Tubwell Row, Darlington
Tubwell Row, Darlington
Tubwell Row, Darlington

Historic England Announces New Director of Planning

Ian Morrison, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund has been announced as Historic England's next Director of Planning. He will take over from Chris Smith who steps down from the post in July this year. Morrison will lead the heritage body's Planning staff across nine regional offices at a critical time for the nation's historic environment.

As Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund, Ian has led a major programme of change and transformed their business into the heritage sector leader on social enterprise and investment. Ian previously worked at Historic England (then known as English Heritage) as an Archaeology Advisor for London and an Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Team Leader for the South West, before moving to the Heritage Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Heritage Fund) and then to the Architectural Heritage Fund.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: "England's spectacular historic environment is one of the nation's real assets. And it needs care and protection. At a time when the country needs more housing and is committed to a range of infrastructure projects across the regions, we need skill and expertise to ensure our built environment is enhanced and kept special so it can be lived in, enjoyed and treasured by future generations. Ian brings with him a wealth of skill and knowledge and understands the important relationship between communities and their historic places. We are all looking forward to working with him."

Ian Morrison said: "I am truly excited by the opportunity to return to Historic England and to work again with so many dedicated and highly-regarded staff. Changes to this country's planning system and the pressing need for new development bring some challenges, of course, but they also provide opportunities to showcase the positive contribution heritage can make to peoples' lives. As the expert organisation with a proven enabling track record, Historic England is vital if the added value of the historic environment is to be harnessed for the economic and social good of the country. I am determined to ensure Historic England's planning advice and grants services, as well as the organisations we support, are held in the highest esteem and are considered essential for achieving quality sustainable development."

Chris Smith OBE has worked for the heritage body since 1994. From July he will lead a special project for the organisation, bringing Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings back to life and into use. The Flaxmill is the world's first iron-framed building, and has been dubbed 'the father of the skyscraper'.

Read more about this Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project