Independent publisher Tindal Street Press has pulled off a major coup by recruiting Sir Michael Lyons – the chairman of the BBC Trust – to head up its board.

The Custard Factory-based organisation said the former Birmingham City Councillor would help it to build on a reputation for promoting local talent, which has earned it three Booker nominations since 2003.

Sir Michael will begin his role at the not-for-profit arts organisation in April.

Publishing director Alan Mahar said: “We have got a voluntary board and we try to get people who are experienced in Birmingham life and the arts and media. It is hard to get a figurehead as a chairman who is universally known and respected. Our last chair stepped down not long ago because of maternity and we were looking for a chair with a reputation and commitment to Birmingham and a national focus like Sir Michael Lyons.

“It is not just the BBC connection, he has been associated with the city for a long time.”

He added: “Sir Michael is keen to show the rest of the country the talent that is in the region. It certainly will add heft to our efforts.”

The Birmingham Post reported in January that Tindal Street was printing an extra 10,000 copies of the book Beauty after it won the acclaimed Costa First Novel Award.