Leeds Civic Trust CEO, Kevin Grady, receives honorary degree from Leeds Met
Dubbed the 'architectural heritage watchdog' for Leeds by the Yorkshire Evening Post, over the last 25 years Kevin has transformed Leeds Civic Trust into one the country's leading Civic Societies and greatly widened its influence in the city.
Kevin, who was awarded the Honorary Doctorate for his service to the city, commented: "Receiving this award from the university is a tremendous honour. I've worked for many years in the city of Leeds promoting its improvement and development and it's a real thrill for me that my work has been appreciated and honoured by such an important academic institution."
Speaking about his career, Kevin added: "I've been director of the trust for 27 years and a lot of it has been about promoting high standards of architecture and planning in the city, encouraging the improvement of city amenities and of course a good deal about the city's heritage. It's been a very fascinating role and continues to be - putting the city's view across about how we want our city to be.
"There have been two highlights to my career. One is my involvement with the regeneration of the city waterfront, which has been absolutely transformed in the last 20 years, and the second is the Leeds Civic Trust Blue Plaque Scheme. I started the scheme and we recently unveiled the 150th plaque in the Leeds metropolitan district and they're tremendously appreciated by the people of Leeds."
Amongst its roles, the Trust monitors all new planning applications in the Leeds metropolitan district, and meets with developers before their plans are formally submitted to the council. Via the Trust, Kevin has worked to ensure that conservation of the city's fine built-heritage has been at the heart of its dramatic renaissance in the last quarter of a century.
For more than 30 years Kevin has shared his passion for history and heritage with the wider community. A former lecturer at Leeds Met, he is also the author of several books including The Illustrated History of Leeds.
Kevin was for eight years Director of Eye on the Aire, the umbrella body which led the regeneration of the Leeds Waterfront, and founded the Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies. Today he also sits on the Leeds & Partners Reference Panel and the Leeds Sustainable Economy and Culture Partnership Board.
Others receiving honorary degrees from Leeds Metropolitan include: one of the world's foremost authorities on corporate governance, reporting and sustainability, Senior Counsel and former Judge of the High Court of South Africa, Professor Mervyn King; mosque leader, Qari Asim, who has worked tirelessly to build bridges between communities in Leeds since the 7/7 terror attacks; sustainable events expert and three-times Managing Director, Fiona Pelham, who heads up the companies, Positive Impact, Sustainable Events Ltd and Organise This; former professional road-racing cyclist and national champion, Sid Barras, and Leigh-Anne Stradeski, Chief Executive of Halifax's National Children's Museum, Eureka!.
Leeds Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, said: "A respected historian, Kevin's work as Director of the Leeds Civic Trust has helped shape the City of Leeds that we know and love today. As a former lecturer at our University, Kevin is no stranger to Leeds Metropolitan and we were delighted to welcome him back and to recognise the significant contribution he has made to our city with this Honorary Doctorate."