Board meeting: June 2021 (Heritage Horizon Awards)

Minutes of the NHMF Board of Trustees Heritage Horizon Awards meeting on 29 June 2021 at 12.00 noon on Microsoft Teams


  • Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, Trustee                                 
  • Kay Andrews, Trustee                                                                 
  • Jim Dixon, Trustee
  • Claire Feehily, Trustee (Chair)
  • Ray Macfarlane, Trustee
  • Mukesh Sharma, Trustee
  • David Stocker, Trustee


  • Susan Beardsmore, Committee Chair, England, Midlands and East
  • Stephen Boyce, Committee Chair, England, London and South


  • Tiffany Hunt, Committee Chair, England, North

Welcomes and Introduction

Claire Feehily welcomed everyone to the meeting. Claire would be chairing the meeting in Simon Thurley’s absence, due to his conflict of interest.

She commended the team for the quality of the papers.

A number of declarations of interest had been made:

  • Simon Thurley, NHMF Chair, had declared a conflict of interests with HHA2019: Save Mavisbank: Pioneering Approaches to Heritage & Communities (OL-19-03936) as his wife was the Chief Executive of the Landmark Trust, a partner in the project. Simon did not attend the meeting or receive the papers.
  • Tiffany Hunt had declared an interest in HA2019: Secured for our Future – Nature, World Heritage and Farming in the Lake District (OL-19-03962). She was on the Board of the Lake District National Park Authority who had overall responsibility for Park management. She did not attend the meeting and did not receive the papers.
  • David Stocker noted that he was on the Council of the National Trust. The Trust were a partner in HHA2019: Diving In: a future for Moseley Road Baths (OL-19-03607) and also HHA2019 Great Yarmouth Winter Gardens- Reimagining the People's Palace (OL-19-03858). He had no knowledge of the projects and did not stand to gain from their success. The Board were content that these did not represent a conflict of interests.

Overview, positioning and budget

The Heritage Horizon Awards Programme Manager provided an overview of the programme.

The Heritage Horizon Awards programme, launched in summer 2019, was designed to revolutionise the UK’s heritage through investment in ambitious, innovative and transformational projects. The programme aimed to achieve:

  • projects from a full range of heritage, with a particular focus on current strategic priorities of landscape and nature and heritage at risk
  • substantial proposals for recognising the contribution of The National Lottery
  • exceptional proposals including involving a wide range of people in heritage
  • proposals that address our COVID-19 priority outcomes.

12 applications had been received totalling £120,595,900 against a budget for the meeting of £50 million.

Five projects had received a medium or low priority ranking from Area and Country Committees. These projects were of a good standard, but were not deemed to be transformative enough to be awarded.

In relation to the papers they had received, having considered them fully, and taking into account the ranking from Committee meetings, the Board agreed that these five projects were of a comparably lower standard and agreed to reject the five cases:

  • HHA2019: Shipshape & Brunel Fashion - Bristol’s Gateway to the Globe   
  • HHA2019: Secured for our Future – Nature, World Heritage and Farming in the Lake District           
  • HHA2019: Vision 2025: Becoming the World’s Railway Museum     
  • HHA2019: Save Mavisbank: Pioneering Approaches to Heritage & Communities 
  • HHA2019: Transforming the Ulster Folk Museum: A People's Project          

Three projects had been assessed as high priority cases by officers and Area and Country Committees:

  • Peatland Progress
  • Plymouth Sound National Marine Park
  • Cairngorms 2030.

These projects were deemed to have the most potential to deliver big ideas and be truly transformational due to their scale and ambition, tackling major national and international themes relating to the climate emergency.

The Board considered:

  • these were the three strongest projects in terms of their transformative nature and potential reach
  • that these three natural heritage projects would be an excellent package of awards to show The Fund’s commitment to Land and Nature
  • that Plymouth and Peatland Progress were particularly strong due to their innovation and should be given awards

The Board had a further discussion about Cairngorms 2030 and comments included:

  • this was a strong project but some Trustees felt it did not have the same level of innovation as the other two schemes. Others felt it was particularly transformational in its approach to land management partnerships and would showcase innovative, collaborative models.
  • the strong partnerships underpinning the project and excellent community engagement.
  • the project was aimed at environmental improvement and attempted to achieve 2050 net-zero targets

On the basis of these discussions and the papers they had received and read, weighing them up against all of the criteria, the Board awarded the following grants:

  • HHA2019: Plymouth Sound National Marine Park: award development grant of £921,500 and potential delivery grant of £8,660,600
  • HHA2019: Peatland Progress: A New Vision for the Fens: award development grant of £207,900 and potential delivery grant of £7,978,300
  • HHA2019: Cairngorms 2030: people and nature thriving together: award development grant of £1,715,500 and potential delivery grant of £10,770,600

The four remaining projects were presented by the Country and Area Directors.

Overall, the Board agreed that all four projects were very strong and discussed the pros and cons of supporting each of the schemes, and consideration of the balance of the portfolio in terms of heritage and geography. They discussed whether there was potential for some of the projects to be phased or whether they might go ahead even without our funding.

On the basis of all the presentations and discussions and the papers they had received and read, weighing them up against all of the criteria, the Board then proceeded to a decision. International Slavery Museum received the highest number of votes and the Board agreed to award a grant. Moseley Road Baths received the lowest number of votes and the Board decided to reject the application.

Great Yarmouth Winter Gardens and Creative Archives received the same number of votes. After a vote between the two projects, Great Yarmouth Winter Gardens received the highest number of votes and was awarded a grant.

  • HHA2019: Great Yarmouth Winter Gardens - Reimagining the People’s Palace: award development grant of £420,800 and potential delivery grant of £9,556,300
  • HHA2019: Diving in: a future for Moseley Road Baths: reject
  • HHA2019: International Slavery Museum - Igniting Ideas and Action: award development grant of £2,958,900 and potential delivery grant of £6,971,100
  • HHA2019: Creative Archives - Denbighshire & Flintshire Joint Archive Project: reject

The Chair thanked the Board for their time and consideration on these important projects.

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