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Shakespeare Birthplace Trust appoints new Chief Executive

Tim Cooke will be in post from 1 March 2018

Tim Cooke, Chief Executive of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Tim Cooke, Chief Executive of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (from 1 March 2018)

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon has appointed a new Chief Executive.

Tim Cooke, currently Director of the Telegraph Museum in Cornwall, will take on the role from 1st March, 2018. He succeeds Dr Diana Owen who has stepped down after 10 years in post.

Announcing the appointment Peter Kyle, Chairman of the Trust, said, "We are delighted to welcome Tim Cooke to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. He brings a wealth of leadership experience of organisations which have knowledge and content at their heart and which seek to engage with diverse audiences. He has a strong track record of delivering on major cultural projects to the highest standard and will bring a strong vision for the future."

Tim Cooke said, "I am privileged and thrilled to be taking on this role. It offers a wonderful and deeply meaningful opportunity to work with staff, volunteers, the Board and partners to contribute to a legacy of worldwide and timeless import. I will greatly relish working as part of the team developing and sharing our knowledge, collections and public programming, ensuring that the enduring and powerful appeal of Shakespeare and his story continues to enrich the experience of as many people as possible, locally, nationally and internationally."

In his current role as Director of the Telegraph Museum in Cornwall Tim Cooke has led a remodelling of the organisation, and has secured additional revenue funding and a series of grants for exhibition development. The Telegraph Museum holds the only Designated Collection in Cornwall and is part of the Cornwall Museums Partnership consortium recently granted National Portfolio Organisation funding by Arts Council England. 

Prior to being appointed Director of the Telegraph Museum Tim worked as a museum consultant.  Between 2003 and 2014 he was Director and Chief Executive of National Museums Northern Ireland. In that role he led the £18 million project to transform the Ulster Museum in Belfast, which won the prestigious Art Fund UK Museum of the Year Prize in 2010. He also oversaw a range of other investment projects in galleries and museum sites.

He has been a representative on the UK-wide National Museums Directors Council between 2003 and 2014 and again in 2017.

Before entering the museum sector Tim Cooke worked for the BBC for 15 years holding posts in London, the South West of England and Belfast where he served as Head of Broadcasting in Northern Ireland. He is former Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in the United States.