A former University of Birmingham lecturer has been recruited into one of the top jobs in the UK arts sector.

Maria Balshaw will succeed Sir Nicholas Serota in June as director of the Tate after he performed the role for 29 years, becoming the first woman appointed to the role.

Ms Balshaw, currently director of the University of Manchester's Whitworth and Manchester City Galleries, began her career in academia as a research fellow in urban culture at the University of Birmingham.

In 2002, she then moved into the cultural sector as director of creative partnerships for Birmingham which was an action research project, funded by Arts Council England, into the impact artists and arts organisations could have within schools.

She then worked directly for Arts Council England as director of development and external relations in the West Midlands before being recruited as the director of the Whitworth in Manchester in 2006.

She was also a board member in the early 2000s at Birmingham's Fierce Festival.

Ms Balshaw is known for championing female artists and was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the arts in 2015.

She said: "I am honoured to be asked by the trustees of Tate to become the new director.

"Under Nicholas Serota's leadership, Tate has changed forever how we all think about art and artists and has made visual art a central part of a vibrant cultural life in the UK.

"I am tremendously excited to be leading Tate in the next chapter of its life.

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"I look forward to developing Tate's reputation as the most artistically adventurous and culturally inclusive gallery in the world."

Lord Browne, chairman of the trustees of Tate, added: "The trustees and I know that Maria has the vision, drive and stature to lead Tate into its next phase of development.

"We enthusiastically look forward to working with her as she does so."