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HO: 92 Micklegate, York YO1 6JX +44 (0) 1904 651 880Telephone:
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York Conservation Trust

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In order to understand the workings of the Trust, it is probably easiest to review its main objects viz; “to preserve for the benefit of the townspeople of the City of York in the county of North Yorkshire and of the nation at large, whatever of the English historical, architectural and constructional heritage may exist in and around the City of York aforesaid in the form of buildings of particular beauty or historical, architectural or constructional interest”.

The current Directors and Trustees (all related to the founders) are keen to ensure that where funds permit any significant property for sale, covered by the above objects, should be acquired by the Trust and returned to its former glory rather than being left to fall into disrepair. We also endeavour, where possible, to ensure that such properties do not leave the ownership of York people who have grown up with those buildings and respect their heritage. All our building are maintained to a very high standard and all the work is carried out by local businesses thereby generating further wealth for the City.

When the economy is booming and commercial firms are expanding, a charity such as ours can offer a more measured and less profit-driven approach. In more austere times, commercial firms are less likely to give the upkeep of ancient building high priority but, so long as our rental income covers the costs, we need not do the same. We hope that our established reputation will ensure that we can fill that gap as a safe pair of hands, both for the quality of restoration and for the performance of our stewardship.

Finally a brief mention of another question, which we have often asked ourselves: To what extent should the Trust, by its choice of commercial tenants, seek to influence the direction of life and shopping in the City Centre, albeit in a small way? Where all other factors are equal, we probably tend to favour smaller local businesses and shops, especially if they give diversity to the area. Too many city centres have become boring clones of undistinguished (and undistinguishable) shopping malls or high streets. We believe that York should remain different.

This may all sound very general and obvious but old buildings are, by their very nature, individuals and the Trust will face future challenges with each new acquisition. Together with City Fathers, we are determined that no further buildings of architectural or historical importance will be destroyed and lost for the enjoyment of our future generations.