2009 Yearbook

40 Y e a r b o o k 2 0 0 9 BUILDING · CONSERVATION INSTITUTE · OF · HISTORIC · IHBC Enterprises Limited IHBC Enterprises is the newly established trading arm and research centre of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. Fiona Newton , IHBC Projects Officer and Designated Service Advisor for the trading arm, explains how this newly established service is carving out a distinct niche in the sector. Seeing in the New Year had a different emphasis for the IHBC this year, heralding a major change in project implementation and trading. The arrival of 2009 saw the incorporation of the IHBC’s new subsidiary trading company IHBC Enterprises Limited. This is a private company limited by shares held wholly by the IHBC, with profits being paid back to IHBC to support its work. Subsidiaries are established by many charities where trading is outside of the charitable objects or may involve risk to a charity’s assets. Although we are not proposing to operate at quite the scale of some charities’ subsidiaries (the National Trust’s trading subsidiary, for example, made a profit of £48 million last year), IHBC Enterprises will enable the institute to tackle projects which straddle the commercial and the charitable sectors, whilst also generating an income for the IHBC. In addition to organising schools and conferences for the institute, IHBC Enterprises provides historic environment research and project initiation, development and management. These are all services which will be of benefit to the IHBC, its members and the wider heritage sector. Research work will help us to develop our knowledge base and that of our members, or to try out new conservation ideas and initiatives rather than maintaining the continuum; stretching the boundaries of what we know, what we do and how we do it. Projects can be research and survey work, or they may involve piloting new ideas and ventures. IHBC Enterprises seeks projects that inform the work of the IHBC rather than tendering for heritage projects on a purely speculative basis or in competition with many of our members. Perhaps the type of work undertaken could be seen as analogous with that of the starship Enterprise , boldly going…. As well as operating our 2008 Annual School in Guildford and our forthcoming 2009 School in Buxton, one of IHBC Enterprises’ first major projects has been the establishment of HESPR, Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition. Other examples include our recent work with the Heritage Trust for Lincolnshire on the development of a pilot community-based heritage at risk project, and we have also provided expertise to Historic Scotland on Cold War structures. These projects have kick-started our activity in a variety of areas, and we are happy to work with partners of all types on projects from national agencies to smaller trusts and charities, and from private practices to local authorities. The resources of the IHBC support and enhance the work of IHBC Enterprises and we are ideally placed for research and pilot projects in the heritage sector. Fiona Newton MA(ArchCons) DipURP MRTPI IHBC is projects officer for the IHBC and the designated service advisor for IHBC Enterprises. An ROC underground monitoring post in Lanarkshire, one of the Cold War structures investigated by IHBC Enterprises for Historic Scotland (Photo: Devon De Celles)