Douglas Connell has been appointed as the new Chair of the Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) Board.

MGS works on behalf of a sector of 350 museums and galleries, welcoming 23.5 million visitors every year and worth an estimated £662 million to the Scottish economy. A not-for profit, independent charitable trust, MGS is currently undergoing the transition to become the National Development Body for museums and galleries in Scotland in April 2013. MGS is the main conduit for Scottish Government funding to the sector.

Considered by many as one of the foremost heritage lawyers in Scotland, Douglas has been involved in many major heritage projects. His in-depth knowledge of governance matters relating to charities and national bodies has seen his involvement in many stand-alone heritage trusts including Thirlestane Castle, Traquair House and Paxton House.

He is a former Chairman of Edinburgh Book Festival, of the Lottery Committee of the Scottish Arts Council and of the Recognition Scheme Committee – a Scheme which celebrates, promotes and invests in nationally significant collections held outside the nationally run museums and galleries in Scotland. He also advised the National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland on their high profile negotiations to acquire two Titian paintings.

Lynne Halfpenny, Chair of the Board Appointments Committee, said:"The National Strategy for Scotland's Museums and Galleries sets out a compelling and inclusive ten-year vision for the sector. As Chair, Douglas Connell will be responsible for leading MGS in their work to support the sector to achieve the vision and aims of the National Strategy. His passion and commitment for the sector shines through and his extensive experience and expertise will also be invaluable as he guides MGS through the final stages of its transition to a National Development Body and beyond."

Douglas said:"My commitment to the museums and galleries sector is that MGS will be accessible, empowering and communicative. We also intend to show that we have ambition and courage."

The Board Appointments Committee is currently short listing applications for vacancies on the Board with interviews to take place in January 2013. The recruitment of the Chair of the Board and Board Members has been managed by Badenoch & Clark.