Earlier this year, the Trust created the full-time post of Development Manager, designed to help us secure funding to realise our ambitious plans for expansion.
Martin Wills, who has previously worked for UNESCO, Historic England, and several museum and heritage trusts, took up his post on 1 June. Here he introduces himself and his plans for taking the Trust forward.
Hello – my name is Martin Wills and here’s me at the peak of Gregory Chapel in the Yorkshire Dales. There’s nothing I like more than poring over maps and finding routes to unnecessarily run up some hill or other.
The hours I have spent doing this has given me a great understanding and unbreakable connection with where I live, its history and geography. From understanding why places are named as they are, to learning the lay of the landscape and its roads and pathways – nothing can give more of a sense of place than a map.
The Historic Towns Trust know this so well, which is why I am delighted to be their new Development Manager. I am so pleased to join at this very exciting time for the Trust; as we aspire to broaden our work and inspire more people about their towns and neighbourhoods.
We believe that our maps and atlases are much, much more than inspiring and insightful publications. It is our vision that education, research, economic activity and jobs will all benefit through our publications.
Here’s three ways how we’ll do it …
1. Through sharing our work
We are committed to reaching new audiences. We want to engage directly with individuals, communities, schools and universities to explore the topographical history of towns and cities with them. We’ll create more digital and educational resources, deliver more talks and events and engage with more people through our social media channels.
2. Through building partnerships
Projects that are rooted in local pride and knowledge can have great influence on a town’s regeneration, improve business and create a more promising future for urban environments. Therefore we want to work with more groups – local partners, local and national governments, businesses and the creative industries – to continue improving our publications and maximising their impact.
3. Through growing our trust
We want to produce more maps covering England, Scotland and Wales, and create related resources and activities to improve tourism, creativity and health and wellbeing within every town or city we work in. Our publications can help communities discover more about themselves. The more places we go, the more impact we can have across our nations.
In order to achieve our aspirations, we need your support. So please contact us to hear how you can support us with our work and join us on our journey to help our publications reach more people and impact their lives for the better.