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Shakespeare Birthplace Trust adopts new model of governance

Charity Commission scheme approved by Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Shakespeare Centre
The Shakespeare Centre

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has updated its administrative provisions under a Charity Commission scheme to vary the second schedule of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Act 1961. The scheme was brought into effect by The Charities (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust) Order 2017, which was made on 20 July 2017 by Tracey Crouch, Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. The scheme provides for the Trust to adopt a new governance model comprising a permanent board of 8-12 Trustees supported by a new consultative Council. It does not alter the objectives of the Trust as the charity which promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times, in Stratford-upon-Avon and around the world. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s governance review was supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Peter Kyle OBE, CCMI, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “Following a thorough review and consultation with our Trustee body and other stakeholders, the scheme delivers a governance model appropriate to our needs as a charity which has a national and international remit in the 21st century. It has enabled the Trust to form a new governing body with a balanced mix of Trustees who are equal, appointed in their own right and for the skills and experience they can bring to our diverse activities.”

Five new Trustees have been recruited to join seven existing Trustees on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s new Board, which comprises Peter Kyle (Chairman), John Russell (Vice Chairman), Nick Abell, Colin Bennett, Ralph Bernard, Lady Cobham, Rebecca Dobbs, Kathy Gee, Ros Haigh, AJ Leon, Carol Rutter and Lena Orlin. 

The Board will be supported by a new consultative Council, which will contribute to the long-term vision of the Trust. 

Peter Kyle said, “I’m delighted that our new governance model was unanimously endorsed by our former Trustee body, and that many of them will continue to support our charity as members of the Board or of the Council. Their skills, experience and guidance have enabled the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to develop and reach out to more people than ever before over recent years, and will continue to play a vital part in sustaining the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.”

Notes to Editors

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was established by an Act of Parliament in 1891. It is more than 50 years since its governing document was last reviewed as set out in the Shakespeare Birthplace Act 1961.  Because the Trust is governed by statute, the Charity Commission scheme and the Order of 20 July 2017 were needed to update the Trust’s governance in line with Charity Commission guidelines and current best practice. 

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Board of Trustees

The five new members of the Trustee Board are: Colin Bennett, Rebecca Dobbs, Kathy Gee, AJ Leon, Lena Orlin.

For biographies of all Board members, visit