We are delighted to announce we have appointed five new Trustees to the Board of Directors here at BCT, and also been joined by a new Councillor. Our trustees are volunteers who work with us to steer the direction of the Trust and our our projects. They also bring their expertise, skills and advice to help us ensure the long-term sustainability of the Trust.
By way of introduction I have asked them a few questions! Ladies are up first in this blog post and I’m sure you will join me in welcoming Katie Kershaw and Sally Szarka. We’ll catch up with the gentleman; Andy, Kenneth, and Martin at a later date.
1. What do you do when you are not being a Trustee for BCT? What is your line of work?
“I am an urban design and heritage consultant, working for a private sector practice based in Birmingham called Node Urban Design. We provide urban design and heritage advice to a range of clients from private sector developers to local authorities, including heritage studies, the conversion and extension of listed buildings and masterplanning projects”.
“When not thinking about the heritage of Birmingham, I am a Consultant Solicitor, currently working in Birmingham City very near to the Coffin Works building. Over the years, I have specialised in property matters”.
2. What main areas of BCT’s work are you looking forward to supporting the most and what skills are you bringing to support the Trust’s work?
“The reason why I am so keen to be involved with the Trust is that I have a real passion for Birmingham and its heritage: I was born and raised here and have always loved the city. I have been highly impressed by the work of the Trust in bringing some of Birmingham’s historic buildings, such as the back to backs into new use and I am excited to play a part in that process. I have been involved with a number of successful listed building conversion and extension projects and as such I hope that my skills, including an understanding of the planning and regulatory framework with regard to historic buildings, community consultation experience and graphic design will prove useful to the Trust”.
“I am very much looking forward to applying the knowledge that I have built up over the years to something that I have such an interest in and an enthusiasm for. Assisting the Birmingham Conservation Trust particularly with the plans for the Coffin Works in the first instance and hopefully with saving other properties in the future”.
3. What are your favourite bits of Birmingham’s heritage and why?
“Perhaps contrary to popular belief outside the city, Birmingham has a highly diverse range of heritage assets, from the medieval complex at Kings Norton to Georgian estate planning at Edgbaston, the Victorian civic complex within the city centre and the significant postwar projects which came to characterise the city in the latter part of the 20th century. My favourites are those that showcase the city at its most dynamic, such as the industrial heritage of the Jewellery Quarter and Digbeth, together with the perhaps less universally appreciated buildings of the postwar period, such as Central Library, which sadly are now largely under extreme pressure from redevelopment”.
“I love the variety and contrasts of Birmingham’s building heritage. The grand town halls and stately homes of the managers of the industrial past to the factories and workers cottages of the employees”.