An experienced heritage professional with community roots has been recruited to head up Coventry’s enterprising historic buildings charity.

Anne Cranston starts work as the new Executive Director at Historic Coventry Trust in September and brings a wealth of experience in historic building restoration and community regeneration projects.

The Trust, which was set-up in 2011, is delivering a major programme of restoration work to some of Coventry's most important heritage buildings. Many of the buildings have been unused for decades and are being brought back to productive use with community access.

Coventry-born Anne grew up in Wyken and Binley and studied at both the University of Warwick and Coventry University.  

She started her career working in community development in the city, working locally as Operations Director at environmental regeneration charity Groundwork West Midlands from 2008-2014, before moving into the heritage sector.
For the past eight years, Anne has been working in Gloucester as Head of Projects responsible for the Cathedral’s award-winning £6 million Project Pilgrim. The project is restoring the Cathedral’s ancient fabric, boosting visitor numbers and community engagement as well as improving its sustainability with over 150 solar panels.
She has also been a key player in the city’s partnerships to regenerate Gloucester’s heritage and bring life back to its high street.
Historic Coventry Trust Chairman Ian Harrabin commented: “We are delighted to have secured a new Director with both heritage experience and a background in working with communities.

“From our first meeting, Anne’s passion for the city and its people really stood out. It’s so important now with the first of our restoration projects completing and opening to the public that we focus on how we engage people in the city’s rich heritage. But there is still a lot of restoration work to do as well, so Anne is going to be very busy!”

Anne said the post as Executive Director felt tailor-made for her because of her career experience and love of the city.

“Historic Coventry Trust is exceptionally good at bringing back to life and caring for old buildings – making them part of everyone’s everyday life,” she said. “I’ve spent the past eight years in Gloucester working with colleagues and partners to do exactly that.

“As someone interested in the culture and heritage of places and the power they bring, I’ve watched in admiration as my home city has shown just who and what Coventry is. With such strong foundations in place, I can’t wait to join the team at Historic Coventry Trust – they’re achieving amazing things but I know there’s so much more to come.”
Historic Coventry Trust has already completed the restoration of the city’s Georgian Drapers’ Hall which opened as a venue for music performance and education last November and is available for corporate and community hire.  

Other completed projects include the two gates in the city wall, timber framed cottages in Priory Row and the Anglican Chapel in London Road Cemetery. The restoration of the Burges area of the city is the National Demonstrator Project for the Government’s Historic High Streets Programme.
The Trust’s largest project, the restoration of the 14th century Charterhouse in London Road, is set to open as a visitor attraction in Easter 2023, whilst work continues on the creation of the 70-acre Heritage Park and wildlife reserve.

Anne will take up her new role in September, just in time to join Historic Coventry Trust as it throws open the doors to some of the city’s most iconic heritage as part of the national Heritage Open Day initiative over the weekends of September 10 to 11 and 17 to 18. For more details see


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