The Highland Historic Buildings Trust (HHBT) was established in 1985 as a non-profit making organisation. It is a registered charity, reference no SCO 08403 and a company limited by guarantee no.101235.
“Restoring and returning to use the built heritage of the Highlands and Islands”
Essentially, HHBT tackles historic buildings that are at risk, and which are beyond the capability of the private sector, normally because the cost of repair is significantly higher than the end value. Such projects are therefore dependent on higher levels of public funding, usually from a number of sources.
Aims and objectives
HHBT was established to achieve the following objectives:
- To preserve the built heritage of the Highlands and Islands
- To acquire derelict historic buildings for repair and re-use
- To use any proceeds from the sale of restored properties on a revolving fund basis to tackle other projects
These objectives are underpinned by the key aim to secure a viable, sustainable and appropriate end use for each building to ensure the ongoing care and preservation of the building for future generations.
Originally operating as a 'restorer of last resort', its focus is now on facilitating community involvement in the adaptive re-use of historic buildings. By working at a strategic level, it supports local community groups to undertake the work at operational level.
CHAIR – John Duncan FRIAS IHBC is a retired Architect, Urban Designer & Town Planner. He is engaged in promoting the conservation of the Highland’s built heritage. John is skilled in providing advice on the architectural/historic importance of buildings and urban conservation. Current roles include:
- Trustee & Chair of Highland Historic Buildings Trust (HHBT)
- Grants Advisor to Scotland’s Churches Trust
- Honorary Fellow of Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS)
VICE CHAIR - Alexander Bennett is a retired Chartered Building Surveyor and Land Agent. He worked at the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) for 37 years as building surveyor, factor, conservation & general manager; coordinating high-profile projects across the Highlands & Islands. Current roles include:
- Trustee and Vice Chair of Highland Historic Buildings Trust (HHBT)
- Trustee & Director of the Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust (FIBOT)
- Volunteer with the Highland Cross organisers; a 50-mile duathlon to raise money for causes that benefit the people of Highlands
Ken Johnston is a retired Chartered Planner with a deep interest in the rescue and re-use of the historic built heritage of the Highlands, and disability access issues. He was Chair of the Lochaber Disability Access Panel and is currently Director of Lochaber Care & Repair and Secretary of Oban Disability Forum.
Hugh Macdonald an accomplished traditional builder. He is the owner of Portree Slating Services; specialising in Ballachulish Slate repairs and reslating of all traditional Scottish slate roofs. Hugh is a Trustee of the Skye Sailing Club and Trustee of the Col Jock Macdonald Memorial Trust.
Michael Macgruer is Chartered Architect. His skills range from design to project management of new and existing building projects. Michael specialises in listed and historic residential properties including procurement of planning and listed building approval and building warrant approval.
Hector W Munro MRICS currently responsible for the management of a family business which includes two Category A and one Category B listed buildings. Hector is particularly interested in history and built heritage. He is Secretary for Clan Munro Heritage Ltd, and a Trustee of the Foulis Castle Trust.
Mary Miers is an architectural historian, author and journalist. She set up and ran Scotland's Buildings at Risk Register in the 1990s and worked as Architectural Writer and then Fine Arts and Books Editor at Country Life magazine from 1999 to 2020. She is now a freelance writer/editor.
Jean Ramsay Smith
Jean Ramsay Smith has over 25 years marketing experience in the UK, Europe, Asia and North America. She has a proven track record in brand development and in leading and developing a business portfolio.
Catriona Duguid is a Chartered Architect with RIAS Accreditation in Conservation Architecture. She has a particular interest in reuse of historic buildings. Catriona experience includes design & specification, maintenance & condition surveys and contract administration.
Roddy Balfour is a Councillor for the Highland Council in the Culloden & Ardersier ward. He is an Armed Forces & Veterans Champion and sits on various following Highland Council committees including: Economy & Infrastructure, Planning Review and South Planning Applications.
Andrew Sinclair is a Councillor for the Highland Council in the Wick & East Caithness Ward. He is involved in community programmes and sits on various Highland Council committees including: Development & Infrastructure; North Planning Applications and the Re-Design Board.
COMPANY FINANCIAL ADVISOR & ACCOUNTANT - Rhona Willson is a Director at MacKenzie Kerr Ltd. She is one of the firm’s Audit Directors. Rhona works in a variety of client sectors with particular skills in advising and assisting charitable organisations.
COMPANY SECRETARY - Douglas Graham is a retired Solicitor; his areas of practice included the establishment of charities, social enterprises and community land buy outs. He is currently Secretary of the HHBT and a Director of the Demarco Archive Trust Ltd.
Andrew Wright OBE PPRIAS is a retired Conservation Architect and Heritage Consultant. He is a skilled Architectural Historian with a lifetime's experience in the repair and adaptation of historic buildings.
Glyn Young is an experienced Chartered Surveyor specialising in building conservation. He has been involved in and led, several large and complex building conservation projects. Glyn’s skills include survey and repair, design, procurement, contract administration, and project management.