County Durham Community Foundation is ending its 20th Anniversary on a high as it appoints four experienced trustees, distributes its review of the last twenty years and reflects on a successful year of celebration and achievement.

The four new trustees will be able to help the Foundation shape the future, building on the success and impact of the last two decades through grants of almost £30 million. The Community Foundation has also produced a review of the last 20 years of charitable giving across County Durham and Darlington which they will distribute over the coming weeks.

Ray Hudson is Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor of Geography at Durham University. He joined the university in 1972 and has since occupied a variety of posts there. His main research interests are in economic geography and regional development and he has published widely on these topics and his research has been recognised by a number of awards. As a result of his research, he has served as a Special Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on coalfields regeneration and as Expert Advisor to the Audit Commission in its evaluation of coalfield regeneration programmes. He continues to be actively involved in economic development activities in north east England and in developing the university’s involvement in the economic and social regeneration of the region.

County Durham Community Foundation works closely with the University in a number of areas and therefore it is a natural fit for Ray to become more involved and provide expertise as a trustee.

Lesley Fairclough has worked at Ward Hadaway for 25 years, becoming a Partner in 1999. Since qualifying as a solicitor in 1992, Lesley has worked in the Commercial Property team dealing with all aspects of commercial property work, but in particular development work acting for both landowner and developer. 

Lesley is from Durham and still lives in the county and is delighted to be carrying on family involvement with the Community Foundation as her father and mother are long term supporters of the charity.

Colin Fyfe, Chief Executive of Darlington Building Society since 2014 was born in Larkhall, Scotland. On starting his career he joined Clydesdale Bank, part of the National Australia Group. He continued to work for National Australia Bank Group for 29 years across many different areas of the business, in the UK and Australia.
Since joining Darlington Building Society Colin has spent time becoming actively involved in the local community and, as Darlington Building Society hold a number of funds with the Community Foundation, he soon became involved, putting his expertise and enthusiasm to good use on their Audit Committee.

Brian Manning
 started a career in Construction in 1973 as a Trainee Civil Engineering Technician. He Joined Lumsden & Carroll Construction as General Manager in 1990. Lumsden & Carroll became a founder member of Esh Holdings in 1999 and Brian became Group Managing Director and is now Esh Group Chief Executive.

Esh Group operates across the North of England and Scotland in Construction and Property with turnover in 2014 of circa £275m. CSR or “Added Value” as Esh describe it is at the heart of the organisation. Brian is actively involved in the communities in which they work and holds a number of positions outside of the Group. Becoming a trustee with not only cements the relationship between the two organisations, but also means that Brian will be able to bring a number of important skills.

Mark I’Anson, Chairman of County Durham Community Foundation said:
“Being able to welcome four such knowledgeable and experienced trustees to our Board is a fantastic end to our year of celebration. The expertise they bring will not only complement our current skill set but will also undoubtedly enable them to make a positive contribution to our continued success.” 

County Durham Community Foundation is governed by a board of trustees made up of a wide range of professionals who either live, work or have an interest in County Durham and Darlington, including members from the public, private and voluntary sectors. The Board is responsible for the development, implementation, and management of the organisation’s strategy. They also appoint working groups and sub-committees to manage specific activities where necessary and appropriate.