Bede’s World director steps down after being headhunted by another museum

Mike Benson is stepping down as director of Bede's World.
Mike Benson is stepping down as director of Bede's World.

The man at the helm of a popular South Tyneside tourist attraction is stepping down from his post.

Mike Benson was appointed director of Bede’s World, in Church Bank, Jarrow, in 2011.

We wish Mike all the best for the future and hope that with South Tyneside’s rich coal mining history, and what he’s now going to do, that there will be some future opportunities for us to work together.

Mike Smith, chair of Bede’s World board of trustees

It has now emerged that the former steelworker is stepping down from his post to work at another museum.

Mike Smith, chairman of the board of trustees at the Anglo-Saxon museum, which celebrates the life and times of the Venerable Bede, said: “He has been headhunted to become director of the National Coal Mining Museum for England, in Wakefield. It’s been in the pipeline over the last 10 days or so.

“Mike’s contribution has been immense over the course of the past four years that he’s been here.

“He made great strides in giving Bede’s World real national prominence as sector leaders in the area of community engagement.”

Mr Smith says 2016 is set to be a big year for Bede’s World and that the board will meet today to discuss an internal replacement for Mr Benson.

He said: “Bede’s World has a great future ahead of it and we have our best exhibition programme ever coming up next year.”

He added: “It’s absolutely integral to Bede’s World’s future that the local community and wider region continue to support the museum.

“Financially, we’re like any other small museum and we struggle to make our way but we continue to try to provide a brilliant service.

“We wish Mike all the best for the future and hope that with South Tyneside’s rich coal mining history, and what he’s now going to do, that there will be some future opportunities for us to work together.”