9th October | Heritage Leaders

Duncan Wilson | Historic England

CH Portrait (46)Duncan Wilson became Chief Executive of the newly formed Historic England in May 2015. Historic England is responsible for the statutory protection of all of England’s historic environment, from castles and country houses to historic town centres and industrial buildings, including historic landscapes and archaeological sites. It operates through a network of regional offices, working closely with local authorities, developers and private owners to champion heritage in all its forms.
From 2011 to 2015 Duncan led the Alexandra Park and Palace Trust, developing a major regeneration and conservation scheme to restore the Victorian theatre and world famous television studios.

From 2002 to 2011 he was Chief Executive of the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College where he was responsible for bringing one of Europe’s finest and most extensive groups of baroque buildings to the public, interpreting and caring for them for over a million new visitors a year.

Prior to 2002 Duncan was Director of the Somerset House Trust, where from 1997 he led the project to restore the public spaces and open the site to the public, creating a new landmark for London in the millennium year. Successes included the Courtyard, fountains and ice rink, the Admiralty restaurant and the Terrace café and sculpture exhibitions.

From 1991 to 1997 he was a Civil Servant, and worked at HM Treasury and the Department of National Heritage. He is a chartered accountant and has a postgraduate degree in European Archaeology from the University of Oxford. He was awarded the OBE for services to heritage in 2007.


Andrew Stokes | VisitEngland

Andrew StokesAndrew has been with VisitEngland since February 2016 and is now England Director He spent 14 years as the Chief Executive of Marketing Manchester; he transformed the organisation from being totally focused on tourism to one working across sectors responsible for branding, promotion and marketing the city.

Prior to becoming CEO of Marketing Manchester, he was its Director of Marketing where he worked on the 2002 Commonwealth Games, the reinvention of the annual Pride Fival, major political conferences and Manchester Airport’s route development and marketing strategy.

Prior to this, Andrew held leadership roles within the former London Tourist Board, the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden and the Royal Albert Hall. He has also sat on the boards of Manchester International Festival, Manchester Central Convention Complex, Cityco Ltd. and Carcanet Press.


Helen Maclagan | UK National Commission for UNESCO

HMAC for bioHelen Maclagan is an independent heritage and cultural specialist, based in the West Midlands. Having originally studied and trained as an archaeologist, she worked for some 20 years as Warwickshire County Council’s County Archaeologist, also playing a role in national archaeological and heritage organisations. She was then appointed Head of Museum Service, and finally Head of Heritage and Culture for Warwickshire County Council.  In 2010 she left for a year volunteering in West Africa through VSO, using culture and the arts in health education, particularly HIV-AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and malnutrition. Since returning to the UK in 2011 she has been self-employed.

She joined the UK National Commission for UNESCO in December 2013, and has been involved with World Heritage Sites (particularly the UK Tentative List) and with issues around Underwater Cultural Heritage, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and Cultural Protection.

Helen is also currently a Vice-Chair of the Council for British Archaeology, a member of the National Trust Historic Environment Group, and a Director of a local community social enterprise.