Noël James is the current Director and CEO of the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre. She comes from a research background, and has over 25 years’ experience working in the heritage sector. She has a particular interest in the built environment and has recently left post as Director of the Historic Towns Forum, an umbrella organisation specialising in urban planning in historic towns. Noël gained her Doctorate in Medieval Law from the University of York in 1999, and has published widely on Medieval Law, Landscape History, Social History and Historical Geography. In the past she has held posts at the Prince’s Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Policy and Public Affairs Directorate at a Regional Development Agency, and at the Living Archive. She is an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism, a recent Trustee for the Battlefields Trust, and has been an expert panel member on the Revive & Thrive Challenge. She is a mentor for the British Legion, mentoring returners to the built environment. In her spare time she volunteers for a donkey sanctuary.