Dr Matthew Tanner MBE

Matthew Tanner has worked in the maritime heritage sector for 20 years. He has specialised in bringing maritime heritage to life for non-maritime audiences.

With a background in maritime archaeology, scuba diving, sailing, and with much experience of historic ships in the heritage and museum environment, Matthew has published a number of papers on their preservation and interpretation. He was appointed as Director and Chief Executive of the ss Great Britain Trust in 2000 in order to create the vision and deliver the conservation of Brunel’s ss Great Britain, and he led the team that delivered the £13m conservation and regeneration of that ship.

He was awarded the MBE in 2007 for his services to maritime conservation. The project, completed in 2005, has now been awarded the Gulbenkian UK Museum of the Year Prize 2006, the England Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2007, the European Museum of the Years’s Micheletti Award for Best Industrial/Technology Museum, and 15 other national and international awards for tourism, conservation, access, interpretation and design. In 2010 he led the project to open the Brunel Institute archive, library and education centre alongside the ss Great Britain. He is Chairman of the Association of Independent Museums, and a member of the Arts Council South West Area Committee.

These range from remarkable achievements of national institutions to projects crafted with limited resources and those championing their staff and volunteers who work hard to deliver inspiring visitor experiences.

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