V&A names new Dundee director

V&A Dundee has unveiled Leonie Bell as its new director.

Bell joins Scotland’s first design museum from Renfrewshire Council, where she was the strategic lead for its Future Paisley Partnership.

She replaces Philip Long, who has taken over as chief executive at the National Trust for Scotland.

Bell began her career at Glasgow 1999: UK City of Architecture & Design before becoming programme director at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s centre for architecture, design and the city.

She was previously the head of culture strategy and engagement at the Scottish Government, having previously served as director of arts and engagement at Creative Scotland

Bell led Scotland’s national cultural programmes for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

She said: “Like so many, I have watched V&A Dundee flourish in its first two years, and it is a huge privilege to lead the museum into its next phase.”

Tim Allan, chair of V&A Dundee’s board, added: “We are delighted that Leonie has accepted this leading role at V&A Dundee, leading its awakening from the covid-19 lockdown into a new era.

“She is a very experienced, charismatic leader with a passionate background in design and what it can do for communities and places as well as enhancing our position in the world.

“Leonie was born in Dundee and grew up in nearby Fife.

“She has authenticity, knowledge, energy and understanding of the museum, its importance to Dundee and Scotland, and of the cultural sector in Scotland and the UK.”

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