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2019 Excellence Awards – Jury members

Following the success of our ‘Best in Class Awards’ at the 2015 Conference, we are delighted to announce that applications for our 2019 Excellence Awards are now open!

NB – Please note that submissions are now closed for 2019

The purpose of this programme is to celebrate the very best of our member organisations’ work across five broad categories and to mark their achievement with a ceremony during our conference in Bermuda in March 2019.  You can find out more about the 18th International Conference of National Trusts here.

Jury members

Judy Cligman joined Heritage Lottery Fund in 1996 and has been Director of Strategy since 2002. She is currently leading the development of the new strategic framework due to be launched in January 2019 which has taken extensive soundings from National Lottery players and members of the public as well as from a wide range of stakeholders. For the first time this strategy will highlight the potential for projects to gain support for working internationally.   Judy has over 35 years’ experience within the heritage sector, having previously worked in a number of roles at English Heritage, Essex County Council and the Courtauld Gallery.   Her international experience with HLF dates back to 1998, with a particular focus on China and India since 2006. In 2016 she spoke at major conference for Museums Directors in Beijing hosted by the British Council and a conference on World Cities in Shanghai. Over the last year Judy has been a member of the decision making panel for the Cultural Protection Fund.

Debbie Dance has been the Director of Oxford Preservation Trust since 1999.  She has spent her career in the built and natural environment working as a chartered surveyor before taking an MSc Historic Conservation at Oxford Brookes University 1993. She has been at the heart of a number of award winning conservation projects including in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, and the Birmingham Back-to-Backs, and during in her time in Oxford, most notably the regeneration of Oxford Castle opening it to the public for the first time in 2006.  Debbie has held a number of honorary national roles in heritage, and is currently Chair of the Historic Chapels Trust.  She is also involved in many areas of Oxford life, including being a Board member of Experience Oxfordshire and a Trustee of the Oxford Playhouse.  She has been past Chair of the Historic Towns Forum, UK Association of Preservation Trusts and a former Trustee of the Churches Conservation Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund South East and Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust.  She was the national conservation judge for International RICS Property Awards for many years.

Valerie Humphrey, a Californian by birth, has lived in the UK since 1989. She has worked for over 25 years raising funds for some of the UK’s finest heritage buildings. She currently works at Westminster Abbey where they recently raised over Euro 25m for the new Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries which included building a new tower- the first physical addition to the Abbey in over 275 years.

She previously worked for The National Trust in London and FAI-Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (the Italian National Trust) in Milan. She is also a trustee of various heritage organisations in London and New York.


Kate Pugh headed up The Heritage Alliance which brings together over 100 heritage organisations in England as a powerful and effective advocate for heritage and for the non-government heritage movement. As Chief Executive, she was a member of the Steering Group for Europa Nostra’s major report Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe published in 2015 and now translated into 12 languages. Since stepping down in 2016, she has focused more on fostering international relations through heritage. She drew up the Alliance’s first-ever International Report on members’ overseas engagement and the challenges they face.  She is currently Chairman of the Advisory Group for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)/British Council’s £30m Cultural Protection Fund and Secretary of the new Afghanistan Society. She has worked for the British Council and co-authored a report by UNESCO UK on innovation in cultural heritage and opportunities for international development. Closer to home, she is Heritage Co-ordinator for her local amenity society.

Jane Weeks is a consultant specialising in strategic planning, governance and cultural relations in the heritage sector. She has worked with cultural heritage organisations and national, institutional and independent museums in the UK and abroad.

Clients include the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the British Council, Arts Council England, the Museums Association, and the British Institute for Archaeology in Ankara.


Rules for Awards

  1. All applications are to be completed in English.
  2. Applications must be submitted by email to by 1 November 2018.
  3. All organisations must be a member of INTO.
  4. No organisation will receive more than one (1) Award.
  5. Applicants are asked not to discuss the Awards with any individual member of the judging panel.
  6. By applying for the INTO Excellence Awards, the applicant agrees it will be represented at the Awards ceremony during the INTO Congress in Bermuda on 30 March 2019 if selected as an Award recipient.

How to apply

General Application Info: Please provide full contact details for the applicant and your Award category selection.

Highlights: Please describe the three (3) primary reasons why your organisation should be awarded an INTO Award. Answers should be limited to 100 words.

Summary: Please provide a summary of the organisation’s work and/or the project considered for the Award. Discuss the aims/objectives of the organisation/project, the partners involved, the scope of the project and the financial aspects involved. Answers should be limited to 500 words.

Category Criteria: Please describe how your project meets the criteria for the INTO Awards category that you are entering. Please stress what demonstrated benefits your project/organisation has accomplished against the category criteria. Answers should be limited to 500 words.

Photographs: Please provide between six (6) and ten (10) photographs of projects and/or sites owned or administered by the organisation.


Open to All: Submissions for the ‘Open to All’ Award should demonstrate the organisation’s success in enhancing community engagement across different cultures and increasing access to heritage, dialogue and understanding, and embracing the idea of ‘Forever, for everyone’.

Open House: This Award will be presented to the member organisation which has creatively reimagined historic places to make heritage assets more accessible and relevant in today’s society.

Open Spaces: Submissions to the Open Spaces Award should demonstrate best practice in the management, protection or acquisition of natural heritage.

Open for Business: This Award will be presented to the INTO member organisation which has developed innovative approaches to the business of running a heritage trust, such as increasing and maintaining memberships, fundraising or visitor services.

Opening Minds: The recipient of the ‘Opening Minds’ Award shall have demonstrated success in training, education or advocacy involving its employees, volunteers, community members or stakeholders to ensure the continued relevance of the organisation’s work.

Please submit applications by email to by 1 November 2018 – Good luck!

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