Board of Trustees

Our trustees are unpaid board directors, taking collective decisions on policy and strategy and providing oversight of the executive directors.

We have 10 trustees, and they are legally responsible for overseeing the work towards our charitable objectives.

Allan Leighton, chairman

Allan Leighton

Allan was appointed the chair of the Trust in September 2015 and also sits on the Investment Committee. He is also a member of the Trust's Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee. Allan is the chair of the Co-operative Group, Wagamama, Entertainment One plc, and Element Materials Technology. He is a patron of Breast Cancer Care. He is also a keen canal runner. He was formerly the CEO of Asda plc, chairman of the Royal Mail, deputy chair of Pandora AS and has held a number of non-executive chairmanships including lastminute.com. Allan was a non-executive director of BSkyB and Matalan Retail Ltd. He was also chair of Race for Opportunity and an Ambassador for Prince Charles in Business in the Community. Allan attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard and has Honorary Degrees from Cranfield and an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Lancashire.

Dame Jenny Abramsky

Jenny Abramsky

Jenny was appointed as a trustee in September 2016, and was appointed Deputy Chair in September 2017.  She is chair of the Trust’s Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee. Jenny is chair of the Royal Academy of Music and the Board of Governors of the Royal Ballet, and served six years as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund/National Heritage Memorial Fund, among other voluntary roles. She has also been the BBC’s director of radio and music after running the BBC’s 24 hours news service.

Nigel Annett, CBE

Nigel Annett TrusteeNigel was appointed as a Trustee in September 2016 and took over as chair of Bwrdd Glandŵr Cymru on the same date. He is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee. Nigel is currently a non-executive director of the Principality Building Society, and a trustee of Community Foundation in Wales. He is a former managing director of Welsh Water and is co-founder of Glas Cymru, the not-for-profit company that successfully took over the ownership of Welsh Water back in 2001, a move which resulted in the water industry in Wales being owned on behalf of its customers.

Manish Chande

Manish Chande

Manish chairs the Investment Committee. He is Senior Partner of Clearbell Capital LLP, a private real estate fund management and advisory business specialising in UK property investment, development and asset management. Manish co-founded Mountgrange Investment Management in 2007 and was the CEO of Mountgrange Capital. He was previously a board director at Land Securities plc, CEO of Trillium and CEO of Imry. Manish has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales since 1980. In 2008 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He has been a Trustee of the London Clinic since 2012.

Frances Done, CBE

Frances was appointed Trustee in March 2013 and is chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.  She is also a member of the Novus divisional board of The Manchester College. She was chair of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales for six years until January 2014. A chartered accountant for 38 years, Frances worked for KPMG before becoming director of finance and then chief executive of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council. She has also been chief executive of Manchester 2002 Ltd – the company responsible for organising the successful Manchester Commonwealth Games. Subsequently, she held the post of managing director for Local Government, Housing and Criminal Justice at the Audit Commission with responsibility for the Commission’s audit and inspection work in relation to local government in England. After leaving the Audit Commission, Frances was interim director general of the Royal British Legion. Frances was also chair of The Waterways Trust from 2003–2012 when it merged with Canal & River Trust. 

Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon

Ben was appointed Trustee in September 2014 and is the chair of the Remuneration Committee. He is Chair of Heal & Son Ltd and a Trustee of United Learning. Previously he was Chief Executive of Mothercare plc for nine years, and SVP and Managing Director of the Disney Store Europe and Asia-Pacific. Ben was also non-executive director of Britvic plc and of St Ives plc. Prior to that he had senior management positions in WHSmith plc and L'Oreal SA in the UK, USA and France. Ben has an MBA from INSEAD and is a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Janet Hogben

Janet Hogben

Janet was appointed as a Trustee in September 2016. She is a member of the Trust’s Joint Council & Trustees Appointments Committee and also sits on the Remuneration Committee. Janet was the Chief People Officer at EDF Energy, having previously worked at BP, where she held a variety of roles, and then at Seagram and at Diageo, leading on a number of global strategy and business specific HR positions. 

Sir Christopher Kelly

Chris was appointed as a Trustee in September 2017 and is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. He is chair of the King's Fund, the health think tank, and of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board.  He is also senior independent director on the Board of the Co-op Group and on the oversight Board of the Office for Budget Responsibility. He has in the past chaired the NSPCC, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Before that, he was a civil servant, mainly in HM Treasury but subsequently as head of policy at the then Department of Social Security and finally as permanent secretary to the Department of Health.

Tim Reeve

Tim Reeve

Tim Reeve has been Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the world’s leading museum of art and design, since 2013. Tim has overall responsibility for the operation of the Museum, including commercial and digital activities, exhibitions, FuturePlan and the delivery of a world-class visitor experience. He also led the V&A’s support of China Merchant’s Group in the creation of the V&A Galleries within a new design museum in Shenzhen, China, which opened to great acclaim in December 2017. Tim is closely involved in establishing V&A East, a dynamic new museum in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. Before joining the V&A, Tim was Director of Historic Properties at English Heritage, responsible for the management of the 420 historic properties which make up the National Heritage Collection. Tim is a graduate in Ancient History from Royal Holloway, University of London and studied at the Institute of Archaeology (UCL) and INSEAD on its International Executive Programme. He is also a Trustee of 'Paintings in Hospitals'.

Susan Wilkinson

Sue was appointed as a Trustee in September 2017 and is a member of the Remuneration Committee. She has extensive experience in the not-for-profit and tourism sectors and was an executive board director at the National Trust until the end of 2016 with responsibility for membership, fundraising, volunteering and tourism. Sue is currently a trustee of the Old Royal Naval College Greenwich, the Churches Conservation Trust and the Medical Research Foundation. She is also a board director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and previously held several tourism and charity non-executive roles with Visit England and the Institute of Fundraising. Sue is the current chair of the Canal & River Trust's Living Waterways Awards.

Last date edited: 19 June 2018