In a statement the Trust said that the trustees, staff and volunteers “would like to convey their heartfelt appreciation to Diana for all she has achieved during her time with the Trust, and to thank her for the legacy of an engaged, strong and optimistic organisation”.
Peter Kyle, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said Owen had transformed the Trust into an inclusive, participative charity that puts Shakespeare and his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon on the world stage. “She has achieved strong visitor and revenue growth, forged successful partnerships and created new opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to enjoy Shakespeare,” he said. “Her particular successes have included shepherding the Trust into the digital age by launching highly engaging digital campaigns and platforms; Shakespeare Week, our annual celebration for primary school children; and the highly praised development of New Place, which opened in 2016 marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. It has been a real pleasure to work with Diana and we wish her great happiness and success in the future.”
Owen said it has been a real privilege, and a fantastic pleasure, to be at the helm of the UK’s first and oldest conservation charity, promoting the world’s foremost playwright, to worldwide audiences today. “After 10 years and the success of the 400th anniversary, I feel that the time is right, to hand on the baton and I look forward to seeing the inspiring plans for the future development of our charity come to fruition.”
The Trustees are now seeking an inspirational leader to follow in Dr Owen’s footsteps, and take on the challenges and rewards of leading the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust into its next exciting phase. Candidates are invited to send expressions of interest to [email protected]