William is an entrepreneur, philanthropist writer and broadcaster with a distinguished record of support for the arts and literature. In 1992, he founded the Forward Prizes for Poetry and in 1994, National Poetry Day. Since September 2015, he has been chairman of the Board of Trustees at Somerset House.
For many years he was a member of the Arts Council and Chairman of its Lottery Committee. He is currently Chairman of StreetSmart, and Forward Thinking a charity promoting a more inclusive peace process in the Middle East. William is also a trustee of Britdocs and the Forward Arts Foundation and Grenfell United.