With more than 28 years’ continuous experience as a professional archaeologist, Ian is currently Assistant Director of Salford Archaeology within the Centre for Applied Archaeology, University of Salford. During the past ten years, Ian has compiled successful tender documentation (including costings) for more than 350 projects in the commercial archaeology sector, ranging from small-scale watching briefs, evaluations and historic building investigations, to medium- and large-scale excavations and associated programmes of post-excavation assessment, analysis and, where appropriate, publication, and continues to procure new enterprise projects in his current role. He takes full responsibility for the overall management on all of these projects, including the preparation for the investigation (devising the project aims and research objectives), the fieldwork, health and safety, and the interpretation, analysis and presentation and/or publication of the project data. Ian is also required to manage the performance and development of teams and individuals including task allocation, preparation and monitoring of work plans, identifying project-specific training needs and assessing work performance.
Ian has particular experience of managing the archaeological investigation of historic industrial sites, often in complex urban environments. At the invitation of English Heritage, Ian has alsocontributed short papers for inclusion in national guidelines for the investigation of historic industrial sites. Most recently, he was responsible for the excavation of Richard Arkwright’s Shudehill Mill in Manchester city centre, which is being undertaken as part of the NOMA Project, the largest urban regeneration scheme in England outside of London. This followed on from a large-scale excavation of workers’ housing, which was carried out in 2008-09 as an initial stage in the NOMA scheme that focused on the development of the new headquarters for the Co-operative Group on Miller Street. He has also been responsible for delivering a plethora of similar excavations in Manchester and Salford that have targeted the sites of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century workers’ housing.
Ian has particular specialist knowledge of the textile industry in north-west England, and has provided specialist consultancy advice for Lancashire Museum Service during repairs toHelmshore Mills Textile Museum, a Scheduled Monument in Rossendale, and recently fulfilled all the archaeological requirements associated with the repair and refurbishment of the Grade II listed Victoria Mill and Sandygate Mill in Burnley on behalf of Burnley Borough Council. In 2004-07, Ian managed a three-year programme of research-based survey and excavation of the Grade II* and Grade II listed buildings that for the Murrays’ Mills in Ancoats, Manchester’s oldest surviving steam-powered cotton mill complex, which he took to publication as an academic monograph in 2007. He is currently acting as a consultant for Manchester City Council during the refurbishment of the listed buildings to ensure that heritage interests are secured. Between 2008-15, he led the Lancashire Textile Mills Survey, a strategic research project funded by English Heritage (now Historic England), which enabled Lancashire County Council to develop a long-term management strategy for historic textile sites. As part of the project, Ian put forward a number of individual sites for consideration for statutory designation as listed buildings, providing the supporting evidence to enable the DCMS to determine the application for designation. Building on the success of the survey, Ian is currently project managing a review of the historic textile mills across Greater Manchester, another strategic research project that is again being undertaken on behalf of Historic England. In recognition of his expertise in this field, Ian has acted as a special witness to several successful planning appeals that involved proposed alterations to historic textile mills, including the eighteenth-century Kirk Mill in Chipping, and Armstrong’s Silk Mill in Galgate, Lancashire.
In addition to his extensive knowledge of the historic textile industries, Ian has particular expertise and deep-rooted interests in the development of the iron industry, particularly in the context of north-west England. His expertise of the region's iron industry originated from his excavation of an 18th century blast furnace in Maryport. In 2003, he directed an archaeological excavation at the 17th-century Cunsey Forge in South Lakeland, and carried out the associated documentary research and resultant post-excavation analysis. In 2015, he directed the community-led archaeological investigation of a late medieval bloomery site at Blelham Tarn, also in South Lakeland.