Anita Bhalla OBE

Chair of the Midlands Arts Centre

Anita is formerly Editor Public Space Broadcasting for the BBC. Her media career has been varied. From presenting a local radio programme in Birmingham she went on to present Channel 4’s Eastern Eye and other national programmes.

At the BBC she developed the Asian Network in the West Midlands (this is now a national digital service). Her next move was to BBC Television News where she became one of the first regionally based bi-media correspondents when she was appointed as the Community Affairs Correspondent for Midlands. During this time she produced several documentaries for network television and national radio as well as daily news reports.

She went on to become Social Affairs and Education Correspondent and for a while took on the role of Editor Newsgathering and Managing Editor of one of the regions local radio stations. She was President of Circom a European wide group of public service broadcasters.

She trained as a teacher but has had a very varied career since. She has worked as a Community Relations Officer in Leicester, a Community Worker with the Asian Resource Centre in Handsworth, Birmingham, where she set up and ran one of the first hostels for Asian Women, as well as dealing with wider issues around welfare and social care. She has also worked as a lecturer teaching language and employment skills to Industrial workers in the Midlands, alongside training their mangers in effective communications.

Anita has won several awards including the CRE’s Race in the Media Award when she won the national Television News Award and has been short-listed twice since for the same award. In 2000 she won the Impact Magazines Windrush Award as the Broadcaster of the Year and in 2009 was awarded an OBE for her services to Broadcasting and Communities.

Throughout her life Anita has maintained a strong commitment to public service and her portfolio in this area ranges from being a member of the Independent Commission on Social Justice to the Home Secretary’s representative to appoint community members of the West Midlands Police, and chair of Governors of Grestone Junior and Infant School, Governor of Birmingham City University, Chancellor of the Children’s University being some of them.

Her interest in the Arts includes being chair of the Midlands Arts Centre, a project which has completed a £15.8 million redevelopment under her tenure. She is also Trustee of the Symphony Hall and Town Hall in Birmingham. In the past she has been a member of the Culture West Midlands (DCMS Regional Cultural Consortium) and Chair of the Birmingham Creative Birmingham Partnership Board.

She was awarded an OBE in 2009 for her services to Broadcasting and Communities.

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