Board meeting: May 2021

Minutes of the Board of Trustees meeting on 12 May 2021.


  • Simon Thurley, Chair
  • Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, Trustee
  • Kay Andrews, Trustee (from item 5)
  • Jim Dixon, Trustee
  • Claire Feehily, Trustee
  • Sarah Flannigan, Trustee
  • Ray Macfarlane, Trustee
  • David Stocker, Trustee
  • Mukesh Sharma, Trustee


  • Susan Beardsmore, Committee Chair, England, Midlands and East
  • Tiffany Hunt, Committee Chair, England, North
  • Stephen Boyce, Committee Chair, England, London and South

Welcomes and Introduction

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

1. Minutes of the Board meeting on 30 March 2021

The minutes were agreed to be a true account of the meeting and signed by the Chair.

2. Declarations of Interest

There were none.

3. Chair's report and Stakeholder discussion

The Country and Area Chairs provided an update from their countries and areas.

Simon Thurley provided an update on his first month as NHMF Chair and outlined his personal priorities for The Fund.

4. Chief Executive’s Report

Ros Kerslake introduced the report.

The Fund would be recruiting new NHMF Panel members over the coming months. To encourage a more diverse range of candidates and to keep remuneration consistent with other Committees, the Board agreed proposals to pay new and existing members of the Panel a £350 daily rate.

Decision: The Board agreed to proposals to pay NHMF Panel and Investment Panel members £350 a day from 1 July 2021.

Ros provided a recent update to the Future Parks programme. The Future Parks Accelerator (Future Parks) Board made a decision at its meeting on 29 April 2021 to withdraw grant funding and support from Bristol City Council for its Future Parks project. The decision was approved by FPA Executive Sponsors Isabel Hunt and Harry Bowell (National Trust). The Board expressed disappointment but were confident that this was the right decision.

5. Audit and Risk Committee feedback from meeting on 16 April 2021 including draft minutes of the meeting

Claire Feehily, Chair of Audit and Risk Committee, provided an update from the meeting on 16 April.

6. Minutes of Audit and Risk Committee on 19 February 2021

The minutes were noted.

7. Deed execution

Michael Guy, Director of Legal and Governance, introduced the item.

Decision: The Board approved the recommendation to require only one signatory or witness to the seal on deeds.

8. Trustee vacancies on Board Panels

Colin Bailey introduced the paper.

A number of Trustees kindly volunteered to join Board Panels with current vacancies. The Governance team would follow up with Trustees to confirm membership.

9. Grant-in-Aid funding in Northern Ireland and Wales

Anne Young, Director of Strategy and Innovation, provided context on what The Fund had delivered over the past year. Our corporate strategy had set out our ambition for new business: to increase the income available whilst managing the impacts of National Lottery income.

The report highlighted some broad lessons and reflections from running multiple programmes over the last year. Designing and delivering new programmes had been a challenge. Resource would need consideration if grant-in-aid programmes were to continue.

The Chair commended the remarkable achievements with these funds, noting the exciting potential for the organisation moving forward. He acknowledged that staff had been required to act quickly under difficult circumstances, but that it had stimulated new ways of working to show what we were capable of.

10. Framework agreement / settlement letter

The Board noted the Framework Agreement, settlement letter and response.

Funding decisions: National Lottery Heritage Fund (grant increase):

11. Canterbury Cathedral: The Canterbury Journey

Request: Grant Increase of £975,800 to make a total grant of £13,825,300

Project: The Canterbury Journey would radically transform the accessibility and sustainability of Canterbury Cathedral. It would safeguard an iconic building which embodies England’s story, increase the number and broaden the range of those who journey to it, and enrich their experience. A new Welcome Centre would offer improved learning, hospitality and a hitherto inaccessible view of one of Europe’s most important churches.

A delivery grant of £12,849,500 (56%) had been awarded in September 2016.

A grant increase was sought due to delays to work, the need to make redundancies and reduced income and fundraising options, all resulting from the pandemic.

The Board awarded a grant increase of £975,800 to make a total grant of £13,825,300

12. NHMF Report

The Board noted the report.

13. Any other business

The Chair thanked Sarah Flannigan on behalf of the Board for her contribution to the Board over the past three years. Her input on digital heritage and the Investment Management System (IMS) had been really important for The Fund.

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