Scotland: committee meeting minutes November 2021

Scotland: committee meeting minutes November 2021

Minutes of the Committee for Scotland meeting, held virtually on 24 November at 9:30am. 

Members:    

  • Liz Davidson 
  • Stuart Housden
  • Ray Macfarlane (Chair)  
  • Fiona McLean
  • Sam Anderson 

Apologies:

  • Alice Mayne 
  • Martyn Wade 

Committee Business

1. Welcomes and apologies

The chair welcomed all attendees to the final committee meeting of 2021.

The chair extended a warm welcome to:

  • Fiona McLean, the newly appointed Committee for Scotland Member
  • the Heritage Fund’s UK Chair, Dr Simon Thurley CBE
  • Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Fund who is attending the meeting for the last time prior to her departure at the end of the year. The chair expressed her thanks on behalf of the committee members and team for her hard work and impact to the Heritage Fund over the last seven years.
  • Eilish McGuinness, Executive Director, the executive representative for the meeting

The chair noted that Alice Mayne and Martyn Wade have offered their apologies for today’s meeting. 

The chair noted that, due to conflicts of interest declared for item 9, the Committee will not be quorate to take a decision on this item. The decision and prioritisation for all SFF Development round applications will be taken by a decision between meetings. 

2. Declarations of interest

  • Fiona McLean declared an interest in the Climate FORTH (Furthering our Resilience through Heritage Project [item 9]). Historic Environment Scotland (HES) are on the Project Board Steering Group and are providing additional support for the project. Although Fiona has had no direct involvement in the project, due to significant involvement of HES, it was considered that this represented a conflict of interest and it was agreed that she would absent herself from the room for the discussion.
  • Stuart Housden declared an interest in Climate FORTH (Furthering our Resilience through Heritage Project [item 9]). Stuart was the Director of the RSPB Scotland until 2017 and Executive Director of RSPB UK Wide until October 2017. This represents a conflict of interest as he held a leadership position within the last five years and it was agreed he would absent himself from the room for the discussion.

9. Climate FORTH (Furthering our Resilience through Heritage); OL-20-07147

Fiona McLean and Stuart Housden left the room before discussion commenced.

Grantee: RSPB Scotland

Request: Award Development Grant of £175,670 (77%) and potential Delivery Grant of £948,752 (65%)

Project: Over three years, Climate FORTH will deliver activities across the parts of Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Fife and Stirling comprising the Inner Forth. This will support a move to a greener future and post-pandemic recovery. And, generate opportunities to share learning, influence adaption and inspire the change needed to transition to a climate resilient landscape in the Inner Forth and beyond.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a MEDIUM priority for support and AWARDED a Development Grant of £175,670 (77%) and potential Delivery Grant of £948,752 (65%).

Fiona McLean and Stuart Housden re-joined the room following the discussion.

3. Minutes from the last meeting held on 8 September 2021 and matter arising

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

No matters arisen.

4. Chair’s Report

Chair Ray Macfarlane provided an update to members of the committee and highlighted the following:

  • She has attended two UK Board of Trustees meetings in the last quarter, noting that this approach was very worthwhile. This enabled the Board to view projects delivering against our priorities and had the opportunity to meet Board members in person.   
  • Accompanied by Liz Davidson, she attended a visit to the Redevelopment Burrell Collection project, highlighting that the project was very advanced in terms of Information Technology and had a strong community focus.
  • Stuart Housden was thanked for organising the training session for committee and staff members focusing on work that is being done to restore ancient woodland, and tackle the insidious threat posed by invasive non-native species at Loch Lomond National Park. She thanked Stuart for his collaborative approach to delivering this informative session.
  • In addition, she expressed her thanks to both Stuart Housden and Sam Anderson for attending and representing the Heritage Fund at the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh Patrons Dinner, with Caroline Clark and Diane Gray in September.
  • She attended with Caroline Clark the National Museum Scotland (NMS) dinner. Following this, she was invited to meet with the Chair of NMS who has been encouraged by Jenny Gilruth MSP to explore how NMS might do more for the sector.    

5. Corporate Update

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive provided an update on corporate activity. Key points noted were as follows:

DCMS Select Committee Inquiry on Fourth Lottery Licence

As Chair of the National Lottery Forum and Chief Executive of the Heritage Fund, Ros was invited to give evidence at the inquiry. This was delayed and has yet to be confirmed when it will be rescheduled.

Appointments

  • recruitment has taken place for the position of Chief Executive at the Heritage Fund and an announcement will follow in due course
  • the recruitment for the position of Chair in England has been delayed but will be resolved by the next committee cycle in March.
  • Fiona McLean has been appointed as the new Committee Member for Scotland and joins the meeting today

National Research Panel project – ‘UK Heritage Pulse’

The Heritage Fund is progressing the establishment of our first Research Panel, a collaborative data and insight project for the UK’s heritage sector, designed to inform policy and recovery and re-invention planning post coronavirus (COVID-19). 

