Trust chief returns to familiar surroundings with move

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The new full-time chief executive of York Conservation Trust, Philip Thake, will soon find himself in familiar surroundings.

In preparation for his appointment, and planned growth, York Conservation Trust has acquired new offices in central York, which are the same premises where Mr Thake started his working life, 33 years ago.

York Conservation Trust, founded as Ings Property Company in 1945 in order to buy, restore and rehabilitate listed properties in York, has acquired the three-storey Grade II listed 92, Micklegate.

The building was the offices of HPH, chartered accountants, when Mr Thake joined the practice in 1979.

The Georgian townhouse, acquired from The Burgess Trust, was built in 1798 by John Carr builders. It features a cantilever staircase and, during its 200-year history, has also been the offices of a multi-national insurance company and a firm of insolvency practitioners.

Mr Thake said: “The acquisition of these premises is appropriate for an organisation dedicated to preserving York’s historic buildings.

“The offices also give York Conservation Trust a presence in the ancient heart of the city and space for us to grow as we extend our property portfolio.

“It is wonderful for me to be back in the offices where I started work at HPH in 1979. The practice remained here until we moved to 54 Bootham in 1988. The time has flown and I am surprised how clearly I remember many details of the premises which we are now to restore in a style more befitting of its historic past.”

Mr Thake was managing partner of HPH for 20 years until he retired from the firm in September.

He became company secretary to York Conservation Trust in 1993, a role which later changed to chief executive.

He now devotes all of his time to running the organisation, which has a portfolio of 92 historic properties around York including the Assembly Rooms and Fairfax House on Castlegate.