Bridget Banton and Samir Patel join Museum of London Board of Governors

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Bridget Banton and Samir Patel join Museum of London Board of Governors
File photo of a panorama of the 1666 London fire from the “Fire! Fire!” show at the Museum of London, Sept. 12, 2016. (Tom Jamieson/The New York Times)

LONDON.- The Museum of London today announced the appointment of Bridget Banton and Samir Patel to its Board of Governors. They take up their post with immediate effect, bringing with them considerable experience and skills from the digital, creative and communications industries.

Bridget Banton is a creative consultant and founder of Dear Creative Gurl, a consultancy delivering strategic advice, storytelling and content development to production companies, broadcasters and tech start-ups. She is a Strategic Advisor to B Corp UK, a full voting member of BAFTA, a fellow of the RSA and a volunteer mentor for ScreenSkills, the training body for the screen industry. Bridget has 15+ years creative leadership experience across television, digital and audio and has held commissioning roles at Channel 4, the BBC, and Penguin Random House UK. She is a qualified primary school teacher.

Samir Patel is CEO of Comic Relief, leading the well-known charity through a new strategy and plan for the future with a revitalised mission to use the power of popular culture to drive social change. He formerly worked as Chief Innovation Strategist at Blue State, a progressive digital and creative agency. Samir’s 25+ years of experience spans digital, communications and innovation consultancy, having worked with organisations including Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, Google, Amnesty International, and UNHCR. He’s been a steering committee member of UN Live, Museum for the UN, a pioneering new organisation seeking to redefine what it means to engage with the Sustainable Development Goals, and has a been a writer and speaker for MuseumNext, Communicating the Museum, The Guardian, BBC and Skoll World Forum.

Banton and Patel are appointed to the Museum’s Board by the Mayor of London for the Greater London Authority (GLA). The museum’s Board is comprised of eighteen members, half of which are appointed by the Mayor of London and the other half by the City of London Corporation. The appointments support the aim of the Board and the Museum’s funders to ensure that the very best of London’s diverse talent is contributing through governance and decision-making.

Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries , Justine Simons OBE, said: “I’m delighted Bridget and Samir will be bringing such a wealth of experience to the Museum of London’s Board of Governors. As plans for the museum’s new site come to life, it is key to have a wide range of expertise and perspectives that represent all Londoners. The new museum will be a fantastic addition to our city, creating jobs and securing our position as a global creative capital, as we continue to build a better and fairer London for everyone.”

Clive Bannister, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Museum of London, said: “Bridget and Samir bring an enormous amount of experience, skill, passion and energy that will be critical to the Board. We are on an exciting journey, developing a new, world-class city museum in the heart of London’s historic centre. This ambitious project will see us complete the largest cultural infrastructure project in Europe, transform our digital experiences and create the most sustainable museum possible. It is a huge undertaking and together with Director Sharon Ament, I can’t wait to work with Bridget and Samir to help us get there.”

Bridget Banton, said: “As life-long Londoner and proud former teacher, I’m passionate that the new London Museum is a space for everyone. A place where all Londoners can see their stories told and have their lives reflected. A place where schoolchildren feel at home and visitors of are always delighted, moved and surprised by their experiences. I’m thrilled to join the board at this exciting juncture and look forward to playing my part in the museum’s development.”

Samir Patel, said: “Over the years, I’ve spent much time at the Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands with my family. We’ve enjoyed these visits immensely, which helped open up conversations with my son on topics as diverse as Chinese New Year to rationing during wartime. The museum has a huge amount to offer, and its transition offers the potential for a place where all Londoners can see a space for themselves. I’m delighted to be on the Board working with Sharon Ament and the team to realise their vision.”

The appointments come at an exciting time for the museum as it moves to a new home in Smithfield. Its London Wall site closed as a visitor attraction in December 2022 after welcoming 21.5 million people over 46 years. It will now undertake the careful process of decanting 10,000 items from its London Wall galleries and re-organising its seven million strong collection. It will welcome its first visitors to a festival curated by Londoners at Smithfield in 2025, before opening to the public under its new name- the London Museum- in 2026.

At this time of transformation, the Museum of London Docklands takes centre stage as the museum’s main site, with a year-long programme of events to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2023, including a major exhibition Fashion City: How Jewish Londoners shaped global style, opening in the autumn. Under the leadership of Managing Director Douglas Gilmore, a new strategy will see it become one of the most evocative museums in London’s cultural landscape whilst delivering on the organisation’s overarching goals to reach more people and engage every young person in the city.

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