COVID-19

The organisation has risen to the challenges that COVID-19 has presented, further strengthening our organisational reputation by delivering a large portfolio of grant-in-aid along with Lottery funding.

Development of DCMS Grants Database

A National Lottery Distributors database has been developed by DCMS which will offer a source of data to better tell the story of the impact of lottery funding.

COP26

Following COP26, the key themes that will affect our work include Adaptation and Resilience and nature-based solutions and regenerative agriculture.  

6. Scotland Director’s Report

The paper was presented by Caroline Clark and drew attention to the following:

Staffing

There continues to be considerable movement in staff within the Scotland team over the last quarter.

Risk Review

The team have undertaken a risk review of capital projects currently in delivery in response to the external challenges facing projects. 

COP26

During COP26 the team worked with our projects, cultural and environmental partners to amplify our message.

Place

The Scotland team are working with a number of key stakeholders to work collaboratively around place.

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 £16.4 million, comprising of £12.2m for committee for this financial year. To date the committee has a remaining budget of £7.1m available for the remainder of this financial year. It was noted that the budget available for this meeting is £3m with demand at £4.2m.

Riona noted that there is two delivery phase (second round) applications and three first round applications for decision at this meeting. 

SFF Development round applications for discussion and decision

8. Lower City Mills; NL-21-00062

Grantee: Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust

Request: Award Development Grant of £204,036 (71%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,194,653 (43%)

Project: The project will conserve the category A Lower City Mills (LCM), in Perth city centre, to create a National Milling Hub, to deliver traditional building skills training and employment opportunities and to provide both physical and intellectual access to the Mills.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a grant £204,036 (71%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,194,653 (43%).

10. A People’s Transport Museum and Community Hub for Dundee; OL-20-07278                     

Grantee: Dundee Museum of Transport

Request: Award Development Grant of £178,611 (70%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,100,000 (23%)

Project: This project will see Dundee Museum of Transport relocate to the Maryfield area of the city. The derelict former tram depot building will be renovated and restored to provide a fitting new home to showcase the transport collection and expand the community offer. 

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a LOW priority for support and REJECTED the application.

11. Prioritisation and Decision

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

  • Lower City Mills; NL-21-00062 (item 8) represented a HIGH priority for support
  • Climate FORTH (Furthering our Resilience through Heritage); OL-20-07147 (item 9) represented a MEDIUM priority for funding
  • A People’s Transport Museum and Community Hub for Dundee; OL-20-07278 (item 10) represented a LOW priority for support

Due to member availability and conflicts of interest, during the case-by-case discussions, the meeting was inquorate and therefore the decisions were ratified by a meeting held with committee members the following day.

SFF Second round applications for discussion and decision

12. #Everyone’s Theatre – Telling the Story; OL-18-06823

Grantee: Capital Theatres

Request: Award Grant of £1,726,000 (7%)

Project: The project will revitalise the category A King's Theatre in the heart of Edinburgh, creating a fully-accessible, fit-for-purpose theatre and community hub.

The Committee for Scotland awarded a first round pass of £1,726,000 (8%) including a development grant of £174,000 (13% of eligible development costs) in September 2019.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a grant of £1,726,000 (7%)

13. Silverburn Flax Mill – Heart, Mind and Soul Silverburn; HE-18-06809

Grantee: Fife Employment Access Trust

Request: Award Grant of £3,476,000 (42%)

Uplift: £296,000

Project: Restore and adapt the 'at risk', category B Silverburn Flax-Mill on the Fife Coastal Path in Levenmouth, North East Fife, to create a hostel and community-hub delivering training and preventative-health and wellbeing services.

The committee awarded a first round pass of £3,180,000 (44%) including a development Grant of £374,600 (67% of eligible development costs) in June 2019.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a grant of £3,476,000 (42%).

14. Prioritisation and Decision

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

  • #Everyone’s Theatre – Telling the Story; OL-18-06823 (item 12) and Silverburn Flax Mill – Heart, Mind and Soul Silverburn; HE-18-06809 (item 13) represented a HIGH priority for support.

Papers for Information

15. Policy and Public Affairs Report

Frank Toner, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Scotland updated members of the ongoing planning work of the team to promote the Heritage Fund and engage with political and sectoral stakeholders over the coming months.   

16. Communications Report

Rory MacLeod, Communications and Marketing Manager, Scotland provided the committee with an overview of the communications activity during this quarter. 

17. Any other business

Stuart Housden noted for information that the Scottish Government has announced a five year grant programme, Scottish Government Nature Restoration fund totalling £55million for projects, that will commence in 2022–2023. The Head of Investment will collaborate with Nature Scotland to determine how they will be administering the funding and how it relates to our available funding.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 9 March 2022.