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This interview is taken from PN Review 128, Volume 25 Number 6, July - August 1999.

Brian Cox at Seventy: a conversation Nicolas Tredell
Manchester, 17 March 1999

NICOLAS TREDELL: It's almost eight years since I last interviewed you. You were then in the thick of the immediate post-Cox Report battles and you were still John Edward Taylor Professor of English at Manchester University. You retired from that post in 1993. Could you start by talking about what you've been doing since then?

BRIAN COX: I was very lucky. I was 65 years old when I left Manchester University and immediately I became Chair of the Arvon Foundation and Chair of the Northwest Arts Board, and the latter particularly is a commitment that can be as large as you like, because we spend at the present moment - it's about to increase - nine million pounds a year of arts money on the North West region which covers Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and High Peak. So this is a big job and it's been immensely rewarding. For two years I was a member of the Arts Council and I took part in decisions probably of more importance than any in my career, for example the decision to spend over a hundred million pounds on building the Lowry Centre in Salford, or twenty five million pounds or so on the refurbishment of Manchester's Royal Exchange. So this has been an immensely creative period for me, and in addition of course I have written a great deal.

You've also continued to campaign vigorously for a proper English ...


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