Board decisions: May 2019

Summary minutes of the Board meeting on 15 May 2019 at 9.30 a.m. at 7 Holbein Place, London, SW1W 8NR

Members:    

  • Peter Luff (Chair)
  • Kay Andrews
  • Anna Carragher
  • Jim Dixon
  • Claire Feehily
  • Sarah Flannigan
  • ay Macfarlane
  • Steve Miller
  • David Stocker
  • Tom Tew

Apologies:

  • Maria Adebowale-Schwarte
  • Perdita Hunt
  • René Olivieri

 

Reports

The Chair opened the meeting and welcomed:

  • Ray Macfarlane to her first meeting as the Trustee for Scotland.
  • A representative from Campbell Tickell who was attending the meeting as part of the governance review currently taking place at The Fund. Campbell Tickell would also be attending the Chairs of Country and Area Committees next week and all Committee meetings in June 2019.

The Chair also reported that he had received apologies from Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, Perdita Hunt and René Olivieri ahead of the meeting.

1. Minutes of the Board meeting on 26 March 2019 and matters arising

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Trustees highlighted some minor grammatical mistakes in the minutes and one instance where a project description was incorrect. Following the rectification of these errors the minutes were agreed and signed as a true record of the meeting.

2. Declarations of Interest

Oral

Steve Miller declared a conflict with item 8, ‘Saving for Norfolk, a newly re-discovered pietre dure tabletop belonging to the Paston family’ as he was employed by the applicant organisation. It was agreed that he would leave the room during discussion of this case.

Steve Miller also declared an interest in item 7, ‘Acquisition of Spencer Gore Painting - The West Pier, Brighton’ through his connection with National Museum Directors’ Council. The Board were content that this did not constitute a conflict and he could remain in the room during discussion.

3. Chair’s Report

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The Chair presented his report.

Ahead of the renewal of the Fourth Lottery Licence, the Chair highlighted the increasing popularity of the Society Lotteries and that some exploratory work into how they market themselves might offer good learning opportunities.

4. Chief Executive’s Report and Corporate Update

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Trustees were asked to approve the grammatical changes made to the job titles for the Country and Area Directors in Business Delivery. These were agreed by Trustees.

Ros Kerslake then presented the rest of the paper and highlighted the following elements:

  • The Fund was currently in a restricted period due to the European elections. Trustees were reminded that grants were not currently being announced.
  • The new organisational structure had been launched in April. There were still a few staff who were considered to be ‘over-complement’ within their roles. Work was being done to resolve these instances as soon as possible.
  • All staff had new emails address under the ‘heritagefund’ domain to reflect the new branding.
  • That work was going well ahead of the London office move to St Katherine Docks.
  • That the government had recently released new guidelines in regards to Bribery and Corruption and asked Trustee to read over these new regulations.
  • That The Fund had given grants to five of the museums nominated in the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019.

Staff and Trustees also discussed the importance of communications with the wider sector in advance of the first Committee meetings under the new structure in June 2019 to ensure they felt secure and confident in the new decision making structures. It was also highlighted that now Committee were decision makers for our large grants there would need to be careful communication management in each area and country to ensure good relationships continued between applicants/ grantees and the Committee members. Trustees were also pleased to hear that successful training had taken place with new Committee members to ensure they were equipped to assess projects under our new Strategic Funding Framework (SFF).

An updated was provided on the Governance Review.

5. Minutes Audit and Risk Committee 15 April 2019

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The minutes were presented by Claire Feehily, Chair of the Committee and were noted by the Trustees.

 

Memorial Fund

6. NHMF Report

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The report was presented by the Senior NHMF Manager who highlighted that since writing the paper there had been updates to the pipeline with many of the grant requests moving away from the first quarter to later in the financial year. Trustees were reassured to hear this and would allow the budget for the year to be managed more easily.

7 Grant increase request: Acquisition of Spencer Gore Painting - The West Pier, Brighton

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Applicant: Royal Pavilion & Museums

Request: Award Grant Increase of £25,538 to make a total grant of £143,538 (41%)

Project: The painting was a key work by an important British artist and was included in the 1913 exhibition at Brighton, intended as a show of unity by the artists of the English avant-garde. Always having been in private ownership, with only intermittent public display, the acquisition would allow the painting to be displayed to a wider audience on a more permanent basis at Brighton and Hove Museum & Gallery on rotation.

Reason for grant increase: Royal Pavilion and Museums (RPM) were awarded an NHMF grant in December 2018 to acquire this Spencer Gore painting. They were unable to realise their projected total of partnership funding due to circumstances beyond their control. The vendor had extended their offer to allow extra time for fundraising, but was now anxious to complete the sale.

The Board AWARDED a grant increase of £25,538 to make a total grant of £143,538 (41%)

8. Saving for Norfolk a newly re-discovered pietre dure tabletop belonging to the Paston family

Steve Miller left the room during this item

Applicant: Norfolk Museums Service

Request: Award Grant of £651,000 (69%)

Project: To acquire a pietre dure table-top which was commissioned in Florence by William Paston (1610-1663), one of the earliest Grand Tourists, when he visited the Grand Ducal Workshops, Florence, in 1638.

9. Purchasing the archive of John Lambton, First Earl of Durham

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Applicant: Durham University

Request: Award Grant of £302,000 (44%)

Project: To acquire the archive of John Lambton, First Earl of Durham (1792-1840), which had been offered to them on a first refusal basis. The archive comprised 81 boxes and 43 volumes, containing unique original material relating to key political developments in the first half of the 19th century such as the Reform Bill, to Lambton’s international roles and to well-known 19th century events, subjects and people, including the Peterloo Massacre.

The Board AWARDED a grant of £302,000 (44%)

 

National Lottery Heritage Fund Strategic Funding Framework 2019-2024

10. Strategic Funding Framework 2019-2024: Overview

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During the meeting the Trustees would discuss three different aspects of the new SFF; the digital campaign, international working and the annual economic impact of The Fund.

11. Digital Skills Campaign

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The paper highlighted:

  • That this was the first attempt to create a campaign that did not replicate the targeted programme model.
  • The distribution of the budget meant that the campaign would not be a ‘one off’ grant programme but a longer-term intervention with repetition of messages that would allow real improvements in digital in the heritage sector.

The Board noted that this campaign was not concerned with trying to introduce the most up-to-date technology into heritage organisations but to develop the heritage organisation’s basic digital skills. In order to achieve this, and have the largest impact on the sector, the Board acknowledged that the campaign would engage with organisations who had the lowest digital skills. It would allow them to develop their skills so that they could effectively use digital to both interpret heritage and use it in their day-to-day administration tasks. Once confident in their skills The Fund would encourage peer-to-peer learning, which would allow the campaign to have a much wider impact on the sector than just on those organisations engaged with during the campaign.

The Board were pleased with the proposal and gave authority to proceed with the campaign.

Presentations

12. International working and our leadership role

The Chair welcomed a number of speakers who provided presentations on how their organisations worked internationally.

13. The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s contribution to the UK economy

The Board noted the report.

 

Papers for Information

14. Schedule of Delegated Decisions

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The paper was noted.

15. Any other business

Oral

There was none.

The next meeting will be held on 25 June 2019