The former Cumbria Institute of the Arts can trace its history back to 1822 when the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts was formed in Carlisle. It eventually became the only specialist institute of the arts in North West England and one of only a small number of such institutions in the country. Recent alumni include Turner Prize winner, actor Charlie Hunnam, Gerard McKeown, performance poet and ceramicist, Thomas Hopkins-Gibson, recently commissioned by Liberty of London. The University of Cumbria Board is responsible for the entire control and management of the new institution. They approve budgets and expenditure, and determine the educational character and objectives of the institution, as well as ensuring the effective and efficient use of the university’s resources.