New director announced for Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust

By Anita Jaynes on 27 April, 2017

The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust has announced the appointment of Rod Hebden as interim director.

Rod has extensive experience in leading and developing major projects in the heritage sector, having worked with national museums and heritage for over a decade.  His experience includes leading major project fundraising for the Science Museum in Wroughton and London, as well as transforming commercial partnerships for the National Trust.

Whilst at the Science Museum in London, Rod led the successful second stage of their national Heritage Lottery Fund submission, securing £6m for a major gallery, as well as securing funding income from a range of trusts, foundations and commercial sponsors.  With a strong background in science and engineering, he also researched museums and exhibitions at Imperial College London, and worked with international brands to develop the visitor experience at National Trust properties.

Rod will be taking control of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust’s submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund, due for submission later this year, as well as using his experience in stakeholder and community engagement to work with the people of Swindon to get them involved with the bid.

Passionate about Swindon’s heritage and its future, Rod was a member of the Swindon Heritage Board and more recently a board member for the Love Lydiard Trust, the community group formed of local people in partnership with Lydiard staff to bid for the running and management of Lydiard House and Park. He is also an active member of his local Residents’ Association.

Rod said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help transform Swindon.  Since I moved to Swindon in 2006 I’ve come to love the town; the great stories it has to tell, and the incredible things it still has to offer.  I believe that the places where people live are part of their identity, particularly the heritage and beautiful green spaces.  The new Museum and Art Gallery can return Swindon’s proud history of delivering inspiring projects for the future, which will one day become the heritage treasured by our children and grandchildren.

“I’m looking forward to picking up and building momentum with the Heritage Lottery Fund submission and making sure we deliver the best possible bid we can for the people of Swindon.”

Robert Hiscox, Chair of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust, said: “We are delighted that Rod has joined us as Interim Director to help us achieve our ambition to build a new museum and art gallery in the centre of Swindon.  He believes, as we do, that it will transform the heart of the town and be an inspiring hub for the community, providing educational and leisure space for both local people and visitors to enjoy.

“Rod brings very relevant experience to the project and I look forward to working with him.”

For more information on the new Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, visit

Pictured above: Rod Hebden, interim director at The Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust