Board decisions: February 2019

Summary Minutes of the Board meeting held on 26 February 2018 at 9.30 a.m. at 7 Holbein Place, London, SW1W 8NR.


  • Peter Luff (Chair)
  • Maria Adebowale-Schwarte
  • Kay Andrews
  • Anna Carragher
  • Jim Dixon
  • Claire Feehily
  • Sarah Flannigan
  • Perdita Hunt
  • Steve Miller
  • René Olivieri
  • Seona Reid
  • David Stocker
  • Tom Tew


  • Tamalie Newbery (Chief Executive, Brooklands Museum) (item 13)
  • Julie Procter (Chief Executive, Greenspace Scotland) (item 13)

Board Business:

The Chair reported that Carli Harper-Penman, Interim Executive Director of Business Innovation and Insight would be joining the meeting.

1. Minutes of the Board meeting on 11 December 2018

The Board agreed the minutes, subject to an amendment under item 5, Chief Executive’s Report and Corporate Update.

2. Matters arising from the minutes

There were no matters arising.

3. Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

4. Chair’s Report

The Chair recorded his thanks and congratulations to all the staff for making the publication of the new SFF and the introduction of the new identity such a success. He also reported his gratitude to all the Trustees and Committee Chairs in England whose constructive approach had enabled the National Lottery Heritage Fund to prepare for the interim year of the new structure.

The Chair reported that following concerns raised at the last Board meeting, the Greater Manchester Cultural Strategy was now much more focused and balanced across the whole of culture including heritage. It now provided a framework within which the priorities for heritage and how heritage contributes to the wider ambitions of Greater Manchester could be identified.

The Board noted that the Executive had been invited to meeting hosted by DCMS to explore how culture could be integrated into LEP plans.  The new Area Directors would actively lead on strategic conversations including with LEPs to ensure that culture and heritage were being placed at the heart of regeneration. The Board agreed that following the SFF launch, there was an opportunity for the Chief Executive to write to all the LEPs, introducing the new strategy and ways of working.

5. Chief Executive’s Report and Corporate Update

The Chief Executive introduced the report.

NHMF Endowment Fund: The Board noted the performance of the Endowment Fund since it was established in 1980 and the recommendation from the Investment Panel to change the management of the fund.

Decision: The Board supported the Investment Panel’s recommendation to revise the target for the management company to CPI +4%.

Authorisation Schedule: The Board noted the authorisation schedule for grant and loan decisions for the new Strategic Funding Framework and the new organisational design.  

Decision: The Board agreed the new authorisation schedule.

Execution of NHMF and National Lottery Heritage Fund Deeds: The Board noted the

proposed amendment to the resolution regarding the handling of the execution of NHMF and National Lottery Heritage Fund Deeds and the requirement to reflect the restructure and new roles.

Decision: The Board agreed the amendment to the resolution passed on 21st July 2015, with effect from 1st April 2019, and in accordance with Sections 74 and 74A of the Law of Property Act 1925, the list of individuals authorised to witness the sealing of any deed with the corporate seal of the Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Governance review: The Board noted that their comments had been incorporated. A procurement process was underway. There would be open competition.  Trustees requested a copy of the final procurement document which was available on the internet.

Interim Area Committees: The Board noted the membership of the England Area committees.

Country and Area Committees would be taking their first decisions in June 2019. The Chairs of the Area Committees would be invited to attend the Board in September 2019 and in March 2020.

Trustees sought more information on the role of Deputy Chairs in the new Area Committees. Trustees noted that SFF training would be provided to all Country and Area Committees.

Trustees discussed the new processes and specifically how the Expressions of Interest process would operate in practice. More detail and clarity on the process was requested for the March Board. 

Trustees queried how cross-territory applications would be managed under SFF and requested more detail with regard to budgeting, decision taking and handling. They requested this included a case study. More detail would be provided at the March Board. 

The Board requested an oversight of the decision taking, and queried how, during the interim year, the Fund would monitor and evaluate to ensure that a balanced portfolio of applications was being supported.

The Board received brief updates on progress with Windemere and with Dreamland Margate. A further update would be provided in March.

6. Minutes of the Audit and Risk Committee on 8 February 2019

Claire Feehily, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, welcomed Maria Adebowale-Schwarte and Steve Miller to the committee. The Committee had received some good training from an external provider and the Chair suggested this training could be offered to other trustees moving forward.

The Committee had had much discussion around Hastings Pier. A report had been commissioned to review the Hastings Pier project which had resulted in clear recommendations. The project offered an opportunity to provide learning for other projects and it was suggested this should be considered at a future Board meeting, when the final project evaluation had taken place.

The Audit & Risk Committee had discussed the risk register and appetite and this would be presented to the Board in March.

7. Feedback from Finance, Staffing and Resources Committee on 25 February 2019

René Olivieri, Chair of the Finance, Staffing and Resources Committee, reported the committee had met the day before the Board and had discussed many things including Business Plan 2019-20, Operating Key Performance Indicators, ratios and budgets amongst other areas.

8. Item withdrawn

Memorial Fund

9. NHMF Report

The NHMF team had provided a response to the DCMS consultations on the Export Review process and would respond to the Treasure process consultation.

DCMS’s consultation on strengthening the process for retaining national treasures sought views on a proposal to introduce a legally binding mechanism requiring owners of objects, which had been found to be national treasures through the export review process, and who had confirmed that they were prepared to sell to a museum or gallery at an agreed fair market price, be legally bound to follow through on their commitment to do so.

The consultation on the Treasure process proposed to revise the Treasure Act in order to widen the definition of treasure so more archaeological finds could be protected. The consultation would close on 30 April and NHMF would submit a response based on a previous letter to DCMS about the definition of treasure.

