As part of the preparation for our 20 years celebrations, our Chinese Bronzes and Women’s Library collections will be closed from Monday 26 February, reopening with the rest of our new season on Thursday 21 March.

New Director of Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park Annouced  

Julie Finch has been appointed the new Director of Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park.


Ms Finch will take up her new position on 29th April 2019. She replaces former Director, Professor Steven Parissien, who stepped down from the role last month (November 2018) to become Director of the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto.


Ms Finch, is currently Chief Executive Officer at the Cheltenham Trust, where she has been since October 2014. Previously, Julie was the Project Director for the new Museum of Western Australia in Perth and prior to that, was Director of Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives Services for seven years, developing Bristol’s new museum, M Shed, from concept through to delivery whilst in the post and securing Major Partner Museum funding. In addition, Julie has sat on the boards of both the Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund.


Born in Lincolnshire, she studied for an MBA with the Open University, an MA Museums Studies at the University of Leicester and a BA Hons (First Class) in Heritage Studies at the University of Hull.


Presently, Julie is responsible for six of Cheltenham’s significant assets, the Wilson Museum and Art Gallery with a designated collection of international importance, two historic venues used for shows, events and private hire, the historic Town Hall and the Pittville Pump Rooms.   Her portfolio also encompasses Cheltenham’s leisure services including the Leisure At and the Prince of Wales Stadium.


She now aims to bring her experience of brand and revenue development for cultural venues to Compton Verney and is looking forward to deepening partnerships with local businesses whilst also creating great art and culture.


Julie says: “This is a dream job. Compton Verney is unique – no other institution has a comparable artistic collection combined with such a fantastic landscape. I’m keen to develop its relationships with visitors and broaden Compton Verney’s customer base as a place for everyone. There’s great potential to develop awareness of the venue across different age groups and walks of life through diverse events and public programmes. I am keen to deepen partnerships with other local businesses, to capitalise on Coventry becoming the City of Culture, and the global reputation of Shakespeare’s hometown. I want to broaden Compton Verney’s standing, not just as a regional or national resource, but as a place of international calibre.”


Compton Verney Chair of Governors, Kirsten Suenson-Taylor, says: “We are delighted that Julie Finch will join Compton Verney in the spring of 2019. We were all very impressed, both by Julie’s enthusiasm for opening up arts and culture to everyone and for her incisive eye for the business detail needed to run a successful arts venue. Julie will bring a wealth of experience to the role and the enthusiasm that comes from having been a visitor for many years.  The staff and governors are very much looking forward to welcoming her and to helping her develop Compton Verney even further as a premier arts venue and great day out.”