Friday 19th October -  Morning session (9.30-12 noon).
Conservation Conversation
Tea Break circa 10.45-11am

Laura Sandys

Vice-president. Civic Voice


Laura Sandys was formerly the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civic Societies and was key in helping set up Civic Voice. Laura is the daughter of Lord Duncan Sandys, who established the Civic Trust in 1957. Each year the Sandys Lecture is held in his name and, fittingly, Laura speaks at each occasion. Laura Sandys is supporting the civic movement celebrations for 50 years of conservation areas as we make the case for conservation.

10.10am - 10.50am

Dame Fiona Reynolds

The Fight for Beauty


Reynolds held senior positions in the Council for National Parks and the Campaign for Rural England before joining the Cabinet Office as Director of the Women's Unit in 1998.[3]She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1998.


She became Director General of the National Trust in 2001. During her tenure, membership of the charity, which looks after 612,000 acres (2,480 km2) of land in the United Kingdom, grew from 2.7 to 4 million people. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours for "services to heritage and conservation".

A passionate, polemical call to arms, The Fight for Beauty presents an alternative path forward: one that, if adopted, could take us all to a better future.

11.05am - 11.10am

Gavin Orton

Chair of Birmingham Civic Society & Trustee of Civic Voice


Gavin is an RIBA Chartered Architect and Associate at BPN Architects who are based in the Jewellery Quarter. He works on a wide variety of projects across Birmingham and the West Midlands. Having become involved in the Birmingham Civic Society’s Planning Committee in 2008 and became its Chair and a Trustee in 2013. Gavin was formerly Chair of RIBA West Midlands and President of Birmingham Architectural Association (BAA). During his time at the BAA, he launched Walking Architecture: Birmingham – a free architectural guide to Birmingham for smart phones. Gavin studied architecture at The Birmingham School of Architecture (Birmingham City University) and now regularly tutors MA Architecture students at the School as part of the Teaching Practice programme. Gavin is also a Trustee of Birmingham & Five Counties Architectural Association, which holds one of the largest architectural drawing collections in the UK outside of London and judges The Green Book Award.

11.10am - 11.25am

Deborah Lamb

Deputy CEO, Historic England

How do you manage the historic environment without a conservation officer?


Deborah joined Historic England (formerly English Heritage) in 2002 as Director of Policy and Communications. Prior to that, Deborah worked in the Civil Service developing policies on equalities and sustainable development. Her last role before joining English Heritage was as Deputy Director of the Women and Equalities Unit. 

Deborah’s role is to make the case for England’s heritage and Historic England to government, other organisations and the public. She has overall responsibility for Government Advice, Publishing and the Historic England Archive. Through the Governance and Legal team she ensures that Historic England’s decisions are well-informed and clearly explained. 

11.25am - 11.40am

Tony Barton

Chair, Insalls Architects

We have no choice but to inspire a new army of conservation champions to care for the conservation areas of the future. How do we do that?

Tony joined Donald Insall Associates in 1993, establishing the Chester office in 1998.  He was appointed as a director in 2005 and took on the role of Chairman in 2013.

Tony has led a number of award-winning projects involving conservation, repair, creative re-use and design of new buildings, particularly in the north-west and Wales. He holds RIBA accreditation as a Specialist Conservation Architect (SCA) and was recently appointed as Architect to Chester Cathedral.

11.40am - 11.55am

Ros Kerslake

CEO Heritage Lottery Fund

How to make conservation areas work? ​Successful conservation management requires funding and support? How the HLF is helping the historic environment.

Ros Kerslake joined the Heritage Lottery Fund as Chief Executive in July 2016, from The Prince’s Regeneration Trust where she was also CEO.

Among her achievements at The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, Ros led the team that saved one of the last working Victorian potteries in the UK, Middleport Pottery, bringing new life
and business to the restored site. Ros is a non-executive director of U+I group, a regeneration based property developer, and a member of the Community, Voluntary & Local Services Honours Advisory Committee. Ros
was awarded an OBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list for services to British heritage.

13-15 Fleet Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B3 1JP

Tel: 0121 792 8177

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