Board meeting: September 2019

Summary minutes of the Board of Trustees meeting on 24 September 2019 at 11.00 a.m. in Gallery 1-2, Doubletree Hilton, Tower Hill.



  • Peter Luff (Chair)
  • Maria Adebowale-Schwarte
  • Anna Carragher
  • Jim Dixon
  • Claire Feehily
  • Sarah Flannigan
  • Perdita Hunt
  • Ray McFarlane
  • Steve Miller
  • Rene Olivieri
  • David Stocker


  • Sue Beardsmore (Chair of the Committee for England, Midlands & South)
  • Blondel Cluff (Chair of the Committee for England, London & South)
  • Tiffany Hunt (Chair of the Committee for England, North)


  • Kay Andrews
  • Tom Tew


Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Board, welcomed everyone to the meeting. Tiffany Hunt, Sue Beardsmore and Blondel Cluff, Chairs of the England Committees were in attendance.

Apologies had been received from Kay Andrews and Tom Tew.

Board business

1. Minutes of the Board meeting on 23 July 2019 and matters arising

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The minutes were agreed to be a true account of the meeting and signed by the Chair.

2. Declarations of interest


Steve Miller declared an interest in item 9, Inspiring People: Transforming Our National Portrait Gallery. Steve noted that he was currently the Head of Norfolk Museums Service, who would be loaned a painting as part of the scheme.

3. Chair’s Report

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Sir Peter Luff reported that he had attended the Committee for England, London & South at Kresen Kernow on 4 September. The opening had been met with positivity and had received good media coverage.

4. Chief Executive’s Report and Corporate Update

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Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, provided an update on corporate activity.

The Board considered the CEO’s request for decisions relating to the application or allocation of amounts up to £250,000 under the Digital Campaign to be delegated to the Executive Director Business Delivery and/or the Director of Investment. The Board approved this delegation.

The Executive would bring back a paper on delegations to the Board in December.

The Board was reminded of the discussion at its meeting in December 2018 concerning the then proposed partnership with Historic England in relation to HE’s Historic High Streets Initiative.  The Board confirmed and ratified the decision to make a £3 million investment in the Cultural Programme partnership (as previously discussed at the Board meeting in December 2018). The Board also ratified actions taken by the Fund’s staff on the basis of the aforementioned decision.

The Board made the following points about the investment:

  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund should retain decision making powers and control over its investment. Eilish McGuinness’s membership of the Project Board was noted and the Board recognised that The Fund staff were helping to design and deliver the programme.
  • The importance of ensuring The Fund received recognition for its contribution to the programme.

The Board congratulated the Executive on the successful office move of Head Office to St Katharine Docks.

Colin Bailey, Executive Director of Business Services, provided an update on Lottery income. July had been buoyant with £30.1 income, with August, considerably lower at £24.9M. Extrapolated, this would give income of £317M, close to Camelot’s own view of £320M.

5. Committee Summary: Country and Area Committee Transition Year

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Eilish McGuinness, Executive Director of Business Delivery, presented the paper.

The Expression of Interest process was working well, benefiting both staff and applicants. Those applying were given a view of their project before they worked up proposals in detail, with Fund staff engaging earlier in the process and providing structured advice.

The Board agreed this was a useful paper and thanked Eilish for her work.

Trustees discussed places of worship and how they were impacted by the new mandatory outcome to involve a wider range of people in heritage, noting that some projects which might have been successful in the past would struggle to achieve this. They suggested that information for places of worship could be communicated through the Diocesan Advisory Network.

6. Feedback from Country and Area Committees

Feedback was provided from the Country and Area Chairs.

Applications for decision

7. City of Culture Bid: Coventry

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Applicant: Coventry City of Culture Trust (CCCT)

Request: Grant of £3,000,000 (90%)

Project: A solicited application from Coventry City of Culture Trust contributing to the high profile cultural programme to be delivered in 2021. The proposals would relate specifically to a nature engagement strand within the wider programme, exploring new ways to engage a diverse urban audience in valuing landscape and nature in daily life.

The Board AWARDED a grant of £3,000,000 (90%).

8. Major Grants Overview Paper

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The Board noted the Overview.

9. Inspiring People: Transforming Our National Portrait Gallery (NPG)

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Applicant: National Portrait Gallery

Request: Grant of £8,500,000 (25%)

Project: A programme of capital works and activities to include the provision of a new learning centre, re-organisation and public use of the East Wing; re-hanging of 40 galleries; a new, more welcoming three door entrance; and extension of the Main Hall. A wide programme of activities would be delivered including a school programme underpinned by training, Youth Collectives creating a more central role for young people to shape the gallery and its future.

A first round pass of £9,400,000 including a development grant of £900,000 (37% of total eligible development costs) in April 2017.

The Board AWARDED a grant of £8,500,000 (25%).

10. Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City

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Applicant: Hull City Council

Request: Grant of £13,631,500 (47%)

Project: A five year heritage-driven city-wide cultural regeneration and place-making project that will continue to catalyse the transformation and momentum initiated by UK City of Culture 2017 in Hull. The scheme would involve five separate sites across the city; Hull Maritime Museum, Dock Office Chambers, the historic North End Shipyard and the two historic vessels of Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship. Following the examples of Liverpool and Bristol, the project would unify and reconnect these key maritime elements into one engaging heritage experience. Proposals would also include new pedestrian crossings and city-wide wayfinding,

The Board awarded a first round pass of £14,999,900 including a development grant of £1,368,400 (56% of total eligible development costs) in September 2017.

The Committee for England, North recommended the project to the Board as a high priority for support.

The Board AWARDED a grant of £13,631,500 (47%).

National Heritage Memorial Fund

11. NHMF Report

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£5m grant-in-aid had been received for the financial year 2019-20 with £4.9m to be awarded for grants and the remaining £100,000 allocated to administration of the Fund.

Four NHMF applications would be presented to the Board for decision in October.

12. Acquisition of Sir Charles Lyell’s notebooks

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Since the paper was written, the University of Edinburgh had reduced their request to £235,620 (24% of total costs) due to an increased number of pledges to the University adding almost £90,000 to their fundraising total.

Applicant: University of Edinburgh

Request: Grant of £235,620 (24%)

Project: To acquire by purchase the 294 notebooks of the scientist Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875), which recently had an export bar granted. After acquisition the applicant would make them accessible to academics and the general public through a programme of conservation, cataloguing, digitisation, exhibition and display, as well as a range of academic and educational engagement projects and activities.

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

The Board AWARDED a grant of £235,620 (24%)

13. Governance Review

The Board were presented with the Governance Review, Implementation Plan and draft Board skills matrix.

The paper submitted to the Board requested approval of:

(i)         the plan and its implementation; and

(ii)        the Executive Team having the ability, during the implementation process, to amend the plan as it deemed necessary or appropriate, provided that the Governance Team reports to the Board any significant deviations from the approved plan. 

The Board approved the Governance Review Implementation Plan. It also approved the Executive Team’s ability to amend the plan during the implementation as necessary, provided that the Governance Team would report to the Board on any significant deviations from the approved plan. The Governance Team would in any event be providing updates on the progress of the implementation over the coming months.

Trustees also approved the Board Skills Matrix subject to a number of minor additions.

14. Schedule of delegated decisions

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The Board noted the schedule of decisions.

15. Any other business


The Board said goodbye to Anna Carragher who was attending her final meeting as Trustee for Northern Ireland. Jim Dixon had agreed to step in until a new Trustee was appointed.

Sir Peter Luff had also announced that he would be stepping down as Chair at the end of 2020.

The next meeting would be held on 29 October 2019 at The Tower Hotel.