Inga Grimsey has spent her working life in both charitable and commercial worlds. Most recently as Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), she was responsible for introducing a new strategy that engaged the society in a broader and more relevant position in the modern world of gardening and horticulture. The strategy recognised the social value of gardening and the value it could bring to peoples’ lives. This is particularly relevant in terms of the environment and consequently the RHS now sees itself as an organisation that has an important role to play in environmental and social issues, as well as a horticultural society. She also introduced a step change to the society’s education programmes. Education centres are now open, or being built, in three of the four RHS gardens and C19K primary schools have joined the Campaign for School Gardening.
Prior to the RHS, Inga was Territory Director at the National Trust (NT), responsible for three regions including the East of England. Her first role at the NT was as Managing Director for National Trust Enterprises, where she brought in a more commercial and profitable approach to visitor facilities, retail and catering, in order to support the charities work and recognise the value of customers and visitors.
Inga spent a year at the National Portrait Gallery in London and her early career was in the world of commercial retailing and brand management. She is very keen on the wide view of heritage which is illustrated in the awards the Heritage Lottery Fund gives, and in particular, the impacts that an appreciation and understanding of heritage can have on social issues, the environment and bio-diversity.