At the behest of its main funding partner, Historic Environment Scotland, Inverness City Heritage Trust (ICHT) proposes to commission a consultancy review of its governance and management structures, financial management, operational priorities and business plans. The primary objective is to ensure that the Trust is soundly based to fulfil its charitable objectives in a time of change and financial challenge.


Inverness City Heritage Trust was incorporated in 2004 as a charitable company limited by guarantee. Since 2005 it has been grant funded by HES to operate a programme of conservation and revitalisation activities relating to the urban environment of Inverness city. It has maintained a close collaborative relationship with Highland Council, which provides office accommodation and other supportive contributions in kind.

ICHT is supervised by a Board of 9 volunteer trustees, comprising: three Highland Councillors; one trustee representing each of the following local organisations – Inverness Architectural Association; Inverness Chamber of Commerce, Inverness Civic Trust and the Inverness Chapter of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; along with two individual trustees. There is currently no formal procedure for recruitment or rotation of trustees, many of whom have been on the board since the Trust was established in 2005.

Day-to-day management and operation of the charity is undertaken by a Project Officer, who is employed, and line managed by the Highland Council but is seconded to work exclusively for ICHT. Regular book-keeping, accountancy and legal advisory services are procured externally.

The Trust’s central activity since its foundation has been to provide grant support and advice for projects to conserve individual properties. During the last 16 years it has assisted over 260 projects of varied nature and scale with £4m in grants; occasionally undertaken strategic reviews to advance potential conservation opportunities; and participated in partnership projects. It has also supported initiatives to improve local awareness of urban conservation issues and promote the development of traditional building skills within the local business community.

A recent major project undertaking during 2015-2020 was to promote and participate in the Academy Street Townscape Heritage Scheme, in close collaboration with co-funders Highland Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Proposed Review

ICHT has now been encouraged and funded by HES to undertake a stock-taking exercise to review its action priorities and business plans, and to assess its options and ability to pursue them in a prospective climate of change and financial stringency. This includes an assessment of the Trust’s present internal structures and capabilities as well as its scope for entering into collaborative partnerships, joint funding projects and other ways to fulfil its urban conservation objectives. Tenders to undertake this review are now sought from suitably qualified and experienced consultants.

Deliverables from the Review

A review report should provide critical assessments; creative, forward-looking thinking; and constructive recommendations regarding:

  • Existing governance, business models and operational structures
  • Skill set of trustees and staff
  • Current objectives, activities and business plan
  • Efficiency improvement, partnership operation and accessing increased funding
  • Review of successful approaches taken by other Scottish CHTs and comparable initiatives in other sectors
  • Review of legal and financial aspects of achieving successful change
  • Options for a three-year strategy to generate additional funding for activities
  • A freshly revised and realistic business plan for future action

Consultancy Capability & Experience

It is expected that consultancy tenders will demonstrate:

  • Proven corporate experience and capability to deliver productive and timeous research responses to complex briefs
  • Strong track record of research regarding charities, third sector organisations and public-funded projects, their organisation and operations
  • Good understanding of the heritage and conservation sector and the scope for third sector involvement, especially at a local level
  • Identification of the lead employees or associates to be engaged in the commission, with appropriate information regarding their qualifications and experience
  • These should include a reasonable breakdown of time inputs involved and associated costs

Tender Information

Tenders should include all costs, fees, expenses and VAT. A budget not exceeding £25,000 has been identified for this commission. Tenders will be assessed based on the quality of the proposals, relevant experience and value for money. Cost will be a significant factor, but the lowest tender will not necessarily be accepted. The commission will be determined and awarded by the Trust, and the subsequent implementation managed by its Project Officer.


The following information about the Trust is available on request: current business plan; latest annual report and audited accounts; and Memorandum and Articles of association.


  • Receipt of tender submissions          31 March 2021
  • Award of commission                         30 April 2021
  • Delivery of final report                       02 July 2021


Tenders should be submitted in hard copy or email to:  Alison Tanner, 9 Lovat Road, Inverness, IV2 3NT or Email:


Questions regarding the commission should be addressed to Alison Tanner or David Henderson (Trustee). Email / Tel: 01463 233150