About Us

ECQT is one of the best kept secrets in Exeter.

It was set up by the City Council as an independent charity in 1981, with a constitution that required that there would always be a majority of City Councillors on the Trustee body. The main reason for setting it up was to enable money to be raised and spent on the historic buildings on the Quay which did not count as part of the City Council’s capital programme in a time of austerity. Some things never change!

For the first ten years or so, the emphasis was on raising funds and developing the buildings on the Quay and Canal Basin. The buildings developed and improved were

North and South Warehouses

Crane Cellars

Wharfingers Office

Fish Quay and Antiques Centre

Maclaines Warehouses (roofing)

60 Haven Road

Building adjacent to The Custom House

The Trust also raised the money to build the suspension bridge across the river.

In the early days the Trust also supported the Maritime Museum until its demise in the mid 1990’s

In the 1990’s the Trust concentrated on running its property portfolio and supporting its tenants in the area. Several property deals were done involving the sale of longer leases or freeholds, which produced significant capital receipts. These form the basis of our financial position today.

After the millennium we shifted to become more welcoming to grant applications. Over the years we have made significant grants to local organisations, including Tuckers Hall in Fore Street and Devon Wildlife Trust for Cricklepit Mill. We have also made grants to enable arts events to take place on the Quay, including the popular Jazz on the Quay in the summer.

The most recent acquisition in our portfolio is The Custom House, which has been added to our lease by the City Council. Supporting the Interpretation Centre with a revenue grant which enables it to continue operations.

An exciting ongoing project involves the development of a Literature Hub in the building with the aid of Literature Works and Arts Council England.


Properties & Grants

Quay Businesses


Stylised map of Exeter Quay