Sir Eric Pickles and I have been appointed as co-chairs of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation Advisory Board

Government press Release, published 18 April 2018

The UK’s Special Envoy for post-Holocaust Issues, the Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles and the former Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, the Rt Hon Ed Balls, have today (18 April 2018) been appointed by the Prime Minister as co-chairs of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation Advisory Board. They replace Sir Peter Bazalgette chairman of the Board since 2015.

The advisory board is supporting the delivery of the UK’s new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre that is proposed for Victoria Tower Gardens beside the Houses of Parliament.

Co-chair Sir Eric Pickles said:

It is an honour to follow Sir Peter, who has done outstanding work with the Foundation. I am very much looking forward to working alongside Ed. Together we will work to produce a memorial and a learning space that will enhance and complement existing work by government and organisations supporting Holocaust remembrance. Its location next to Parliament emphasises the importance the UK places in remembering mass murder that defined the twentieth century.

Co-chair Ed Balls said:

We all share a great responsibility across society to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust are never forgotten, and over the last 4 years, as a member of the Holocaust Commission and then the Foundation, I have been inspired by the survivors I have met and deeply moved by their testimonies. I’m therefore honoured to be appointed co-chair of the Foundation with Sir Eric.

It is our task to ensure that Britain’s national memorial and learning centre serves both as a permanent record of the past and a clear warning for the future. There is much excellent work already going on in the UK, which we will build on, and around the world, which we can learn from, and like Eric, I am hugely grateful to Sir Peter Bazalgette for all he has done to date, and to the Prime Minister for putting her trust in us to see this vital project through to completion.

Welcoming their appointment, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Congratulations to Sir Eric and Ed Balls on becoming co-chairs of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation Advisory Board. They will both bring their valuable insight to building the vision for this vital project. I look forward to working with them to deliver a world class memorial and learning centre. It will not only honour and remember all victims and survivors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, but educate future generations on the importance of fighting prejudice and persecution in all its forms.

Under the chairmanship of Sir Eric and Ed Balls, the advisory board will help define the overall vision for the Memorial and Learning Centre and deepen understanding of the facts and lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

They will work with the Housing and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which has overall responsibility for the completion, design and build of the Memorial and Centre.

In October last year, Adjaye Associates, Ron Arad Architects and the landscape architects Gustafson Porter + Bowman were announced as the winning team to design the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre. They were selected by a jury that included the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Mayor of London, the Chief Rabbi, experts from architecture, art and design, and both first and second generation Holocaust survivors.

With cross-party support, the government has committed £50 million for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre which will be supplemented through fundraising.

The other members of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation advisory board are:

  • The Rt Hon Alex Salmond
  • Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
  • Natasha Kaplinsky OBE
  • Gerald Ronson CBE
  • Alice Greenwald
  • The Rt Hon the Lord Feldman of Elstree
  • Lord David Alliance
  • Baroness Dido Harding
  • Peter Freeman

You can also listen to a report and interview with Ed on the decision to build the new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Westminster’s Victoria Tower Gardens on The World Tonight (from 33 minutes)

Posted May 18th, 2018 by Ed's team