Beamish director suspended pending disciplinary hearing

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 25.09.2019
‘Financial concerns’ raised at Durham visitor attraction
The director of Durham's Beamish Museum, Richard Evans, has been suspended following an investigation into financial concerns at the museum.

Evans is suspended on full pay pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing on the matter. A spokeswoman for the museum said: “We can confirm that a member of staff has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing. It is important to say that suspension is not an implication of any wrongdoing. Until the process has concluded it would not be appropriate to comment further.
“However, we would like to reassure people that this situation will not affect the operation of the museum in any way, and our number one priority – as always – will continue to be providing an excellent experience for our visitors.”

According to the Northern Echo, concerns were raised and an audit of the independent museum’s finances was carried out in August by Durham County Council, which provides grant funding to the museum and has three representatives on its board of trustees. 

The open-air 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 first building in the town opened to the public over the summer and the project is due to be completed in 2021. 

Evans has been the director of Beamish since 2008. He is the chair of the Association of Independent Museums and a member of the National Museum Directors’ Council. He also sits on the National Lottery Heritage Fund committee for north-east England.