Director of The Lightbox to stand down after 20 years - Museums Association

Director of The Lightbox to stand down after 20 years

Marilyn Scott leaves the Woking museum in November
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Eleanor Mills

Marilyn Scott, the director of The Lightbox, Woking, will stand down after 20 years in her role in November.

Scott will move into full time consultancy in the arts and heritage sector.

She joined the museum in 2001, when it was called the Woking Museum and Arts and Crafts Centre. It was a small charity founded by 70 local people who were determined to bring arts and heritage to Woking through the provision of a museum and gallery.

Within a short time of Scott’s arrival, Woking Borough Council introduced the idea of building a new gallery. From there, Scott led the small staff team and developed plans with architects Marks Barfield, raised £7.2m for the construction and fit out of the new building, including significant investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The new gallery opened in 2007.

Under Scott’s leadership The Lightbox has won numerous awards including the Art Fund Prize Museum of the Year in 2008, the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award, the Queen’s Award for Volunteering and the Green Tourism Silver Award. The Lightbox building has been a pioneer in sustainable environmental design for cultural buildings.

Scott was central to the development, and over the last 20 years she has strengthened the relationship between the gallery and Woking Borough Council.


The Lightbox is recognised nationally for its work with arts and wellbeing programmes, which were introduced by Scott in 2007. She has been at the forefront nationally of promoting ideas around the arts as a tool to help mental health.

Scott was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2020 in recognition of her contribution to the arts and heritage sector.

She is currently the vice chairman of the Association of Independent Museums and a trustee of Brooklands Museum and The Weald and Downland Museum, both roles that she will continue. She is a former member of the NLHF committee and now works with the Heritage Fund supporting projects to successful completion.

Before her role at The Lightbox, Scott worked at the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Scott said: “After 20 years leading The Lightbox I leave the organisation with a great sense of accomplishment and confidence that the charity is in a strong position to flourish under new leadership. I take incredible memories and unforgettable experiences with me when I stand down later this year, The Lightbox has an incredible future and I will continue to support in whatever way I can.”

The recruitment process for a new director is now underway.

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