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Director Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust

Seize the opportunity to become the first Director of the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust, guiding this important regional organisation, and acting as its national voice to protect, inform, educate and celebrate the remarkable legacy of the region’s historic buildings.

  • Location: Hybrid / Remote / Flexible
  • Salary: £75,000
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Tuesday 11th June

Who we are.

Formed in 1967, Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust (WHBT) was conceived of an idea to celebrate, champion and raise the profile of the remarkable legacy of historic buildings in Wiltshire, promoting their conservation, broadening communities understanding and engagement with these incredible resources of the region’s cultural heritage and look and reuse.

The aims of the Trust have been developing in recent years. As they look forward to their next strategic phase, they will focus on education, outreach and community engagement as part of their primary purpose.

About the role.

As leader of WHBT, the Director will work with the Trustees to develop the strategy for broadening the understanding of the work of this organisation, raising their profile whilst simultaneously leading on the strategy to further their work in educating building owners, children and local communities about Wiltshire’s historic buildings, their heritage, history and future. Central to this work will be ensuring continued financial sustainability, leading on the strategy to procure funding against the Trust’s charitable objectives. In addition, the next Director will promote the Charity and develop income streams to ensure its financial stability.

This role is a unique opportunity to craft a strategy and be part of this exciting journey. Reporting to the Chair of the Board, the principal responsibilities of the Director are to:

  • Work with the Trustees to develop short-term and long-term strategies.
  • Develop and implement the education programme for building owners, children, and local communities.
  • Identify and develop funding streams.
  • Be an ambassador for, and demonstrate the values of, the Charity.
  • Develop the digitisation of information and social media presence.
  • Design and coordinate a series of events in line with the education programme.
  • Lobby across heritage bodies in Wiltshire, as well as Local and National Government.

Who we are looking for.

A natural self-starter, the Director must be a creative thinker and be able to lead on their vision. Starting with a small team, the ambitions of the organisation are that the Director will grow its scope, scale and influence, driving the organisation’s influence and reach. The Director will be excellent at stakeholder engagement and at leading in effective communications with the Trustees, as well as local communities, funders and regulatory bodies.

A natural ambassador, the Director must work to raise the profile of the organisation within Schools and Communities, as well as being able to build a network of relevant contacts. The next Director will have an affinity with the county of Wiltshire/Rural communities and/or reside within easy reach, as well as possess the ability to travel to the various areas of the region and, when necessary, further afield in their role as ambassador and spokesperson.

The Board are looking for the following skills in their next Director:

  • Experience and knowledge:  of heritage-based organisations
  • Leadership: Ability to provide strategic direction and vision leadership.
  • Financial Management: Proficiency in budgeting, monitoring and reporting on accounts and financial planning.
  • Strategic Planning: Skilled in writing, developing and implementing short-term and long-term organisational strategies and objectives.
  • Public Engagement: Proven track record in producing initiatives to engage with diverse audiences, including communities, stakeholders, donors and the public.
  • Fundraising: A track record of successful fundraising and relationship development.
  • Stakeholder Relationships: experience in cultivating and maintaining positive relationships with partners, funders, government agencies and other stakeholders.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Rebekah Abbott

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Welcome from the Chair

Wiltshire, a county of contrasts, if it is not chalk and cheese it is downland and water meadows. This rich tapestry is the perfect backdrop for some very unique and diverse heritage.

I assume that if you are reading this letter, you are passionate about the county. Perhaps you have entered the chancel of St Mary’s East Knoyle and looked at the plaster decoration of Jacob’s dream and wondered if a young Christopher Wren watched his father execute the design, and that ignited his creative genius. From Salisbury Cathedral to Holy Trinity East Royal, from Longleat to the Porch House at Potterne, from great to humble the historic buildings of Wiltshire can hold their own in any company. For nearly 60 years the Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust has brought new life to these buildings and now it’s time to bring new life to the Trust itself.

As society has moved into a digital age and owners of historic buildings are embracing their heritage assets, so we need to follow suit and adapt the Trust for this modern age. The successful candidate will have a chance to shape the Trust for this new era. Education, advisory, and guidance will be the new mantra.

