The director of Beamish: The Living Museum of the North, Richard Evans, has resigned “with immediate effect”, according to a statement from the museum board.
Evans was suspended on full pay last September pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing, after concerns led Durham County Council to conduct an audit of the institution's finances. The north-east England museum is an independent charity but receives grant funding from the council.
A spokeswoman for the museum board said: “The board acknowledges and would like to thank Richard for his contribution to the museum’s success, as part of a wider team effort, since he took up the role in July 2008.
“The board will make arrangements in due course to recruit to the position. In the meantime, the museum will continue to be run by the deputy director and senior leadership team, supported by dedicated members of staff and volunteers. We look forward to working with them to build on the museum’s successes to date.”
The open-air social history museum is currently in the middle of a £20m redevelopment scheme, Remaking Beamish, which will see it build a reconstructed 1950s town, an upland rural farm and an 1820s coaching inn. The project is due to be completed in 2021.
Evans was also the chair of the Association of Independent Museums until recently, but was removed from its board in December 2019 after a period of absence.