New role for former Wetherby ward councillor

Former Wetherby ward councillor John Procter has been appointed as the new chairman of the Royal Armouries.

Mr Procter was elected to Leeds City Council in 1992, representing Wetherby ward until he was de-selected by party members in September 2017 and replaced by Coun Norma Harrington. He also served as a Conservative MEP from 2016 until July this year.

Now he will be responsible for leading the Royal Armouries until 2023, with the potential for a further four years, as it continues to develop its work across its sites in Leeds, Hampshire and London.

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Mr Procter is being tasked with taking the Museum forward through a critical period in its history, calling on his passion for cultural heritage, commercial acumen and public service.

Edward Impey, Director-General of the Royal Armouries said: “John is an experienced and highly accomplished professional with a 30-year record of successful business leadership and public service.

“In addition to his successful business career, John brings a wealth of experience of working with cultural organisations to the role.

“He is a director of Northern Ballet, and has also served with distinction as Chair of Leeds Grand Theatre, and as a director of the Regional Arts council for England.

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“We are now in the process of devising a masterplan to transform the Royal Armouries brand and its offer at the main museum site in Leeds.

“With plans for growth at our Fort Nelson and Tower of London sites, as well as transforming our digital presence, John will play a central role in taking the Royal Armouries forward and putting it on a long-term sustainable footing.

“Throughout his varied career John has developed an unrivalled network of valuable contacts in the UK, across Europe and internationally, which, alongside his undoubted leadership qualities and experience, will greatly benefit the Royal Armouries.”

Mr Procter said he was looking forward to his role: “I have made an energetic commitment to the Royal Armouries, and will be an active and positive advocate for the organisation, representing it to government and other stakeholders such as funders and the education, regional and tourism communities, including our local partners in Leeds and the surrounding areas.”

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He added: “The Royal Armouries’ collection of arms and armour is truly world class in scope and reach.”

“My job is to support our equally exceptional team, who collectively inspire people to discover and understand how many of the most compelling narratives of human endeavour and experience have been, and continue to be, shaped by arms and armour.”