Covent Garden

The Trust has a new Chairman

19 July 2011

Raymond Cooper, who has been Chairman of the Trust since June 2006, has stepped down from the post, having always said that he would serve for a five-year term. He has been replaced by Alexander Nicoll who has been formally nominated by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and will also serve for a five-year term.

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Alexander is well known to many in Covent Garden having been the ward councillor for St James's for 16 years until he stepped down in May 2010. He said: “The Trust has played a key role in Covent Garden for many years and lived up to the charge laid on it at foundation. The current and past Trustees, administrators, and professional advisors to the Trust have ensured that the built environment at the core of Covent Garden has been both protected and promoted as of unique interest in Westminster, London and more widely.  

“Going forward, the Trust will continue this work and maintain and develop partnerships with local individuals and organisations who share our view of Covent Garden as a special place which exhibits great historical and architectural significance while at the same time offering a compelling experience to all those from near or far who treasure Covent Garden today as a place to enjoy and spend time.”


Alexander is currently Director of Corporate Responsibility for Capital Shopping Centres Group (which, as Liberty International, demerged from Capital & Counties in May 2010) having been appointed in October 2007. Prior to that he had worked for 20 years for the Church of England, the last eight as Head of Internal Communication for The Archbishops’ Council.


While on Westminster Council, he focused on planning, transportation and public realm matters and served as Lord Mayor for 2006-07. He was instrumental in helping set up the Area Action Plans – including Covent Garden – which sought to bring together the diverse community, cultural and commercial interests to better address issues of local concern and, in particular, seek improvements to the public realm. 


He was also one of the two nominated Trustees from Westminster City Council from August 1998 to October 2007 and has recently taken the chair, for the second time, of the Covent Garden Area 1 Committee.


Other interests see Alexander involved with of the Association of Town Centre Management and the British Council of Shopping Centres and he is also a trustee of the St James’s Conservation Trust and the Conservation Foundation, both based in the City of Westminster.


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Raymond is a senior property lawyer and until his retirement from full-time work in 2006 after more than 40 years, was an equity partner and head of commercial property with Farrer & Co. He was the Trust's legal adviser from its inception until he was nominated as chairman in June 2006.



Covent Garden Area Trust
42 Earlham St, The 7 Dials Club, London WC2H 9LA
Tel: 020 7497 9245 |
Registered Charity No: 299874. Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Registered No: 02280893.

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