THE director of a popular museum which has just undergone a £16m revamp has announced he will be leaving after 12 years in the role.

Dr Jon Murden will leave his position as the executive director of Dorset Museum, formerly Dorset County Museum, in December after more than a decade of service.

He joined the museum in 2009 from National Museums Liverpool, where he had played a role in the development of the £76m museum and the delivery of the city's programme as the European Capital of Culture in 2008.

In his announcement that he will be stepping down, Dr Murden, who has a passion for motoring heritage, revealed he will move on to pastures new as the chief executive of the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire.

He said: "It is with not inconsiderable sadness that I have to tell you all that I will be leaving Dorset Museum in December. I will be joining the National Motor Museum as their new chief executive.

Dorset Echo: Dr Jon Murden Picture: Dorset MuseumDr Jon Murden Picture: Dorset Museum

"After everything that we have achieved together at Dorset Museum, this has not been an easy decision to make. However, as many of you will know both my academic area of expertise and my passion outside of work lies in motoring heritage, so I hope you will appreciate how the opportunity presented to me by the National Motor Museum proved irresistible."

In his time at Dorset Museum, Dr Murden has been part of some major exhibitions and the saviour of valuable collections, such as the Dewlish Roman mosaic.

Most recently, a revamp was completed at the museum, which took nearly three years and cost £16.4m.

Dr Murden said: "Together we have made some fantastic achievements possible in our temporary exhibition programming, such as Pharaoh: King of Egypt and Dippy on Tour; with the collections we have managed to save for the county and the nation, like the Dewlish Roman mosaic and the Hardy Players theatre; and the final delivery of the £16.4 million Tomorrow’s Museum for Dorset capital project.

"I am, and will always remain, extremely proud of what we, as a team, have managed to create together, achievements that the people of Dorset will be able to enjoy and appreciate long into the future."

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