Board decisions: July 2019

Summary minutes of the Board of Trustees meeting on 23 July 2019 at 11.00 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
  • Ray McFarlane
  • Steve Miller
  • Rene Olivieri
  • David Stocker
  • Tom Tew


  • Perdita Hunt

Board Business

1. Governance Review Report and Recommendations

B 19/20 (3) 1

Campbell Tickell introduced the report and a series of recommendations on the back of the governance review. They had undertaken a series of interviews with Trustees and the Executive, attended a number Board and Committee meetings and attended Strategy and Performance Group with senior members of staff.

As a result of the findings of the review, Campbell Tickell had made a number of recommendations. The Board expressed broad support for the findings and recommendations in the report, including the emphasis on diversity and increasing time and space for the Board to discuss strategic matters.

The Board asked the Executive and Governance team to develop a detailed plan for the implementation of recommendations for discussion at the Board meeting in September.


2. Minutes of the Board meeting on 25 June 2019 and matters arising

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The minutes were agreed subject to a number of amendments:

  • Some minor additions to the discussion around item 6, Audit and Risk Committee minutes.

  • Item 13. The applicant was the National Gallery, not the National Portrait Gallery.

  • The wording of item 15, Papers of the Villiers Family, required amendments to wording around enslavement and the way the material would be used.


3. Chair’s Report

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The Chair, Sir Peter Luff, highlighted the importance of National Lottery recognition and branding in the marketing of National Lottery Heritage Fund projects, noting that The Fund needed to enforce this as part of the grant conditions for a specified period of time.

The Board discussed society lotteries, noting that the government had agreed that the maximum annual sales limit would rise from £10M to £50M and the maximum draw prize would rise to £500,000 in the next 12 months. The Chair would send a letter to the Secretary of State to seek reassurance about these changes.

The National Trust had proposed a joint session to discuss parks on the back of the back of Future Parks Accelerator. The format of the meeting was yet to be decided.


4. Chief Executive’s Report and Corporate Update

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Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, provided an update on staffing. A new interim Head of Marketing had been appointed and would be starting on 12 August. The staff over-complement had now been resolved.

The Executive provided updates from Business Insight and Innovation, Business Delivery and Business Services, including:

  • Head Office was relocating to St Katherine Dock with a phased move beginning the following week. New offices for the teams based in Newcastle and Exeter had also been secured.

  • There had been a significant increase in National Lottery mentions in press coverage over the past quarter.

  • Trustees noted the Key Performance Indicators and asked whether the Executive Director of Business Services could add a note to each item to confirm whether it was a cause for concern.

  • The Beckenham Place Park launch event had been well attended. A live complaint was still in progress regarding the Park but officers were pleased with the completed project and it had been generally very well received by the public.


5. SFF Recommendations and Lessons Learned

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The Board noted the report, highlighting that it was a worthwhile exercise and a good exercise in discipline.


National Heritage Memorial Fund


6. Report on NHMF

Since the last meeting, an award of £38,500 had been made to Gainsborough's House Society to save the Joseph Mahoon Double-Manual Harpsichord for the nation.


Request for a loan

7. The Silverstone Heritage Experience and Collections and Research Centre, Northamptonshire

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Grantee: Silverstone Heritage Ltd

Request: 1. Agree a loan of £1,300,000 on commercial rates (subject to legal advice).  2. If loan not possible, agree a grant increase of £1,300,000 (subject to state aid clearance).

Project: To interpret and explain the heritage of Silverstone and British motorsport to the public and protect it for future generations through the creation of an interactive and educational visitor experience. The loan would address a short term costs crisis and protect the Fund’s investment, following administration of the main contractor. Work was otherwise almost complete on what would be a high quality heritage destination. Without this increase, work on site would need to stop to prevent insolvency, causing significant risks and further cost increases.

The Board had awarded a grant of £8,664,500 (46%) in November 2016.

The Board APPROVED the recommendation to 1. Agree a loan of £1,300,000 on commercial rates (subject to legal advice). 2. If loan not possible, agree a grant increase of £1,300,000 (subject to state aid clearance).


For Information

8. Schedule of Delegated Decisions (circulated electronically)

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The Board noted the schedule of delegated decisions.

9. Any other business


There was none.

The next meeting will be held on 24 September 2019