Savills appointed to manage Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s property portfolio


Savills has further strengthened its position in the West Midlands after being instructed to manage The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s property portfolio.

The instruction will see the international real estate advisor’s rural estate management team take responsibility for the day-to-day repair, maintenance and management of the Trust owned property portfolio situated in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire.

In addition to residential properties, the portfolio includes retail, commercial office and workshop space, two youth hostels and development projects.

Fred Williams, associate surveyor in the Savills Telford team who has taken on the role of portfolio manager for the Trust, comments:

“The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has a large and varied property portfolio and this property management role was previously carried out in-house. We look forward to utilising our expertise in order to find ways of further improving the tenant experience and to remove the administrative burden on the Trust. It is hoped that by doing so, it will allow them to focus on further enhancing the visitor experience at a time when so many people want to get out and enjoy what the UK has to offer.”

Kirsty Vlemmiks, Finance Director at The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said:

"We are delighted to be working with Savills in the management of our property portfolio. Our properties are incredibly varied and include 35 listed buildings and their careful management is a crucial part of our operation.”

The news comes as Katie Benbow joins the estate management team as an associate director, whilst Tim Williams joins the forestry team as a senior arboriculturist. The team has also welcomed Richard Plowden and Amie Beacock as graduate surveyors.

Katie, who is a qualified Chartered Surveyor and Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, grew up on a farm on the Shropshire-Staffordshire border and has returned to her roots in the county after gaining 12 years’ experience in a similar role in the Savills Oxford office. She is one of a handful of surveyors who has qualified as a Trusted Estate Practitioner (Society of Trusts & Estate Practitioners). She gained her masters degree in Land Economy at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Tim, who joins the firm as an associate director, has a degree in arboriculture and joined Savills from a Local Authority, where he worked since 2010, and as the principle officer leading a small team for the last four years. His team was responsible for undertaking the management of the council’s trees, provision of planning advice and the management of trees in relation to various Acts of Parliament. Previous roles included positions at the National Trust and the County Council Highway Authority.

Richard, who is from a South Shropshire farming family, previously attended the Royal Agricultural University where he completed an undergraduate degree in Agriculture before undertaking initial employment in the auction sector. Latterly, Richard attended Harper Adams University where he completed a masters degree in Rural Estate and Land Management.

Amie is continuing to study her masters at Harper Adams on a part-time basis and is expected to graduate this summer. Working within the rural professional team, her focus is on providing professional services to the rural sector.

Rhydian Scurlock-Jones, director and head of rural at Savills in the West Midlands, says:

“We have a strong presence across the West Midlands, and Katie, Tim, Richard and Amie have joined us at an exciting time in the team’s evolution as we continue to grow our services.”

The 30-strong team at Savills Telford provides residential and rural services across the West Midlands including residential property sales, land and farm sales, valuations, farm and estate management, architectural building services, forestry and rural lettings.