Royal Armouries - Museum Management Trustee

Body: Royal Armouries
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sector: Culture, Media & Sport
Location: Meetings will take place at the three museum sites - Leeds, Fort Nelson and the Tower of London (remotely at present).
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: The position is not remunerated, but reasonable expenses are paid.
Time Requirements: Trustees need to commit around twelve days a year to the Royal Armouries, in addition to reading and attending other meetings and events on occasion.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    02/07/2021 at 23:00

  • Panel Sift

    w/c 12th July

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 16th August

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

  • Gemma Brough

    DCMS Deputy Director • Departmental Official

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  • John Procter

    Chair, Royal Armouries • Representative of Organisation

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  • Iwona Blazwick OBE

    Director, Whitechapel Art Gallery • Independent Member

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Vacancy Description

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is seeking to appoint an outstanding individual to join the Board of Trustees of the Royal Armouries, the national museum of arms and armour. The appointee will have skills and experience at a very senior level in the management of museums and earlier career experience as a curator, conservator, collections manager or interpretation manager. Expertise specifically in arms and armour is not required.

Although, as with all National Museums, the Royal Armouries is facing difficulties and uncertainties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our underlying sustainability has recently, pre-Lockdown, been boosted by the transformation of our commercial operations, which we expect to recover over the next eighteen months. Meanwhile, we are continuing to develop an ambitious Master Plan for the organisation’s future. 

Arms and armour are among the products of human endeavour which have had the greatest impact on the history of the world: thanks to humanity’s relentless desire for advantage in attack and defence, they have been pivotal in forming and re-forming its cultural and geopolitical shape. They continue to do so, the consequences of their use are all around us and they will inevitably shape the future.

More information, including the Royal Armouries’ Corporate Plan 2019-24 (under review) and the Annual Report and Accounts for 2018/19 can be found at:  and


Person Specification

While recognising that no one person will offer skill and expertise in all the areas listed below, those of the ideal candidate will include a number of the following:


  • Experience in the management of a major museum or museums at a very senior level and understanding of the issues and opportunities facing museums both today and in the foreseeable future;
  • A commitment to preserving the Armouries’ collection, maintaining an acknowledgment of heritage’s important role in teaching us about our past and, sometimes the need to contextualise or reinterpret, but never to erase;
  • Experience of fundraising for museums and their work or the capacity to do so;
  • Experience of Board or committee work, and the tact and discretion necessary for collective and strategic decision making;
  • An interest in the work of the Royal Armouries and in its subject and purpose.


  • Experience of and success in popularising museum collections and activities for non-specialist audiences;
  • A high media and public profile;
  • Experience of the role and potential of museums in providing an education service;
  • Understanding of the government procedures and policies in relation to non-departmental public bodies and museums in particular; 
  • Experience of developing commercial opportunities whilst maintaining the core objectives of a national museum.


Additional Information

The Board of Trustees of the Royal Armouries consists of a Chair and ten Trustees who have statutory duties under Chapter 47 of the National Heritage Act 1983. This states that: 

The Board shall perform their functions for the general purpose of maintaining and exhibiting a national collection of arms, armour and associated objects, and of maintaining a record relating to arms and armour at the Tower of London. 

In summary, Trustees:

  • Must have and demonstrate energetic commitment to the Royal Armouries’ stated Purpose, Vision, Brand Identity, Aims and Objectives as set out in the Corporate Plan and to upholding its Policies;
  • Must actively support the Royal Armouries fundraising activities and campaigns; 
  • Will be active and positive advocates for the Royal Armouries, representing it to stakeholders, including potential funders, and the education, regional and tourism profession, including local partners in Leeds and the surrounding areas;
  • Will comply with the intentions of Corporate Governance in Central Government Departments: Code of Good Practice 2011 in so far as they are relevant to a NDPB and Charity Commission governance rules etc; 
  • Will in all respects embody the Seven Principles of Public Life.

More specifically, the Board of Trustees is intended to offer the skills and expertise which DCMS and the museum believe will be needed to guide the strategic direction of the Royal Armouries in the foreseeable future, particularly for the successful completion of the current Corporate Plan (2019-24, currently under review) and the development of the Master Plan. The required skills and experience are intended to complement and amplify rather than replicate those of the Executive Board. 

The present Trustees offer skills and expertise in the fields of museum management and curation, finance, business, retail, marketing, public relations, education, history, property management and development and a range of others. The current vacancy arises on the retirement from the Board, after two four-year terms and a COVID-related extension, of Dr Andrew Burnett, former Deputy Director of the British Museum.


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