THE search has started for a new chairperson at Cove Park, the internationally renowned centre for the arts on the Rosneath Peninsula.

The current chair, Dame Seona Reid, is stepping down after five years in the role at the centre which offers residencies to artists in all art forms, whether performing or visual arts, crafts, literature or music.

Situated on 50 acres of countryside overlooking Loch Long, Cove Park’s tranquil, scenic setting is the perfect environment for artists to develop creatively and professionally.

The centre says it is looking for a new chair who can help Cove Park ensure a strong future as it prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2020.

Seona is moving on after a significant period of development at the centre which has seen, among other things, a new artists’ centre successfully completed and a new business model introduced.

Seona has a major standing within the UK arts movement.

She is a former director of both the Glasgow School of Art and Scottish Arts Council.

Currently, she is chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland and deputy chair of its English counterpart.

She is chair of the National Theatre of Scotland and also sits on the board of the Tate Gallery in London.

Seona modestly disagreed when the Advertiser suggested she would be a hard act to follow, stating: “Not really, I don’t think so.”

She added: “I first became involved with Cove Park 10 years ago when invited to come on board by its founders Peter and Eileen Jacobs. I became chair five years ago when Peter stepped aside from the role.

“Cove Park is unique for lots of reasons - it gives artists the space and time they need to be innovative and there are benefits from it being located close to urban centres like Helensburgh and Glasgow.

“It’s a place where different disciplines can come together and this enriches the experience of being in residency.”

Seona, who lives in Glasgow, said the board is the governing body and ultimate authority at Cove Park and the chair, while not being an operational role, would ensure the centre’s overall vision is delivered.

She added: “The chair’s role is also to support - and challenge - director Julian Forrester.”

Cove Park says it is looking for people with credibility and influence within the arts and strong and supportive leadership skills.

The role is a voluntary, unpaid position with a commitment of around two days per month.

Applications have to be submitted by Monday, November 12.