Shakespeare Birthplace Trust looks to the future with new chair of trustees - The Leamington Observer

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust looks to the future with new chair of trustees

Leamington Editorial 8th May, 2024   0

SHAKESPEARE Birthplace Trust’s new chair is determined to bring the bard to a new audience.

The charity dedicated to celebrating the life, works and times of the playwright have appointed Penelope, Viscountess Cobham as its new Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Lady Cobham, currently a trustee of SBT, brings a wealth of expertise and a substantial track record in the cultural heritage sector.

With experience as a special adviser to the culture secretary, Lady Cobham worked as chairman of VisitEngland, the national tourist board, for eight years, after serving as deputy chairman of VisitBritain.

She chaired the Museum Prize Trust (The Museum of the Year Prize) and the Civic Trust, and has also been a board member/trustee on a number of high-profile bodies including English Heritage, the V&A, Historic Royal Palaces, the Museums and Galleries Commission and Historic Houses (Association).

A passionate advocate for culture and heritage, Lady Cobham will become the first female chair of SBT and will lead the organisation as it explores its new multi-year programme of exhibitions and events, ‘The Women Who Made Shakespeare’.

Lady Cobham said: “I feel thrilled and energised by being asked to become chair at such a significant moment for the Trust as it develops its vision.

“With a lifelong passion for historic buildings, I look forward to working with my colleagues in supporting strong partnerships in Stratford-upon-Avon as well as promoting our national and international relationships.

“Growing Shakespeare Week and other learning programmes, together with focussing on our houses and collections will be priorities. Together with trustees and the executive team, I shall strive to bring William Shakespeare and all his works, literally and metaphorically, to an ever-wider audience.”

SBT CEO Tim Cooke was confident Lady Cobham’s appointment would help the trust introduce more people to the work of Shakespeare.

He added: “Penny is a passionate advocate for the trust and a powerful voice within the UK cultural sector more widely.

“Her appointment coincides with a wider governance review which will ensure that we establish the frameworks in which we can wholeheartedly embrace the unique cultural role of the trust as a globally connected museum which powerfully engages with communities who might not otherwise encounter Shakespeare.”


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