The Trustees

Les Sparks OBE, Chair 

Les Sparks

Les was Director of Planning & Architecture for Birmingham City Council from 1991 – 1999. From 1999 – 2001 he chaired the Expert Panel for Land & Buildings at the Heritage Lottery Fund and from 2010 – 16 he was chair of the West Midlands Committee of the HLF.  He was a Commissioner of English Heritage from 2001 – 2008.  He chaired the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site Steering Group and was on the Fabric Advisory Committee of Worcester Cathedral and the Ministry of Defence Historic Buildings Advisory Group. During 11 years as Director of Environmental Services at Bath City Council he founded the Historic Towns Forum. He was awarded the OBE in 1997. He was born in Hall Green and now lives in Selly Park.

Jo Smith, Company Secretary  

Jo smithJo has worked across a wide variety of cultural, arts and heritage organisations in Birmingham for 25 years. She is an experienced heritage project manager and fundraiser; her projects include the £35m restoration of Grade I listed Birmingham Town Hall from 2003 to 2007, the Birmingham History Galleries and several other major museum development projects and masterplans from 2007 onwards. She is currently Development Manager for Birmingham Museum’s Trust, where she supported the transition from City Council operation to independent trust status in 2012. Jo lives in Birmingham City Centre.

Phillada Ballard

Phillada Ballard

Phillada is a historical consultant specialising in buildings, landscapes and gardens. She has built up a considerable knowledge of Highbury and the Chamberlain family through many years of academic and on-the-ground research. From 1984-90 she worked as a curator at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and was in charge of the Chamberlain Museum at Highbury. She has been an advisor to Birmingham City Council on the Highbury landscape, and was responsible for the landscape appraisal of Highbury Park. Phillada is the author of several publications on Birmingham landscapes and was the editor of the Victorian Society’s recent book on Birmingham’s Victorian and Edwardian Architects.

Sarah Sienna Edwards

Sarah EdwardsSarah was born and grew up in Moseley. She graduated in Spatial Design from Central Saint Martins in London in 2010 and co-founded Urban Brew Design Collective. She worked for Oxfam on fundraising and events from 2010 to 2012. She then moved back to Moseley to start in her current position at Unite the Union in 2012. She completed the Uprising leadership course in 2012 and has joined the US Ambassadors Young Leaders Programme in 2015. She has been involved with Highbury Orchard community for a number of years. Sarah is passionate about collaborative projects.

Ian Grosvenor

Ian GrovsnIan is Professor of Urban Educational History in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. Prior to his career at the University he was a school teacher in Wolverhampton and Sandwell, before taking up posts in higher education at Newman College, 1991-1997, and Nene College, now the University of Northampton, 1997-98. He was Head of the School of Education at Birmingham, 2006-2008 and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Cultural Engagement 2010-2014. Since 2010 he has been a member of the West Midlands Committee of the HLF. He is currently chair of the Friends of Birmingham Archives and a trustee of Birmingham Museums Trust and Sampad. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Ian was born in Smethwick and lives in Selly Park.

Alison Millward

Alison MillwardAlison is Director of Alison Millward Associates Ltd, an environmental consultancy. She provides advice to government and others on environmental strategy, and is an expert advisor and mentor for the Heritage Lottery Fund. She has undertaken many roles in a voluntary capacity, including service on the government’s New Deal Task Force and Defra’s People Engagement Group, and has been a national board member of Groundwork and the Wildlife Trusts. Alison is a former chair of the Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust, and for nine years ran an environmental youth group for 6-12 year olds in inner-city Birmingham. Alison lives in Moseley and currently chairs the Moseley Regeneration Group.

 Mike Williams

Mike WilliamsMike held Director of Finance (and similar) positions at Birmingham City Council, Dudley MBC and the West Midlands Police Authority between 1984 and 2013, and is a Past President of the Society of Municipal Treasurers. He continues to serve as a Trustee and Board Member of the mac and the Black Country Living Museum, is a member of the General Committee and Management Board of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, chairs the Warwickshire Cricket Board and is a Non-Executive Director of the Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust. Mike has lived in Kings Heath for over thirty years.

Cllr Philip Davis

Phil Davis

Cllr Davis represents the nearby Billesley Ward on the City Council (BCC).  With 30 years local government experience, he is the BCC Heritage Champion and immediate past Chair of the Trusts & Charities Committee, which holds the Highbury Estate in trust for the citizens of Birmingham. Philip is a former English Heritage Commissioner and was Founder Chair of the Local Authorities World Heritage Forum (LAWHF). He is a director of the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust.  An employment relations specialist by profession, he has held posts in the voluntary sector and as chairman of an NHS Trust.

Cllr Lisa Trickett

Lisa Trickett

Cllr Trickett represents the Moseley & Kings Heath Ward on Birmingham City Council and is the Cabinet member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment.