Scotland: committee meeting minutes September 2021

Scotland: committee meeting minutes September 2021

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee for Scotland held virtually on 8 September at 9:30am.

Members:      

  • Sam Anderson 
  • Stuart Housden
  • Ray Macfarlane (Chair)  
  • Alice Mayne 
  • Martyn Wade 

Apologies:

  • Liz Davidson 

Committee Business

1. Welcomes and apologies

The chair welcomed all to the second committee meeting of the financial year. The committee members, Alice Mayne and Stuart Housden introduced themselves to our UK Chair Dr. Simon Thurley.

The chair extended a warm welcome to:

  • the Heritage Fund’s UK Chair Dr. Simon Thurley CBE joining the Committee for Scotland meeting for the second time
  • Executive Director Eilish McGuinness, the executive representative for the meeting 

The chair invited Caroline Clark to update the committee about the newest member of the Scotland team, who will be observing the meeting. 

  • Caroline noted that Lauren Arthur, an Associate for the 2027 programme, has joined the team. Lauren started her internship with the Scotland team as an Investment / Engagement Manager in August 2021. She will be in post for a 12 month period.  

2. Minutes from the last meeting held on 10 March 2021 and matter arising

Committee agreed the minutes and signed as an accurate record of the meeting.

No matters arisen.

3. Declarations of interest

The chair confirmed that there are no declarations of interest noted from Committee for Scotland members.

4. Chair’s Report

The chair updated the committee on the following areas:

  • the Board of Trustees awarded a grant to SSE Discovery from the National Heritage Memorial Fund
  • The Cairngorms 2030 project received a significant grant via the Heritage Horizons Award Programme. The application for support for Mavisbank, under the Heritage Horizons Award Programme, was unsuccessful.
  • The chair attended the openings for the David Livingstone Birthplace Museum and Trimontium Musem. She noted that the David Livingstone Museum Trust has developed the project in a thoughtful, intelligent and imaginative way. The Minister for Culture noted her support at the opening visit. She confirmed that Martyn Wade also attended the Trimontium opening, highlighting the transformation of the museum following the investment.   
  • Due to her attendance at the Board of Trustees meeting, she was unable to attend the Argyll and Sutherland Museum Royal opening. It was attended by Martyn Wade in her absence. Martyn noted how impressive the museum was and urged people to visit. They had good acknowledgement in place, recognising the contribution of the Heritage Fund and National Lottery players.
  • The chair thanked Stuart Housden for attending the Scottish Lottery Distributors’ Forum Chair and Chief Executives meeting in August in her absence. Stuart noted that the key areas of discussion focused how we can align our work with other Lottery Distributors. This included placemaking, the impact on stakeholders as a result of the public’s reluctance to engage in public activities due to the pandemic, and the increased turnover of staff and the ability to attract the right people to positions.
  • Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Fund, is to retire at the end of the year. Ray recognised that she is a stalwart and admirable leader of the organisation and will be greatly missed.  
  • Recruitment is underway to fill vacant Scotland Committee member positions. Interviews are due to take place in late September.

5. Corporate Update

Eilish McGuinness, Executive Director of Business Delivery, provided an update on corporate activity. Key points noted were as follows:

Committee Recruitment

  • Committee for Scotland recruitment is currently in progress

UK City of Culture

  • the Board of Trustees have agreed a commitment to the UK City of Culture, which offers the potential for the Heritage Fund to achieve our outcomes relating to place, communities, economy and inclusion

Future Park Accelerator (FPA)

  • the Board of Trustees have approved an additional £2m allocation to the FPA programme with a commitment to broaden the geographical scope and develop its work further in Scotland

Levelling Up Fund

  • in June the Heritage Fund received its first-round bids from local authorities to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund

Grant in Aid

  • the Heritage Fund continues to be busy in delivering Grant-in-aid

6. Scotland Director’s Report

The paper was presented by Caroline Clark and highlighted the following key areas:

Heritage Horizons Award Programme

  • the Cairngorms National Park Authority were successful under the Heritage Horizon programme, receiving an investment of £12.5million

Business Continuity

  • following the change in guidance from Scottish Government, the Scotland office has reopened at reduced capacity with social distancing and Coronavirus (COVID-19) measures in place

Project openings

  • Following the lifting of restrictions this quarter, there has been a number of project openings attended by both staff and committee members. These include the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum, Trimonitum Museum and David Livingstone’s Birthplace Museum. These projects have opened during the challenging times presented by the pandemic and key lessons learnt will be taken forward.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Stakeholder engagement work continues in line with our strategic and engagement priorities. Close work continues with Historic Environment Scotland and other key sectoral organisations to ensure collaboration with the sector.