10. Purchase of Spanish Armada Miniature; MF-18-00048

Applicant: National Museums NI

Request: Grant of £115,000 (55%)

Project: To acquire a cabinet miniature depicting the Spanish Armada dating to c1600-05, currently on export stop. The miniature was a rare early depiction of the Armada and was an exceptional depiction of Elizabeth I's role rallying the troops at Tilbury and also as an early example of the emerging genre of marine painting. The miniature would be exported if NMNI could not raise funds by the deferral deadline on 13 March.

The NHMF Panel recommended the project to the Board as a high priority for support.

The Board AWARDED a grant of £115,000 (55%).

11. Saving Hogarths Wollaston Family for the Nation; MF-18-00045

Applicant: Leicester City Museum Service

Request: Grant of £393,575 (70%)

Project: To acquire The Wollaston Family (1730) by William Hogarth. The painting had been on long term loan to Leicester Museums since 1943 and was currently on display at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in its original frame. If the acquisition were to be unsuccessful, the work would most likely be sold at action.

The NHMF Panel had discussed the case as a project enquiry and considered it a high priority for NHMF support.

The Board AWARDED a grant of £393,575 (70%).

12. Strategic Funding Framework 2019-2024: implementation in year 1

Anne Young, Head of Strategic and Corporate Planning, presented the overview and invited trustees to discuss the implementation of some key areas of the new Funding Framework in 2019-2020 and agree the next steps. 

Approach to Major Awards

The Strategic Funding Framework included a commitment to two rounds of major awards; one in 2020-2021 and one in 2022-2023. The anticipated budget for each would be £50m and decision making would be retained by the Board. Under the new SFF there was an opportunity to re-consider the strategic impact hoped for through these major awards.

Trustees recognised the impact of the Fund’s major projects across the UK over the past 25 years. They noted the importance of these large grants, and recognised that The National Lottery Heritage Fund were the only funder capable of a significant contribution to some of these transformational projects. Trustees highlighted the success of natural heritage programmes including Parks for People and Landscape Partnerships and recognised that they could provide even greater benefits for people and communities with grants of over £5M. There was potential to learn lessons from the most successful programmes and projects to replicate and enhance the models.

Trustees recognised the importance of collaboration and encouraging new and non-traditional partnerships, noting that some of the Fund’s most successful projects were those which had engaged completely with communities and which had captured public imagination such as 14-18 NOW and the Hull City of Culture scheme. Trustees recognised the importance of working with partners to promote social agendas such as health and wellbeing.

The Board agreed the need for clear communication and messaging around the launch of the major awards, setting out the expectations, avoiding any ambiguity and providing clear parameters to funding.

The Board also discussed the timeframe for grant giving from receiving applications to the decision meeting, asking staff to consider this further. The Strategy team would work up proposals in detail.


The Board were asked to agree two grant funded elements of the capacity building programme.

Capacity building and resilience: business support programme

The Board noted a continued need for core business support, building on the Fund’s leadership position as the sole provider of financial support and research in resilience issues across the heritage sector. Research was currently being undertaken to inform the design of the programme, drawing on ACE’s recent work on resilience in the cultural sector and updated to cover the needs of the wider sector and all four countries. The Board would be updated on the outcome of the research at their meeting in May.

The Board agreed in principle to allocate £3M to fund this campaign.

Match funding incentive for crowdfunding

Trustees noted proposals to build on the positive experience of the Nesta pilot and offer a match-funding contribution to heritage organisations participating in the Christmas ‘Big Give’.

Trustees commented that whilst crowdfunding might offer a good platform for some, inexperienced

individuals might need coaching to develop and deliver an effective crowdfunding campaign for a heritage project. Staff agreed to signpost an example and to ask Big Give to share lessons more widely.  Some concerns were raised that the brand ‘Christmas’ might deter some participants from applying.

Decision: The Board agreed a grant of £262,500 (including £12,500 administration costs) to the Big Give to be offered as match funding for heritage organisations in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019.  

Other heritage campaigns 2019-2020

The Board noted Digital capabilities was a DCMS commitment for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 as part of the Culture is Digital project and we had earmarked £1m over the two years.  Wellbeing was scheduled for 2020-2021 and would encourage and showcase transformative work and advocate for stronger cross-sector partnership working across the UK. Discussions were taking place with potential partners including Nesta Health Lab.

The Board noted that the full proposals, scope and delivery model would be brought to a future Board meeting for discussion.  Trustees acknowledged that these were UK-wide campaigns and that the SFF provided flexibility for countries to deliver different campaigns.

International strategy and our leadership role

The Board noted the opportunities for the Fund developing a leadership role on international working in the heritage sector. Whilst acknowledging there was a need for more high level leadership, the approach and scope required more careful consideration and this presented a key change to the current remit. The Board requested an opportunity to discuss at a future meeting.

12a. Major Grants the first 100 summary report major awards over £5m 2020

The Board noted the summary report.

12b. Major Awards over £5m 2020-2021

The Board noted the list of all Major Batch projects

12c. Heritage Campaigns  

The Board noted the key features of future campaigns.

12d. Charitable Giving in heritage and the wider sector

The Board noted the paper.

12e. Resilience and capacity building campaign

The Board noted the paper.

12f. International Working

Trustees noted the current approach to developing a leadership position on international working and requested further detail and an opportunity to discuss at a future Board meeting.

13. Guest Speakers

The Chair welcomed Tamalie Newbery,  Chief Executive of Brooklands Museum and Julie Procter, Chief Executive of Greenspace Scotland to the meeting. Each delivered a presentation on the subject of ‘resilience’ in relation to their sector and experience.

Papers for information

14. Schedule of Delegated Decisions (circulated electronically)

The Board noted the Schedule.

15. Any other business

There was no other business.

The next meeting would be held on 26 March 2019.