Stewart Till will be thenew chairman of the UK Film Council, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announcedtoday.

Till, currently deputychair of the council and chief executive of UIP, takes up the post for fouryears and starts on July 30. He will take over from outgoing chairman AlanParker.

"Stewart is taking onthis key role at a very important time for our film industry," Jowell said."His proven track record of delivery in the audio-visual industries,allied with a keen business sense and passion for film, make him the idealchairman as we approach such major developments as the introduction of a newtax relief and the results of a major review of our international filmco-production agreements.

"I have everyconfidence that he will continue the excellent work begun by Alan Parker,spearheading the UK Film Council's drive to ensure our film industry goes fromstrength to strength, both at home and abroad."

Seen as the continuitycandidate, Till was always the favourite to take over the chairmanship. His mainrival was Premilla Hoon of Societe Generale, who had the support of producer'sbody PACT.

Till, whose other rolesinclude deputy chair of Skillset, said: "Our film industry makes a majorcontribution to our culture and our economy, and the UK Film Council has animportant role to play in helping to create the right conditions for futuresuccess.

"The UK film industryis rightly renowned for its wealth of talent, and I look forward to helpingthat talent to flourish in the years to come."

The post, which is supposedto take up four days a month, is unpaid other than an allowance of £198 per daywhich may be claimed, plus travel and subsistence.