COP 26

  • the team are interacting and supporting funded projects that will be participating in COP26 and are seeking to identify communication opportunities that arise

7. Scotland Budget Overview

This paper was presented by Riona McMorrow, Head of Investment.  

Riona noted that the budget for Scotland in 2021–2022 is £16.4million, comprising of £12.2m for committee for this financial year. To date, the committee has awarded £4,023,900 leaving a budget of £11,048,000 available for the remainder of this financial year.

Riona noted that there has been a significant increase in demand at delegated decision level in particular at the £100,000 – £250,000 level. Riona confirmed that as from June 2021 grant increases up to £250,000 are funded from delegated budgets.

The Museum of Flight has withdrawn their delivery phase application. Stuart Housden recommended that any future project should further consider an ecologically based approach to the landscape. Plus, where possible, aim to use skills and experience in the local area.

SFF development round applications for discussion and decision.

8. Edinburgh Biomes – Heritage Glasshouse Project; NL-21-00017

Grantee: Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

Request: Award Grant potential Delivery Grant of £1,900,000 (33%)

Project: To restore and revitalise the two A-listed Victorian Palm Houses at the heart of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. Re-displaying their rare and endangered historic plant collections, creating engaging new interpretation and delivering innovative new activities.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a grant of £4,000,000 (38%).

9. Carluke High Mill & ONECAN Community Growing and Learning Garden; NL-21-00040

Grantee: Carluke Development Trust

Request: Award Development Grant of £74,250 (87%) and potential Delivery Grant of £866,156 (32%)

Project: This community-led project will redevelop the at-risk A-listed Carluke High Mill creating a heritage and community space. The area around the Mill, traditionally used as a market garden, will be developed into community growing space. 

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a Development Grant of £74,250 (87%) and potential Delivery Grant of £866,156 (32%).

10. John O’Groats Mill: a power for the community; NL-21-00008                     

Grantee: John O'Groats Mill Trust

Request: Award Development Grant of £162,315 (100%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,362,315 (30%)

Project: This community-led project will restore the B-listed John O'Groats Mill, which is on the Buildings at Risk Register, and is one of the only remaining historic buildings in the area. It will be brought back into productive use for the local community, which faces high levels of economic deprivation.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a MEDIUM priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £162,315 (100%) and potential delivery grant of £1,362,315 (30%).

11. Bellgrove Meat Market Regeneration Project; NL-21-00011

Grantee: Milnbank Housing Association

Request: Award Development Grant of £166,626 (90%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,681,296 (23%)

Project: This project brings back into use the historic Bellgrove Meat Market Sheds in Dennistoun in Glasgow's East End.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and the AWARDED a Development Grant of £166,626 (90%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,681,296 (23%).

12. Prioritisation and Decision

During the case by case discussions, the committee considered that:

  • Discovery Edinburgh Biomes – Heritage Glasshouse Project; NL-21-00017 (item 8); Carluke High Mill & ONECAN Community Growing and Learning Garden; NL-21-00040 (item 9) and Bellgrove Meat Market Regeneration Project; NL-21-00011 (item 11) represented a high priority for support
  • John O’Groats Mill: a power for the community; NL-21-00008 (item 10) represented a medium priority for support.

13. Brand Acknowledgement

Rory MacLeod, Communications and Marketing Manager, Scotland joined the meeting to answer any questions that the committee had about the new Heritage Fund rebranding that has been launched and the role of the committee.

The committee noted their support for the need for the rebranding. No questions were raised.

Papers for Information

14. Communications Report 

Rory MacLeod, Communications and Marketing Manager, Scotland provided the Committee with an overview of the communications activity surrounding the awards that were made. This was following June committee and Board meetings and following project openings during this quarter. 

15. Policy and Public Affairs Report

Frank Toner, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Scotland noted the key ministerial engagement that has taken place since the previous meeting.  

16. Race and Heritage: a Series of Curated Perspectives – 2021–2022 

Since September 2020 the Committee for Scotland and the Scotland team have been working together, with external mentoring, support to consider race and heritage.  

17. Any other business

  • The Chair noted that there is the upcoming visit to Loch Lomond on the 16 October for committee and staff members and thanked Stuart Housden for organising the visit.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 24 November 2021.