Leeds Museums and Galleries has appointed David Hopes as its new head of service, following the death of previous head John Roles last November.
Hopes will join the service from the National Trust for Scotland, where he is the current head of collections and interiors. He takes over from interim head of service, Yvonne Hardman.
Hopes has previously worked at organisations including Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Museums Council, and Wardlaw Museum at the University of St Andrews.
He began his museum career as a volunteer with Tenby Art Gallery and Museum, a role that inspired him to take a master’s in museum studies at the University of Leicester.
Hopes said: “I’m honoured to be joining so many talented and dedicated colleagues at one of the country’s foremost museum services at a challenging but hugely exciting time for Leeds.
“For me, this is a tremendous opportunity to build on the extraordinary work of the service to make the city’s collections loved locally and renowned nationally and internationally.”
Hopes will oversee the largest local authority museum service in England, with nine venues across the city. Leeds museums attracted almost 1.7 million visitors in 2019, their most successful year to date.
Eve Roodhouse, Leeds City Council's chief officer for culture and economy, said: “I'm delighted that David will be joining Leeds City Council as our new head of museums and galleries. I am sure that it will continue to be inclusive, entrepreneurial and deliver outstanding learning experiences and opportunities for children and young people.”
The council's museums and galleries have remained mostly closed throughout the pandemic, but the service has continued to engage with visitors through online exhibitions, virtual activities and social media.