England, London & South: Committee decisions, September 2021

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee for England, London & South held virtually on Tuesday 14 September 2021 at 9.30am

Members     

  • Chair Stephen Boyce
  • Bill Ferris
  • Tamsin Daniel (not items 6, 7, 8, 14 (part))
  • Claire Feehily (Trustee)
  • Lydia Lee
  • Claire Madge
  • Peter Neal
  • Neena Sohal
  • Evelyn Stacey (until item 14)
  • Simon Thurley (until item 9)

Apologies

  • None

Committee Business

Welcomes and apologies

The interim Chair welcomed the Committee to the June meeting held via Microsoft Teams.

Minutes from the last meeting on 16 March 2021 and matters arising

The minutes were agreed as a true record of the meeting.

There were no matters arising.

Declarations of Interest

Tamsin Daniel declared an interest in the Heritage Horizons application made by Plymouth City Council and left the meeting for that item.

Chair’s Report

The Interim Chair had circulated a written report on the following, which was noted with thanks:

Events

  • cultural learning in outdoor spaces and places
  • panel member for Real Ideas Organisation webinar

Training attended

  • environmental sustainability
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Project visits

  • Bevis Marks Synagogue project launch (virtual)
  • SAVED – Shaftesbury Abbey project film (online)
  • Heritage Horizons Awards virtual visits – SS Great Britain and Plymouth City Council
  • Dorset Museum preview tour and radio interview, and how transformational this award had been to put the museum on a par with metropolitan museums.

After Committee members introduced themselves, the Chair of the Heritage Fund gave a verbal report, that included:

  • there was an amazing array of talent on the Committee
  • the review of governance was in progress still. Recruitment of Chairs for the Committees for England (who would be trustees as well) was underway. The Chair thanked Committee members for extending their terms and transitioning from the former committees for London, South East and South West
  • The Heritage Fund would invest between £6 & £7bn over the next 20 years, and the importance of ensuring that the UK was a better place for all

Corporate Update

Eilish McGuinness presented the corporate update. From the report circulated, Eilish highlighted the celebration of 40 years of the National Memorial Heritage Fund, including the panel discussion chaired by Tristram Hunt, available to view.

The Chair of the Audit Committee had held its end of year review. She had been pleased with the third party confirmation of the performance of The Heritage Fund over the previous year.

Annual Report and Team Plan

Stuart McLeod and Michelle Roffe presented the Annual Report for 2020/21 and Team Plan for 2021/22. Both were noted with thanks. They highlighted:

  • this had been a year like no other, with thanks to the Team for the way they adapted and rose to the challenge
  • the London Wildlife Trust: as an example of how the Team had used a full toolkit of support measures for projects experiencing issues due to the pandemic after listening to the needs of the grantee
  • the benefits of stakeholder engagement
  • the gap between aspirations and applications on the inclusion outcome
  • forthcoming work on values, behaviours and EDI
  • committee appointments, the change in role of the Chair (becoming a Trustee) and induction.

Comments and questions included:

  • the importance of the inclusion outcome, and that this was integral to a project (and could not be bolted)
  • the importance of longer term evaluation, especially of the resilience of the grantee, over a three to five year period
  • being sustainable was costly upfront, with the benefits realised over a longer period, and would require retrofit of buildings
  • those Committee members who continued to serve could buddy new appointees
  • thanks from all Committee members to the Team for work over the past 12 months
  • more applications were required from groups without capital assets and those led by members of diverse ethnic communities

Area Director’s Report

Stuart McLeod presented the report that included the local context to the corporate update. Stuart gave an update of the Future Parks Accelerator funding programme.

The Committee agreed that Future Parks Accelerator was an ambitious programme, and not all of the applicants would have been able to complete. It was important to understand why, and incorporate learnings into future programmes.

Areas of Focus

Selina Papa presented an update on the Areas of Focus. She was joined by Andrew North and David Farrimond on mapping. This was noted with thanks.

The Committee asked that the chart and maps be provided by email.

Simon Thurley left the meeting at this point.

Area Budget Overview

Michelle Roffe presented the budget paper and provided the Committee with an overview of key details. The Committee noted that the target saving of 20% remained.

The budget was £68.2m.

SF4 Delivery round applications for discussion and decision

The Big Church Project (Restore) - The Roof

Applicant: Blandford Forum PCC

Request: £664,400 (52%)

Project summary: To restore, regenerate and revive the Georgian Church in the Market Place reflecting its builders’ purpose, and serving community needs in the 21st century.

Previous grant award: The Committee for South West England awarded a first round pass of £743,200, including a development grant of £78,800 (65% of total eligible development costs) in December 2018.

The Committee for London and South awarded a grant of £664,400 (52%).

Revitalising Newport Minister

Applicant: The Minster Church of St Thomas, Newport

Request: £869,000 (37%)

Project summary: Newport Minster was the principal civic and spiritual building for the Isle of Wight. The vision was to develop a space to serve all who live, work or visit the Island. The building refurbishment would remove current barriers for its use and enjoyment, and make it welcoming and accessible to all.

Previous grant award: The Committee for South East England had awarded a first-round pass of £999,700, including development grant of £130,700 (49% of eligible development costs) in December 2018.

The Committee for London and South awarded a grant of £869,000 (37%).

SFF Delivery round applications for discussion and decision

The Urban Nature Project: communities acting for local wildlife

Applicant: Natural History Museum

Request: £3,231,900 (23%)

Project summary: The Urban Nature Project would respond to a key challenge of our time: how scientists, nature conservationists and society could work together to better understand the threats to, and improve the state of, UK urban biodiversity. Towns and cities were now a key place to engage people in supporting the UK's natural heritage, for the benefit of both people and nature.

Previous grant award: The Committee for London and South awarded a development grant of £210,900 (37%) and a potential delivery grant of £3,231,900 in September 2019.

The Committee for London and South awarded a grant of £3,231,900 (23%).

Prioritisation of Delivery round items

The Committee noted that all three projects had been rated as high by at least three quarters of the Committee. Therefore, they would be rated as high overall. The Committee agreed to fund all three projects.

Heritage Horizons Awards

The Chair Stuart McLeod and Heritage Fund CEO Ros Kerslake had attended the virtual site visits. Eilish advised that the fund available was £50m for projects across the UK, and that projects should be transformational.

The Committee considered each project in turn, then together. Tamsin Daniel was present only for the discussion on Shipshape & Brunel Fashion.

Shipshape & Brunel Fashion - Bristol's Gateway to the Globe

Applicant: SS Great Britain Trust

Request: Development Grant of £393,000 and potential Delivery Grant of £9,995,000

Project summary: Transforming the SS Great Britain Museum complex, doubling the amount of space open to visitors and providing an innovative new museum space including a full scale model of SS Great Western.

Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

Applicant: Plymouth City Council

Request: Development Grant of £921,500 and potential Delivery Grant of £8,660,600

Project summary: The ‘Park in the Sea’ in Plymouth Sound would transform lives, employment, education, volunteering and environment; re-establishing the bond between people and place that has defined Plymouth.

Tamsin Daniel left the meeting for this item.

The Committee considered both projects. It concluded that the application from Plymouth City Council to be a high priority and that from SS Great Britain Trust to be a medium priority.

Tamsin Daniel re-joined the meeting.

Communications

The Committee welcomed the Communications Officer to the meeting, and noted a presentation on her work, with thanks.

Next meeting

The next meeting would be held on 14 September 2021.