Change is always challenging but with it comes opportunity. Opportunity to put your own stamp on an organisation, the opportunity to connect people with their past through the buildings themselves and the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on this extraordinary county.

Jamie Cayzer-Colvin

Chair of WHBT

About Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust

Wiltshire contains a stunning collection of historic buildings from grand country houses, cathedrals and abbeys to rural cottages and outbuildings. The history of the county and its geology are closely linked and provide a remarkable backdrop for its built and natural environment.

With a population of around 700,000, Wiltshire includes undulating chalk downlands, majestic sweeping plains, canals, and bustling towns and villages.

The Wiltshire Historical Buildings Trust was originally formed in 1967 to rescue neglected or derelict buildings, repair them and sell them to finance the next rescue project.

With the upsurge in the success of property development, such as barn conversions and other historic buildings, their aims are changing. Their aim is now towards education around the history and value of the buildings, and developing their standing in the sector.

The Trust aims to rescue neglected or derelict buildings and provide them with a sustainable long-term future. To achieve this the Trust seeks to purchase buildings at risk, repair them and sell them, using the proceeds of one project to finance the next.

Buildings that are difficult to reuse or expensive to repair are often unattractive to private buyers, especially where the cost of the work exceeds the value of the building on completion, and this is where the Trust can step in.

As a charity, the Trust can access grants that are not available to the private sector or to local authorities. Similarly, there are times when the value of a building and its potential are unrecognised and an independent assessment can open up unforeseen opportunities.

Education and the Fabric of Wiltshire’s Buildings:

Wiltshire contains a remarkable collection of historic buildings, some of which are of national interest. At one end of the scale are the grand country houses such as Bowood, Longleat and Wilton, and the ecclesiastical legacy of Salisbury Cathedral and Malmesbury Abbey, and at the other are the vernacular cottages of the Wiltshire countryside. In between is a wide range of buildings and structures covering some 600 years.

In early buildings, there is a close link between the geology of an area and the use of building materials which makes Wiltshire a particularly interesting county.


In the north-west of the county is the Cotswold influence, predominantly stone with stone tile roofs. In buildings of the 18th and 19th centuries Bath stone becomes more evident, especially in proximity to the quarries of Box, Corsham and Bradford on Avon.

Stone buildings in Malmesbury

Stone buildings in Bradford on Avon

Brick and Tile

Moving south and east stone gives way to brick and clay tile with many of the brick buildings of the Georgian period being of high quality.


Marlborough in 2009

Timber Frame

To the east and south of the county, there is more extensive use of timber frames, often with thatch roofs in the rural areas and a wider choice of building materials in the urban settlements.


Castle Street, Salisbury


The development of canals and railways in the 19th century provided the opportunity for materials to be carried more easily with Welsh slate than much in evidence.


Swindon Railway Village in 1980

Chilmark Stone

In the south-west corner, there are more stone buildings, this time sourced from the quarries in the Chilmark area.



In addition to the individual buildings, there are many towns and villages where groups of buildings are of particular interest. This interest may come from the buildings themselves, how they define attractive spaces such as a marketplace, street or village green, or their contribution to the wider landscape view.

Steeple Ashton


Buildings are listed for their architectural and historic interest but this does not mean to say that unlisted buildings have no such interest. It will often be the case that the buildings are of a relatively late date and therefore do not qualify as being “historic” or it may simply be that the buildings are typical of the period of their construction but are not identified as “special”. Many buildings are of interest although not listed and this can include buildings up to the present day.

Learn more about Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust

Accessibility information

We understand that different members of the community have different access needs and have made some modifications to the way we do business to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities.

Our accessibility provisions include:

  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Applicants with a disability are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

    To access a full job description and application details,
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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Application: Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust  – Director” into the subject field. You will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of your application within 2-3 days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please make contact with our admin team.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

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    Closing date: 9 a.m. Tuesday 11th June 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: 18th June 2024
    First Stage Interviews: 24th and 26th June 2024
    Second Stage Interviews: 4th July 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Wiltshire Historic Buildings Trust are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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