Michael Aldridge, general manager of Merlin Events, has announced his departure from the company, effective from 2019.

Aldridge will hand over to Matt Worthington who will become head of events.

Aldridge has been at the helm of the events team for 16 years, starting as head of events at Madame Tussauds London in 2002. During his tenure he oversaw the build of Lakeview at Thorpe Park and an integrated marketing campaign for all Tussauds UK attractions. In 2010 he took on the role of general manager of events for the London Cluster which includes Madame Tussauds, SEALIFE London, London Dungeon, The Coca-Cola London Eye and Shrek.

Aldridge commented: “It’s been an amazing part of my life which I have relished over the years and enjoyed bringing so many ideas to life. I am looking forward to new challenges with my consultancy Unique Venues and launching the Eye Dubai.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been part of my journey especially team Merlin, Image, ML security, Food by Dish, Dragon and INC. My event partners have been with me, some of them, for over 25 years. I wish them all the best in the future.”

From January Aldridge will throw himself fully into his new venture the Unique Venues Consultancy, teaching venues how to work smarter. His first project will be to launch Eye Dubai in 2020.

Worthington joins the team from the Jockey Club and has extensive experience in large events. He said: “I am looking forward to January. It will be a period of change for Merlin Events as we look to build on the past success and prepare for the fast-changing future.”