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3 Spital Yard
Spitalfields, , E1 6AQ
United Kingdom

020 7925 0199

The AHF appreciates that neglected buildings which are all too familiar in our towns, cities and countryside can, with a little imagination and a lot of enthusiasm, be rescued to become assets for their communities by people wanting to make a difference. The AHF has helped hundreds of organisations throughout the UK to do exactly that.

Staff List

Ian Morrison

Architectural Heritage Fund

Ian Morrison was appointed Chief Executive of the AHF in March 2015 and has sought to expand the charity’s advice, grants and loan services to help meet the growing demand of enterprising communities that wish to repair and re-use historic buildings they value for public benefit. Ian was previously the Head of Historic Environment at the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), where he held the lead UK policy role for the historic environment since 2008 and introduced HLF’s Heritage Enterprise and Grants for Places of Worship grant programmes. Prior to joining HLF, Ian worked for Historic England for 15 years, specialising in the regeneration of historic former industrial sites in the far South West. He is a serving member of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and Historic England’s Expert Advisory Group.


Ruth Johnson

Ruth Johnson

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Ruth Johnson joined the Architectural Heritage Fund in January 2017 as the Business Administrator, based in our London office.

Ruth has a degree in Economics and Politics (Keele University, 2012). Prior to joining the AHF she worked as an Events Co-ordinator for a co-working space and also for university student housing in central London. Her background includes customer services and stakeholder engagement at Transport for London.

Andy Richardson

Architectural Heritage Fund

Andy is the Architectural Heritage Fund’s Investment Manager, having joined the charity in 2012. He heads up the Investment Team and is responsible for loan facilities and a community share portfolio totalling in excess of £12m, supporting heritage-influenced projects across the UK to a broad range of charitable trusts, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises, and community businesses.

Having worked within the Social Investment sector for over five years, and with a further nine years in Retail, Commercial and Corporate Banking, Andy brings a wealth of appropriate experience to the AHF and its Borrowers. Further, he has been employed in a campaigning role for a major national charity and as a Regional Grants Manager for a Non-Departmental Public Body, delivering and monitoring over £9m of funding to grass-roots charities in Yorkshire and the Humber. 

Away from the AHF he enjoys reading Russian novels, going on walking holidays, and trying not to upset himself with the ongoing travails of Grimsby Town FC.

Gavin Richards

Architectural Heritage Fund

Gavin Richards is the AHF Operations Manager, with additional responsibility for projects in Yorkshire, the North East of England, and Northern Ireland.

Based in Sheffield, Gavin joined the AHF in 2007 supporting building preservation trusts and other voluntary sector groups to find sustainable new uses for historic buildings at risk. Since 2012 he has managed the AHF’s team of freelance Support Officers, and is also responsible for the AHF’s grants programmes. 

Gavin has a long-standing interest in both the heritage and voluntary sector and is passionate about the contribution historic buildings can make to urban regeneration. After a period spent working abroad following graduation he worked at the Directory of Social Change, where he researched and co-wrote the best-selling Guide to the Major Trusts. His experience in the heritage sector began at the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2001, starting in London before relocating to Yorkshire to join the new regional team. He went on to manage a Townscape Heritage scheme in the North West of England before joining the AHF. He studied Economic & Social History at Leicester University and has postgraduate qualifications in Urban Regeneration and Charity Resource Management, both completed at Sheffield Hallam University.

Ian Rice

Architectural Heritage Fund

Ian Rice is the AHF Policy & Loans Officer. 

Ian has worked for the Architectural Heritage Fund in a variety of roles since 2001. His current position requires liaison with all clients within the AHF loan portfolio, as well as with potential applicants seeking working-capital finance for community-led restoration projects. He previously worked in the construction industry for a number of years, and subsequently in central government. He has contributed a number of articles to amenity societies in the past, and is a member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC).


Gordon Barr

Architectural Heritage Fund

Gordon Barr is the AHF Support Officer for Scotland, with additional responsibilities for IT. 

Before joining the AHF in 2014, he was the Heritage Development Manager for the multi-award-winning Maryhill Burgh Halls project, working on researching and promoting the history of the area, and develop training, learning and educational opportunities with schools, colleges and other community groups.

Gordon has a academic and scientific software development background, as well as over fourteen years experience managing and contributing to projects related to the social and architectural heritage of cinema and theatre buildings in Scotland, including working on a number of projects in collaboration with Historic Environment Scotland's Listing Team. In 2011 he was shortlisted for the Scottish Civic Trust's inaugural 'Civic Champion' award. He is a Trustee of Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust, and is a member of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, as well as a committee member of the Cinema Theatre Association.

Josephine Brown

Architectural Heritage Fund

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Josephine Brown is the Support Officer for the South West of England. Prior to joining the AHF she worked as a heritage consultant, including a period as the in-house advisor to a conservation-accredited architectural practice, before establishing her own consultancy. Her background includes architectural history and the management of change in the historic environment. Since joining the AHF in 2012 Josephine has provided support to a wide range of third sector organisations to deliver heritage at risk projects across the South West region. She has recently completed a three-year voluntary post as Secretary of the Association of Preservation Trusts South West group. 
She has a degree in Art & Architectural History (St Andrews, 2002) and an MSc in Architectural Conservation (Edinburgh, 2004). She is a full member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation and an Associate member of the Institute of Fundraising. 


Tessa Hilder

Architectural Heritage Fund

Tessa Hilder is the Support Officer for the South East of England, plus Hertfordshire, Essex & Suffolk.

