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Barnes to lead Historic Royal Palaces in UK

Barnes to lead Historic Royal Palaces in UK

John Barnes, currently director of conservation and learning at Historic Royal Palaces has been appointed to the role of chief executive with the organisation.

He will take up the new position from July 1st, 2017.

Barnes will succeed Michael Day who retires after 14 years at the helm.

He has been in his current role with Historic Royal Palaces - the independent charity responsible for the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland - since 2001.

He has been responsible for the conservation, presentation, learning provision and interpretation of the six palaces and collections in the charity’s care.


Rupert Gavin, chairman of Historic Royal Palaces commented: “We are delighted to have recommended John as the new chief executive and to have received the secretary of state’s approval for the appointment.

“We were pleased by the huge level of interest that the role attracted.

“We conducted a rigorous and extensive process, at the end of which we were unanimous that John is the right choice for the leadership of Historic Royal Palaces.

“He will bring the right level of continuity to Michael’s extremely successful tenure but also a strong vision for change and evolution to enable us to face the challenges of the future.”

Barnes joined Historic Royal Palaces in 2001 from English Heritage where he held a succession of senior roles including head of architecture and survey (1994-1995), director of professional services (1995-1998), and director of major projects (1998-2001).

Prior to this, he had practised as an architect with a number of leading architectural conservation firms.

Barnes said: “Having been at the heart of Historic Royal Palaces for 15 years, I know how special it is and what a privilege it will be to serve as its chief executive.

“Under Michael Day’s leadership, the charity has flourished and I am determined that we will build on this as we pursue our ambitious plans and grasp the opportunities before us.

“With a belief that we can transform the way that people experience history, a unique business model and a highly talented workforce, I am immensely excited to lead Historic Royal Palaces into a new era.”