Trustees & Staff
Leeds Civic Trust is a membership led organisation. We have a small team which operates from the Trust office in Wharf Street.
Our Trustees are elected by our members at our Annual General Meeting, they meet at least quarterly. If you'd like to find out more about becoming a Trustee, feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My favourite thing about Leeds is the rich variety of architecture. From the high Victorian ornamentation of the Town Hall to the Corten steel industrial look of Broadcasting Place, there are building designs to suit all tastes in our city.
My favourite thing about Leeds... is its rich culture and heritage, every day I learn about new buildings, their stories and how they were integral to the development of the city. I love to walk through Leeds and look up at all the beautiful building facades, and arcades and take in their detail I see something new every time!
Jeremy Burton, President of Leeds Civic Trust
I was born in Leeds and have spent most of my life in and around the city. I am proud of our city and support everything that the Civic Trust does to preserve the best of our built heritage and to promote and encourage good design. Having been involved with the Trust for over two decades I am honored to serve as its President.
Jane Taylor, Chair of Leeds Civic Trust
I was born in Northampton and raised in Surrey. Coming to Leeds gave me the opportunity to study law and to establish a career training the future generations of barristers and solicitors at Leeds Law School. Since joining the Trust I have been a member of the Planning Committee attending Planning Panels on behalf of the Trust and fast becoming an expert on advertising hoardings! I am also a member of Events & Membership Committee. At the 2016 Annual General Meeting, I was honoured to be elected as the Trust’s Chair.
Mike Piet, Vice Chair of Leeds Civic Trust and Chair of the Planning Committee
After studying Town and Country Planning at Newcastle upon Tyne I worked in Blackpool as a Town Planner. In 1991, I set up my own Leisure Development and Management Consultancy. Between 2004 and 2011, I was employed in the Capita Sport & Leisure team but since then have semi-retired, taking up specific leisure or planning consultancy projects. I have represented the Trust on many bodies including the Waterfront Association, the Leeds Property Forum and the Leeds Sustainable Development Group – most recently elected to the Leeds Business Improvement District (BID) Steering Group.
I studied at the Jacob Cramer College of Art. The printing industry became my bread and butter career, working at Pettys in Leeds. As an artist I opened the ‘Clifford Stead Gallery’ in 2000, in Chapel Allerton. My first London Art Show ‘A Tribute to LS Lowry’ on Cork Street opened in 2004 and my first overseas exhibition took place in our American twin city of Louisville, Kentucky in 2007. Antonia Stowe and I set up the Leeds Owl Trail in 2009; something we are both very proud of. I offer an arts perspective on Trust Council, culture is after all the glue that binds great cities together.
Claude St. Arroman
I was a practicing architect for 20 years in London prior to teaching and researching architecture over the past ten years. My areas of expertise range from mass housing/urban regeneration through to sustainability, with particular emphasis on the design of thresholds as activators of environmental adaptability and resilience. I have a special interest in retrofit and the repurposing of existing buildings – and in the way these relate to their local socio-economic contexts. I moved to Leeds five years ago and joined the Trust’s Planning Group three years ago. Most of all, I enjoy the inclusive way in which its members, who come from a variety of different professional backgrounds, are able to share their respective knowledge and points of view. I have also contributed a number of articles for Outlook, often based on events that contribute to debates on sustainability.
Aside from my membership of the Trust’s Blue Plaques Group since 2018, I have significant experience working in the cultural sector in Leeds. I’ve worked as a curator for Leeds Museums and Galleries since 2013 and led our First World War commemoration programme, which had audiences of almost 3 million people across the five years of the programme. Our activities were largely co-curated with a variety of organisations, from universities and community groups to members of the city’s retail sector and further afield with international partners. A recent volunteer project I’ve worked on has supported forty people online to collectively transcribe a document from Leeds Museums & Galleries archive. This was carried out entirely remotely. These projects give me a significant understanding of what cultural heritage means within our city to a wide variety of stakeholders.
