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New Chief Executive appointed for the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's war ship, in Portsmouth

The Board of the Mary Rose Trust today confirmed that Helen Bonser-Wilton, Chief Executive, will be leaving the Mary Rose Trust at the end of March 2021.

Helen is taking up an exciting new role as Chief Executive of the Leeds Castle Foundation in Kent. The Board is enormously grateful to Helen for all that she has achieved during her five and a half years at the Mary Rose and wishes her every success for the future. 

The Board ran a thorough internal recruitment process over the Christmas/NewYear period and is delighted to confirm that Dominic Jones, current Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive, with effect from end March 2021. 

Dominic was recruited to the Mary Rose two years ago and brings an excellent background in commercial visitor attractions (Disney, Merlin) and creative visitor experience development.  During his time at the Mary Rose, he has driven an excellent commercial and operational performance and worked closely with Helen to create the new Portsmouth Historic Dockyard joint venture with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which launched successfully in August 2020.  

Mary Rose Chairman Alan Lovell said, ‘Helen has been an outstanding Chief Executive and The Board is truly grateful for everything that she has achieved. We are delighted, in particular, to be working in a positive new joint venture with the NMRN and to have survived the appalling impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. Helen has managed the finances of the Trust with great skill and increased our standing in the City of Portsmouth and the Nation, and she leaves us with a well-founded spring in our step and confidence in the future. 

We are delighted to have been able to appoint such an excellent successor to Helen internally and are confident that Dominic will lead the Mary Rose forward very positively.  This news will bring much-needed continuity as the Mary Rose forges a path through the continuing COVID-19 challenges and we look forward to a positive and exciting future’.   

Dominic Jones said, “Having worked closely with Helen over the last two years I am honoured to be taking over responsibility for this awe-inspiring world-class attraction and leading her dedicated and professional team of staff and volunteers.”

In light of the current national lockdown restrictions, the museum is closed to visitors. The Mary Rose continues to take every step necessary to ensure the museum is safe for visitors and staff, and looks forward to welcoming visitors again when it can re-open. The ongoing support of the public is crucial during this continuing pandemic so for anyone wishing to support their Covid-19 recovery, please visit www.maryrose.org.

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