New Historic England Commissioners Appointed

Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has appointed five new Commissioners of Historic England.

Sandra Dinneen, Paul Farmer, Patrick Newberry, Susie Thornberry, and Richard Upton have been appointed as Commissioners of Historic England from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2021.

The Commission is the governing body of Historic England and has overall responsibility for the National Heritage Collection, which is managed by the English Heritage Trust on its behalf.

Sir Laurie Magnus, Chairman of Historic England, said: "Our new Commissioners will bring additional skills and experience to Historic England in its mission to champion and protect the nation's historic environment. They join us at a time when the role of heritage as an economic asset and as a foundation for our sense of wellbeing and identity is being increasingly appreciated. They are all warmly welcome and our staff, my fellow Commissioners and I much look forward to working with them".

The Commissioners were recruited with the aim of bringing expertise and insight into business and finance, audit and risk, property investment and development and public engagement.

The five new Commissioners are:

Sandra Dinneen

Sandra has a background in economic development and has been chief executive of South Norfolk Council since 2008, where she has driven a commercial focus throughout the organisation. She is currently managing director of Big Sky, a Property Development and Management Company, and Build Insight Consultancy Services, a Building Regulations Consultancy. Sandra has a keen interest in education and inclusion and is a trustee of a Multi Academy Trust and governor of a FE College. She also has a keen interest in historic buildings, in particular their role in, and relationship with, economic growth, education and inclusion. 

Paul Farmer

Paul is chief executive of Mind, the leading mental health charity. He is chair of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), and a trustee at Lloyds Bank Foundation which invests in charities supporting people to break out of disadvantage at critical points in their lives. Paul was chair of the NHS England Mental Health Taskforce which created the current mental health Five Year Forward View for the NHS in England, and he co-authored 'Thriving at Work' for the government, setting out how to transform mental health in work places. Paul has an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of East London, is an Honorary Fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford, and The Royal College of Psychiatrists, and was awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours 2016.

Patrick Newberry

Patrick holds a number of non-executive directorships in the financial and professional services sectors, sitting on or chairing a number of audit and risk committees. He was a partner in PwC for 25 years, working in the financial sector in the UK, USA and Continental Europe also serving as a member of PwC's Supervisory Board, Chair of the Strategy, Governance & International Sub-Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee. He was also a board member and former president (2010-2011) of the Management Consultancies Association. In the not for profit sector, Patrick is a governor of The Cornwall College Group and vice chairman of the Cornish Buildings Group and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Susie Thornberry

Susie is assistant director at Imperial War Museums where she leads public engagement for adults, young people, schools, and families across the five museums. Her extensive experience in arts, museums, and heritage includes roles with Historic Royal Palaces, Artichoke, and Battersea Arts Centre. In 2016, she was producer of London's Burning, a festival to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, including London 1666 a 120-metre-long sculpture created by hundreds of young Londoners which was spectacularly set alight on the River Thames.

Richard Upton

Richard was the founder of the specialist regeneration property developer, Cathedral Group and was previously a co-founding director of Mount Anvil. He has extensive experience in the field of complex regeneration projects through the UK. He was appointed as deputy chief executive of U+I the specialist regeneration property and investment business in July 2015, following the merger of Cathedral Group and Development Securities. Richard has served as a member of Historic England's London Advisory Committee since 2012 and has campaigned extensively for sustainable restoration of heritage buildings, including the campaign to save Smithfield Market which he funded and fought successfully; the historic market buildings will now house the new Museum of London.

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