.

Then in June 2018 another fire swept through the Mackintosh building, which was nearing the end of a £35m restoration.

Ms Macbeth acknowledged the difficulties and complexities of the role but stressed GSA continues to have an "enviable global reputation".

"I am honoured to be invited to lead the school and to become part of its creative community at this significant point in its long and successful history," she added.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh building was destroyed by fire in June 2018

GSA said the job attracted a strong field of national and international applicants but Ms Macbeth was the "outstanding candidate".

The board highlighted her success at Manchester School of Art across student experience, engagement with the city and the community.

It also concluded her ability to manage major capital development projects reflects many aspects of the role at GSA.

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