New CEO for Aerospace Bristol

Aerospace Bristol, Sally Cordwell

Aerospace Bristol, the home of Concorde has appointed Sally Cordwell as its new CEO.

Sally becomes only the second CEO in Aerospace Bristol’s history, replacing Executive Director, Lloyd Burnell as Chief Executive of a museum that, since opening in 2017, has quickly established itself as one of the region’s most popular visitor attractions, an award-winning school visit destination, and a leading events venue with Concorde as its star attraction.

Sally brings significant experience of senior leadership roles in visitor attractions and culture venues in Bristol and the South West, including as Interim Executive Director at Bristol Old Vic Theatre, and as Deputy CEO at SS Great Britain Trust. Her appointment comes at a key time, as Aerospace Bristol welcomes visitors back to the museum and recovers from covid-19 closures that put its future in real jeopardy.

Sally said: “I’m thrilled to join Aerospace Bristol as its new CEO at this exciting time, as the museum celebrates its fifth anniversary year and, following a hugely challenging period, once again looks ahead with optimism and enthusiasm.

“Bristol’s world-class aerospace heritage – and the unique collection of objects and exhibitions on display at Aerospace Bristol – presents us with so many opportunities to share remarkable stories, celebrate our local history, preserve Bristol’s aerospace heritage, and inspire future generations. I can’t wait to get started.”

Iain Gray CBE, Chair, Bristol Aero Collection Trust added: “On behalf of everyone at Bristol Aero Collection Trust, I’m truly delighted to welcome Sally Cordwell as the new Chief Executive Officer of our museum, Aerospace Bristol.

Sally’s predecessor, Lloyd Burnell did a remarkable job of leading Aerospace Bristol through its development and launch, successfully securing vital funding and getting Aerospace Bristol off the ground, and navigating the unexpected and unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. We are enormously grateful for everything Lloyd achieved in his 13 years at Aerospace Bristol and we wish him all the very best for the future.

I have no doubt that our new CEO will continue this success and that Aerospace Bristol will go from strength to strength. The museum will benefit enormously from Sally’s significant experience, keen enthusiasm, and positive vision, as we look ahead to the exciting next phase of Aerospace Bristol’s journey.”

Aerospace Bristol is home to the last Concorde ever to fly, which touched down at Filton – where all British Concordes were built and made their maiden flights – for the final time in November 2003. The museum tells the story of Concorde and of Bristol’s illustrious aviation heritage, with visitors able to step on board the famous supersonic passenger jet, explore more than a century of aerospace achievements, and watch as Bristol aircraft are restored in the museum’s new Conservation Workshop.

Aerospace Bristol is operated by Bristol Aero Collection Trust, a registered charity that aims to inspire the next generation of engineers through its STEM & local history learning programme for schools and fun family events, activities and days out at the museum.