He established it in response to the huge numbers of publicly-owned hospital and defence buildings being sold off to the private sector at the time, and major industrial buildings becoming redundant.
His Royal Highness managed to draw attention to the craftsmanship, artistry and pride which went into the construction of these places, and showed how successfully they could be converted for new uses.
He created two charities in 1996 – UKHBPT (also known as The Phoenix Trust) and Regeneration Through Heritage – to try to rescue many of these buildings from neglect and dereliction. His intention was to repurpose these important places so they could become real local assets, offering job opportunities and acting as a catalyst for wider social and economic regeneration.
Regeneration Through Heritage provided help and technical support to communities looking to save local buildings, and The Phoenix Trust primarily worked on private sector historic buildings.
In 2006 The Prince brought these two initiatives together to make The Prince’s Regeneration Trust Group, which included UKHBPT. Over the following years the Group grew to become the foremost heritage-led regeneration charity in the UK, with a fast growing international reputation.
In 2016, UKHBPT became an independent organisation, retaining The Prince of Wales as its Patron and Founder.