Frater starts in post in July. Credit: Historic England

New regional director for Historic England

The heritage advisory body has appointed Tom Frater to oversee planning advice, grants and listing across Yorkshire and the North East.

As the government’s expert advisor, Historic England manages the National Heritage List for England and aims to secure positive change and sustainable futures for historic places and buildings through expertise, advice and investment.

Frater will start in the regional director role in July. He qualified as a solicitor with the City firm Hogan Lovells before moving into public policy with the Civil Service fast stream.

His government career has focussed on economic development and regional policy in northern England. He was the cities and local growth unit’s North East lead, helping the area secure the North of Tyne devolution deal, before leading the Northern Powerhouse policy team.

Latterly, Frater has worked as the North West area director for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. In taking on the Historic England role, he replaces the recently retired Trevor Mitchell.

Frater said: “I’m privileged to have built my career in area-facing work in northern England, and the opportunity to combine that experience with my love of history feels very special.

“My economic development and placemaking work has made me very aware of how important heritage – physical, cultural and natural- is in making places distinct and meaningful. I’m very excited to be joining such a highly skilled team on the mission to strengthen the link between our inheritance and future-looking efforts to expand opportunities and offer richer lives in the region.”

Over the next year Frater will focus on demonstrating how heritage can contribute to levelling up, through schemes such as the 12 high street heritage action zones in the North East and Yorkshire; and partnership working with Local Enterprise Partnerships and Combined Authorities.

He will also lead the region’s work in showing how historic buildings can play a role in tackling climate change through reuse and retrofitting.

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