The Heritage Alliance Appoints Carole Souter as New Chair of Trustees

Policy News

The Heritage Alliance is delighted to announce the appointment of Carole Souter CBE as its new Chair of Trustees.

Carole Souter CBE said:

“I am delighted to be joining The Heritage Alliance at this crucial time for the sector. The importance of the Alliance has never been in doubt for its many members. The challenges of COVID-19 and the subsequent economic pressures demonstrated to all concerned how vital it is to have an organisation that can respond rapidly to requests for support, advice and information about the sector at a grassroots level. With a General Election due within the next 12 months, the Alliance’s Heritage Manifesto will be a key document in creating relationships with Ministers and MPs.

I hope that I can bring to the Alliance the wisdom and warmth of the Interim Chair, Ingrid Samuel, on whose knowledge I will rely heavily on over the next few months, and the focus of the previous Chair, my friend the late Pam Alexander. I am looking forward to working with my distinguished fellow Trustees and the great staff team, led by Lizzie Glithero-West.”

Carole joins the Heritage Alliance as a trustee today, subject to formal election at the next AGM in early 2025 and will take up her appointment as Chair on 1st July 2024. She succeeds our Acting Chair Ingrid Samuel OBE, who has brilliantly led the Heritage Alliance through the interim period following the sad passing of our former Chair, Pam Alexander OBE, last April. Ingrid will continue to serve as Deputy Chair, providing continuity and support during Carole’s appointment.

Dr Ingrid Samuel OBE, Acting Chair, said:

It is a great pleasure to welcome Carole to the Heritage Alliance. We are an active network of over 200 member organisations and individuals with a passion for heritage which I know Carole shares. She has been a strong supporter of the Alliance for many years, and as a highly respected senior heritage leader will now bring her extensive knowledge, experience and strategic vision to shaping our next stage of development. Carole is always wonderful to work with and we are delighted she is joining us as our Chair.”

Carole is a passionate advocate for culture and heritage, with an outstanding record of achievement in the sector.  She led the Heritage Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Heritage Fund) as Chief Executive from 2003-2016, overseeing the distribution of billions of pounds of investment in culture, heritage and the environment.  She has recently stepped down as interim chair of Historic Royal Palaces, having served in that role during the period of mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla, and the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which was signed in Hillsborough Castle.

Carole served from 2016-2022 as Master of St Cross College at the University of Oxford, a graduate College with students from all over the world. She also chaired the Board of Visitors of the University Museum of Natural History and, as a Trustee, the Planning Committee of the Oxford Preservation Trust. She was an advocate for equality and diversity across the University, focusing particularly on the importance of supporting those with no prior connection to the University.

She chairs the Sulgrave Manor Trust, which cares for the ancestral home of George Washington, in Northamptonshire, is currently a trustee of the Horniman Museum and Gardens and Oxford Preservation Trust and a lay canon of Salisbury Cathedral.  From 2001 to 2003 she was Director of Planning and Development for English Heritage, joining that organisation after more than 20 years as a civil servant, during which she worked in the Departments of Health and Social Security and the Cabinet Office.

Lizzie Glithero-West, The Heritage Alliance’s Chief Executive, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Carole to the Heritage Alliance team and very much look forward to working with her. In this election year, she brings a wealth of experience from across our sector in its broadest sense alongside considerable experience in Whitehall. We are enormously grateful to our acting Chair Dr Ingrid Samuel OBE for her wisdom, humour and dedicated leadership through two interim periods.”

For more information contact Max Clark, Communications Manager at