In the legal profession in Leeds for 40 years, I was a real estate lawyer and partner in Addleshaw Goddard. At various times my responsibilities included partner in charge of marketing, and head of the real estate divisions. I am a trustee of Wade’s Charity which provides grant funding for the benefit of the inhabitants of the inner city of Leeds, it also owns a substantial portfolio of public open spaces which is let to the Council on long leases, to be maintained as public parks. I enjoy working closely with our Corporate Members, maintaining our current members and encouraging new members to join.
Jenna Strover, Chair of the Heritage Watch Group
I came to university in Leeds in 2003 and work in Leeds city centre as an Associate Director for Currie & Brown, a large multi-national company. As a construction professional I have experience of buildings and the built environment.
A key focus has been chairing the Heritage at Risk group, which along with a number of volunteers, have been involved in surveying approximately 2,000 of Leeds listed buildings to ensure that the Council has a record of their condition, knows which are 'at risk' and can push to get the owners to complete repair works.
Arriving from London in the early 70's, I joined the Trust having been impressed with the 'Let's Put Leeds Upon Aire' publication. Since then I've been actively involved in a number of ways; putting together the opening exhibition for the Wharf Street premises, serving on Trust Council for two terms and membership (and for a time chair) of the Planning Committee. Since retiring as a Probation Officer in 2009 and discovering the internet has very little to say on the subject, my daily blog has gained a degree of notoriety and success having recently passed 4 million 'hits'. Other interests include a life-long love affair with pubs and heritage railways - trying to assist in the preservation of both.
Robert Solyom, Honorary Treasurer
I was born in Cumbria and moved to Leeds in 1978 to study for a degree in Accountancy. I joined Brown Butler in 1980, qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1984, became a Chartered Tax Advisor in 1986 and was made a Partner in 1987. Brown Butler is one of the largest independent firms of Chartered Accountants in the area. I am one of six Partners and we employ approximately seventy staff. I was the Honorary Treasurer of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. I am passionate about Leeds, particularly its public realm.
Richard Voss, Chair of the House Group
I was born in Cambridge, moving to Leeds as a student, after graduating I worked as a Civil Engineer. I have great affection for the City and have been involved as a volunteer both with local community groups and with various aspects of the Civic Trust’s work. I have been a member of the Heritage at Risk Group, this has included the survey of some of our many listed buildings. As Chair of the House Committee, i oversee the maintenance of the Trust’s properties - Wharf St. and the Bear Pit on Cardigan Road.
Over the years I have been actively involved in the Trust including the planning group, I have contributed to many events including the corporate lunches and Leeds Owl Trail events of which the Trust has always been a treasured partner. I have spent 25 years working as a sculptor and facilitator on a range of both public and private sector initiatives on an international scale and have my Millennium Garden installed in Millennium Square and the first new owl in Trinity Leeds amongst other sculptural installations and exhibitions around the UK and beyond. Through the Leeds Owl Trail, we have developed a series of visual maps that have demonstrated the changes Leeds has undertaken over the past 10 years, we have worked with the City Architect John Thorpe and the local authority along with private companies to put our heritage at the forefront of branding the city.
After graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2018, I moved to Leeds to begin my role as a Landscape Architect at Urban Wilderness. I am a licentiate member of the Landscape Institute, and involved in a variety of projects, ranging from the design of a new secondary school campus, a play trail for the National Trust and a biodiversity enhancement strategy for a river corridor. During the last 3 years I have enjoyed exploring many areas of Leeds by bike and volunteering as a bike buddy ride leader and befriender for LASSN (Leeds Asylum Seeker Support Network) and at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm. I also entered and won the Leeds Civic Trust Liveable City competition last year in collaboration with sound artist, Alex De Little, re-imagining an alternate future for the 'eastside of the city centre. I have since collaborated with Alex to animate the idea through the creation of a guided soundwalk and public billboard artwork which aimed to give voice to community members who we engaged with during the project.