Skip to main content

Director General and Master of the Armouries announces retirement

The Royal Armouries can announce that its current Director General, Dr. Edward Impey, is set to leave the organisation and begin his retirement in the new year.

Dr. Impey has led the Royal Armouries since 2013, steering it through considerable change during the last eight years to strengthen the organisation.

John Procter, Chair of the Board of Trustees said:

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Edward on behalf of the Board of Trustees and wider staff team for his eight years of dedicated service. Under his leadership, the Royal Armouries has been firmly established on a new secure financial footing which in turn enabled us to start planning our long-term future, for which we now have a plan. In addition, his research interests both in arms and armour and in heritage more generally have furthered the ambition of the museum in becoming a world class research institution.”

Dr. Edward Impey, Director General & Master of the Armouries said:

“I have had a wonderful eight years here, immersed in a fascinating and favourite subject, and during which the museum has made very significant progress in securing its future and developing ambitious plans for its public offer and activities in the years to come. I am very proud to have been part of this. Now, having reached the appropriate age, and as the Armouries emerges from the effects of the Pandemic and a new era opens in its history, this is a good moment for me to take this step.”

Edward Impey will remain in post until he retires on 31st January 2022. The process of recruiting a new Director General has commenced and the details and position will be advertised in due course to ensure the widest possible audience of potential applicants can apply for this exciting opportunity.


Notes to editors

Further enquiries to:

07919 626179

Two giant illuminated knight puppets made of paper in front of the Royal Armouries Museum

Light Knight at the Royal Armouries (image: Charlotte Graham photography)

The Royal Armouries will be creating a magnificent menagerie of illuminated animals for the 2021 Light Night Leeds.

Taking inspiration from the museum’s collection, such as its famous Elephant Armour, giant animal puppets will light up Armouries Square outside the museum for evening performances on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 October.

The Royal Armouries is working with renowned West Yorkshire artists Handmade Parade to bring the collection of arms and armour to life in a new way and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the museum opening in Leeds.

Visitors will enjoy the wonderful spectacle of giant, moving animal puppets in outdoor promenade performances, accompanied by live music and lit up for all to see. This free event is part of the city-wide Light Night Leeds event which will see over 40 eye-catching installations as the festival welcomes back visitors in 2021. The Royal Armouries Museum Menagerie links to this year’s Light Night theme Back to Nature, which celebrates some of the world’s natural wonders and reflects the spectacular biodiversity of the animal kingdom, plants, trees and weather. This follows on from the success of Light Night 2019 when the Royal Armouries partnered with Handmade Parade to create ‘Light Knight’ when thousands saw giant knight puppets battle it out.

Royal Armouries are delighted to announce that CitySprint are headline sponsors of Royal Armouries Light Night 2021. CitySprint are the UK’s largest same-day distribution company, delivering innovative and flexible logistic services to customers across the UK. Holly Hatch, Account Director at CitySprint, says ‘CitySprint are very proud to join the Royal Armouries as a Corporate Partner to sponsor such a fantastic event, Light Night 2021. The museum menagerie will entertain and inspire our local community with something that they have never seen before, which is more important than ever after such a difficult period for everyone. We are delighted to be supporting the creation of the menagerie and are really looking forward to the event’.

More information about Royal Armouries Light Night 2021 can be found here.

The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds has welcomed back thousands of visitors safely since reopening on 19 May. The museum is continuing to follow COVID-19 guidance for the safety for staff and visitors. Measures include limiting visitor numbers, additional cleaning procedures and wearing face coverings.