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Prospective trustees for Bewdley Museum announced

Seven skilled volunteers have been recruited by Wyre Forest District Council to play a key role in establishing Bewdley Museum as a fully independent trust.

The volunteers will work together to shape Bewdley Museum’s future by agreeing forward-thinking strategies, a business plan and more. They will become trustees when the fully independent trust is established.

Councillor Helen Dyke, Leader of the Council, said: “We received a high level of interest when we advertised these unpaid roles and I am delighted that we have been able to identify seven people who have a diverse range of relevant skills and experience. I look forward to working with them to ensure that the museum, in its new independent guise, will build on its popularity and good reputation.”

The plan is for the new trust to take over operational responsibility for the museum, Guildhall and Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Gardens in January 2022.

The prospective trustees will be working with the council in the remainder of 2021 to create and obtain the Charity Commission’s approval for the formal documents that will govern the new trust; to devise a business plan for the future and to recruit a new manager to lead the staff team. The council’s staff who work at the museum will transfer to the new trust’s employment when it takes over formal responsibility for operating the site.

The seven prospective trustees, all live in or near Wyre Forest and will be taking up their roles in a personal capacity, are:

Nick Farress - Owner and manager of Wyre Forest Books, Bewdley. Previous roles have included working in a train operating company, an urban economies think tank and in local government, and is still clerk to two parish councils. Volunteer with and former director of Severn Valley Railway.

Jacky Griffin - Former director of education, arts and libraries with two London boroughs, and subsequently worked for the Department for Education. Trustee of St George’s Hall Venue Management Trust and former Chair of Bewdley Development Trust.

David Gutteridge - Retired managing director and accountant, most recently Finance Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet School. Former chair of Sandwell Leisure Trust.

Andrew Pillow - A qualified public finance accountant, presently working with Worcestershire County Council.

Jenny Robbins - Former director, Wyre Community Land Trust; property director and treasurer of the Guild of St George. Presently the chair of the Friends of Bewdley Museum.

Robert Smith - A senior professional in the public transport sector, most recently as Chairman of Community Transport Wyre Forest. A founding director of St George's Hall Venue Management Ltd and a former trustee of the Youth Hostel Association.

Matthew Terry - A former diplomat and consultant, founder and director of Cloud Chamber Limited, which provides evaluation and research services to the not-for-profit sector. About to finish his term of office as chair of the Board of Governors of Kidderminster College.

In their initial meeting, they have agreed that Matthew Terry will be the chair and Jenny Robbins will be the vice chair.

The prospective trustees can be contacted via Ali Bakr at Bewdley Museum by email – alison.bakr@wyreforestdc.gov.uk.

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