Royal Pavilion & Museums appoints new CEO as it moves to trust status - Museums Association

Royal Pavilion & Museums appoints new CEO as it moves to trust status

Hedley Swain appointed as museums move from council management
Profile image for Eleanor Mills
Eleanor Mills

Brighton’s Royal Pavilion & Museums has moved from being managed by Brighton & Hove City Council to becoming its own trust.

The new trust will manage and operate the Royal Pavilion & Museums’ buildings and collections through a 25-year contract with the council. The council still owns the buildings and the collections. 

The aim of Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust is to ensure the service is sustainable and resilient, and able to deliver the best possible offer to residents and visitors. It will also be able to access new charitable income streams and avoid the impact of council budget savings. 

To reflect the move to trust, the head of service, Janita Bagshawe retired on 30 September and Hedley Swain has been appointed as chief executive officer.

Swain joins from his role as area director South East for Arts Council England, and will begin his new role in November 2020. 

The venues that Swain will oversee are the Royal Pavilion; Brighton Museum & Art Gallery; Hove Museum & Art Gallery; Booth Museum of Natural History; and Preston Manor.  


Michael Bedingfield, the chair of the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust, said: “This is an exciting and historic step forward for the trust as we take over the management of these internationally renowned buildings and collections from Brighton & Hove City Council. 

"We have amazing staff at the museums who will be joined by our new chief executive officer Hedley Swain and support from our board of trustees, who have excellent museums experience. 

"We already have many plans for the service to ensure it remains a vibrant, sustainable and inspiring organisation for the residents of Brighton & Hove and our many visitors from around the world." 

Councillor Marianna Ebel, the joint chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, said: “Moving to a trust will provide many more exciting opportunities to develop the internationally recognised exhibitions, while visitors will continue to enjoy the same warm welcome, expertise and high standards that makes the Royal Pavilion & Museums so special.”

Following the coronavirus lockdown, the Royal Pavilion and Preston Manor have now reopened. Brighton Museum & Art Gallery will reopen on 17 October. Hove Museum & Art Gallery and The Booth Museum of Natural History will reopen in 2021. 

Comments (1)

  1. Maurice Davies says:

    Is Hedley Swain the figure on the left?

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