An AHF Support Officer since 2012, Tessa draws on over 25 years' experience in community and heritage funding, as funder and fundraiser.  Her first funding role, at Historic England, was managing delivery of grants to heritage buildings at risk in London, moving on to the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1996, where she was Head of the South East England Team.   Since 2006 she has worked as an independent consultant, primarily working for voluntary sector infrastructure programmes to mentor volunteer-led groups to develop their skills and capacity to raise funds and deliver projects.  Specialising in community-owned buildings of all kinds, she has helped groups to build, restore and improve these to meet local need and ensure their sustainable future.  Tessa is a member of the Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation and the Institute of Fundraising.


Rita Harkin

Architectural Heritage Fund

Rita Harkin is the Support Officer for Northern Ireland.  
From 2000 to 2013 Rita fronted the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, leading it on high profile planning casework and campaigns, she also developed its education and traditional building skills programmes.  Prior to that she was employed as Heritage Officer with Belfast City Council; a researcher with Rachel Bevan Architects; and Northern Ireland Development Officer for the Ecology Building Society.
She currently serves on the board of Hearth Revolving Fund, Northern Ireland’s first BPT, and the Irish Landmark Trust, which saves and restores historic buildings to provide holiday accommodation. She has an MA in Town Planning from Edinburgh College of Art and a Royal Society of Ulster Architects’ Diploma in Historic Building Conservation. Rita was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to study best practice in universal access to historic buildings in Scandinavia and the United States.

Before becoming an AHF Support Officer in 2017, Rita was the AHF's Northern Ireland Trustee.

Karen Houghton

Architectural Heritage Fund

Karen Houghton is the Support Officer for Yorkshire and Humber, with an additional specialism in property management.

Karen is a member of the Power to Change Trust’s community business panel, and advisor to their research institute, particularly in relation to asset transfer, of which she has personal experience, having been instrumental in one of the first successful transfers, and its subsequent development, Hebden Bridge Town Hall. She is also supporting Calder Valley Community Land Trust in undertaking a feasibility study on affordable, sustainable family homes on a town centre fringe site. 

Recently Karen has been the driving force behind Ancoats Dispensary Trust in Manchester, working in partnership with Igloo Regeneration. This has included securing ownership of the building, developing the business plan and designing the refurbished building, as well as fundraising to match HLF funding. ADT now has a compelling vision of creating a community business supporting health and well-being, with exciting partnerships with a series of organisations, offering art and creativity, healthy food, education and direct health services. 

Lucie Oakley

Architectural Heritage Fund

Lucie Oakley is the Support Officer covering the East Midlands, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Norfolk.

Lucie’s background in management roles in a variety of businesses and her experience of running small companies informs her work in the heritage sector. Since developing her interest in the historic environment on a formal basis, she has worked as an architectural historian and in a building preservation trust. She has been an AHF Support Officer since 2012 and is an associate member of the IHBC. She volunteers with the building preservation trust movement as secretary of the Midlands branch of the Heritage Trust Network, where she is part of an active committee organising regional events, enabling peer-to-peer networking and opportunities to learn from each other, developing capacity and skills.

Elizabeth Perkins

Architectural Heritage Fund

Elizabeth Perkins is the Support Officer for the West Midlands, with an additional specialism in business planning.

Elizabeth has over 30 years’ experience of working in heritage, starting at the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. After as a spell as an Inspector of Historic Buildings for an earlier manifestation of Historic England, she moved into heritage project management where she has worked for the last 15 years tackling historic building at risk projects. Working as Director of Birmingham Conservation Trust, she was responsible for the Back to Backs project, now run by the National Trust, and for the Coffin Works project, both multi award winning projects. 

Since leaving the Trust she has worked on the Ditherington Flax Mill project (first iron framed building in the world) where she secured £23m in funding for the repairs to the building. She also helped draft the successful £5m HLF bid for the Hartlebury Castle BPT and managed a partnership project in Birmingham for the National Trust and Canal and River Trust. For the last year she has worked for the UK Association of Preservation Trusts, as Funding and Technical Officer, managing their transition to Heritage Trust Network and advising members on funding.

Daniel Rose

Architectural Heritage Fund

Daniel Rose is the AHF Support Officer for London, with an additional specialism in Property Management. 

Daniel was Chair of Swindon’s Mechanics’ Institution Trust between 2006 and 2016 and currently works as the Trust’s first Director. The Trust has successfully navigated several asset transfers of historic buildings and continues to grow its community and heritage portfolio focusing on the town’s historic Railway Village Conservation Area. The Mechanics’ Institution itself is a complex Grade II* building at risk which the Trust continues to pursue to bring into community ownership.

Daniel has held various positions in his working life starting as a youth and community worker and later a role in social work and education. He worked for The National Trust in several national roles between 2005 and 2016. Firstly focusing on youth participation and community engagement and later within the Audience Insight Team leading the Trust’s research of volunteering, fundraising, and ways to engage people in protecting local heritage and green spaces. Daniel has been an RSA Fellow since 2009. 

Jess Steele

Architectural Heritage Fund

Jess Steele is the Support Officer for the North West of England, with additional multiple specialisms.

Jess has 25 years’ experience as a local community activist and entrepreneur in Deptford and Hastings and at national level as Deputy Chief Executive of the British Urban Regeneration Association and Director of Innovation at DTA/Locality, including leading the development and delivery of the national Community Organisers programme.

An active social entrepreneur for 25 years, she has established community enterprises in publishing, heritage, tourism, childcare, financial management, workspace, and neighbourhood development.

Jericho Road Solutions provides coaching to neighbourhood groups and community businesses as well as working with government, funders, corporates and academics on national initiatives to make neighbourhood work easier. Building on her experience of saving Hastings Pier, Jess specialises in supporting ambitious local projects to rescue the most challenging of precious buildings across England and Wales. She was awarded an OBE in the 2016 New Years Honours for services to community assets in the UK.