Press release

National Heritage Memorial Fund appointments

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Appointment of a new Trustee for Wales and reappointment of the Trustee for Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister has appointed Dr Manon Williams as Trustee for Wales and Deputy Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund for three years commencing 12 January 2012.

He has also re-appointed Ronald Spence as the Trustee for Northern Ireland and Deputy Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund from 7 April 2012 until 31 December 2013.

Notes to Editors

The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) is the fund of last resort for the nation’s heritage, coming to the rescue by funding emergency acquisitions.

In 1994, the NHMF Trustees were also given the major task of distributing the heritage share of Lottery money for good causes, which it now operates through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

This Fund was set up by Parliament in 1994 to give grants to a wide range of projects involving the local, regional and national heritage of the United Kingdom. HLF enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about the UK’s diverse heritage. HLF funds the entire spread of heritage, including buildings, museums, natural heritage and the heritage of cultural traditions and language.

The Trustees for Wales and Northern Ireland chair their respective Country Committees and are Deputy Chairs of the NHMF/HLF Board. They are entitled to claim an allowance of £20,749 per year for a time commitment of five days per month.

The appointment process has followed the OCPA Code of Practice. Appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for political activity in the United Kingdom in the past five years (if any declared) to be made public. No political activity has been declared.

Biographical details

Dr Manon Williams

As well as working in the private sector as a specialist in leadership development, Manon Williams is a member of the household of The Prince of Wales, where she has served as a senior Private Secretary since 2004. 

Prior to this, she worked in public affairs and governance at the BBC, as Secretary of BBC Wales and subsequently Head of Public Policy, Nations and Regions.  She has also been a member of the Senior Civil Service as Director of Communications at the National Assembly for Wales and worked as Head of Press and Public Relations at S4C. 

She is currently a member of the Welsh Government’s Tourism Sector Panel. She is a former Chairman of The Prince’s Trust Cymru and Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and has served on the advisory boards of the Philharmonia Orchestra and Welsh National Opera. 

Ronald Spence

Ronald Spence was a member of the Northern Ireland Civil Service from 1963 to 2001, including serving over seven years as Permanent Secretary of the Department of the Environment and the Department for Regional Development.

He was heavily involved in initiatives in the areas of housing, urban regeneration, protection of the environment, tourism, equality, community divisions, regional planning, transport, cultural diversity and social exclusion.

He was Chairman from 1995 to 2001 of the Northern Ireland Partnership Board which delivered through local partnerships an innovative European Community Peace and Reconciliation Programme. He chaired from 1997 to 2002 the Northern Ireland Events Committee which promoted quality events to improve the region’s image and to bring the different parts of the community together. He was the joint chair of partnership boards that prepared long term vision statements for Armagh, Belfast, Craigavon and Derry/Londonderry.

Mr Spence is Chairman of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and a member of the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission. He is a Director of Camphill Communities Trust NI. He chairs the Ulster Sports Museum Association, the Change Alliance and Blackwood Enterprises Ltd.