Royal High School Preservation Trust welcomes new board members

7 May 2024
Royal High School Preservation Trust welcomes new board members

The Royal High School Preservation Trust (RHSPT) is welcoming six new members to its board to help drive plans for the new Royal High School on Calton Hill forward.  

Bringing his architectural insight to the board is Rab Bennetts OBE who has built a successful architects firm, Bennetts Associates and was awarded an OBE for services to architecture in 2003. Rab has worked on prestigious projects such as the Royal Shakespere Theatre and the Edinburgh Futures Institute.  

Also joining the team is Morven Davis who has over 25 years’ experience in the global drinks industry with recent expertise in delivering project and programme visitor attractions including Johnnie Walker Princes Street. Morven is an accessibility and inclusivity advocate and has served as Trustee for many charities. Personally, Morven is extremely passionate about Edinburgh’s historical buildings.  

Dr Brian Lang CBE is a former Principal of the University of St Andrews and has extensive experience in the world of conservation and heritage via organisations like the Historic Buildings Branch of the Scottish Office, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the National Trust. He was also Chief Executive of the British Library. Dr Lang is a former pupil of the Royal High School, making this role particularly poignant to him.  

Bringing a wealth of conservation experience to the board is Hector Martin. Hector is currently a Built Heritage Officer at Fife Council and has also worked for Historic England and Essex County’s Place Services and for UNESCO in Kathmandu in Nepal.  

Offering a host of local knowledge and passion is Carol Nimmo who is Chair of the Royal High School’s local resident’s association. She has been actively involved in saving the building since 2014 and, in her current role as chair of the New Town and Broughton Community Council, was a strong campaigner against the two hotel applications for the Royal High School site.  

Gillian Woolman has a background in financial services but has spent much of her career working in the public sector including Audit Scotland, the NHS and as vice chair of CIPFA/LASAAC. Gillian has a passion for professional standards and the training and development of new finance professionals and will offer significant support when it comes to the financial planning of the project.  

The new appointments come as the RHSPT submits revised plans for the Category A listed building. The aim is to create even greater access to the public, providing live music and education spaces, as well as a new public space to secure this architectural masterpiece.  

Grant Mackenzie, Executive Director of the Royal High School Preservation Trust said: “The collective experience of our new board members will be invaluable as we progress our plans to create the National Centre for Music. We’re grateful to Rab, Morven, Brian, Hector, Carol and Gillian for giving up their time to support us on this exciting journey and we look forward to working with them to deliver the project.”