Fundraising genius Bruce Minto to chair National Museums of Scotland
THE man who spearheaded the fundraising campaign for the refurbishment of the National Museum of Scotland has now been appointed as its chairman.
• Bruce Minto will succeed banker Sir Angus Grossart at the helm of the organisation, in the unpaid role lasting four years
• Main attraction in Edinburgh underwent a £47 million revamp 12 months ago
• Minto headed up fundraising campaign for refurbishment of old Royal Museum building
Bruce Minto will succeed banker Sir Angus Grossart at the helm of National Museums Scotland (NMS), which is celebrating having attracted 2.3 million visitors to its main attraction in Edinburgh since the £47 million revamp was unveiled a year ago.
Mr Minto, a founder of legal firm Dickson Minto, headed the campaign for the facelift of the old Royal Museum building, which surpassed its target well in advance.
His appointment as chairman, an unpaid post, is made by the Scottish Government, and will run for the next four years.
A spokeswoman for the government said: “Bruce led the successful campaign which, with support from the Scottish Government and Heritage Lottery Fund, exceeding its target to raise the funding for the refurbishment, which is widely recognised as an engineering and architectural triumph.”
Mr Minto, who takes up his new role tomorrow said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to support National Museums Scotland in building on its outstanding recent successes.
“The National Museum of Scotland is now recognised as one of the great national museums of the world and a place to enjoy, celebrate and learn.
“With over two million visits annually, it is a venue which sits firmly at the heart of Scotland’s cultural life.”
Sir Angus’s tenure coincided with the closure of the building for three years for the refurbishment. Part of Mr Minto’s remit will be to help built support for the next phase of its overhaul, due for completion in 2016, which has already won the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund to the tune of almost £5m.
The fundraising campaign he led for the previous phase of work had a target of £12.6m, but ended up smashing it by £1m.
At the time Mr Minto said: “I am all too conscious that the project has been in progress through difficult economic circumstances and so we are all even more grateful for the terrific interest we have had from the outset.”
Mr Minto, a father of five who lives in the capital, is still managing partner at Dickson Minto, the company he founded with Alastair Dickson in 1985. It specialises in corporate and commercial law.
Mr Minto has served on the museums organisation’s board of trustees for the past two years.
The board, which is accountable to the Scottish Government, is responsible for monitoring the day-to-day running of the NMS, under the leadership of director Gordon Rintoul.
The organisation has five sites across Scotland – the flagship museum on Chambers Street, the National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Flight in East
Lothian, the National Museum of Costume in Dumfries, and the National Museum of Rural Life, in East Kilbride – as well as a huge collections centre on Edinburgh’s waterfront. At present it has more than four million items in its collections.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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