York Civic Trust appointed its first new Chief Executive in twenty years when Dr David Fraser started his new role in July 2015, with the retirement of long-standing Director, Peter Brown MBE.

David Fraser (60), is married with two children and lives in Poppleton.  After growing up in Scotland, he did a geography degree at Aberdeen, then a PhD in landscape archaeology at the University of Glasgow.  That involved several years studying the neolithic landscapes of the Orkney Islands.  Having gained his doctorate, he moved to England to work for Somerset County Council as a sites and monuments officer.

He joined English Heritage, and rose through the ranks.  He was put in charge of setting up the organisation’s regional office in York, then led it for eight years.  David’s next challenge was to be  in charge of the historic estate of the Landmark Trust, a charity which restores historic buildings such as forts, follies, towers, mills and houses, before letting them out as exciting holiday houses to pay for their upkeep.

David leads the Civic Trust’s programmes into the future, notably the implementation of its recent report Sustaining the City Beautiful, its education programmes and its sponsorship of the York Design Awards.  He said,  “After a decade working away from York, I am delighted to be back.  I will be working hard to make sure that York’s wonderful history is conserved and the future development of the city matches the quality of its illustrious past.”  In the York Press of 29 July (see the end of that item), David described York as a city with 100,000 gardeners: all the small day-to-day actions of the people who live here help to make York the place it is.  The Civic Trust’s 1,300 members include hundreds of ordinary people who love and know York as well as many specialists – but everyone in York can make a difference.

Peter Addyman, Chairman of York Civic Trust, said:
“David Fraser’s appointment is good news for the Trust and for York.  He has formidable achievements behind him in the care of heritage both regionally and nationally, and has always been a good friend of York.  We are all delighted that he will now be bringing his great experience and dynamism to our work.  David knows the city and its archaeology intimately, having worked here for many years.  He inherits the many successes of his predecessor Peter Brown, but will be joining us at a time of great challenge.  Resources for heritage are being cut, while York’s expanding economy and population bring pressure for development.  With David as Chief Executive, the Civic Trust will add a strong voice as custodian of York’s remarkable heritage and as steward of its bright future.”