England, London & South: Committee minutes March 2023

England, London & South: Committee minutes March 2023

Minutes of the Committee for London and South meeting held on 14 March, 10am in Studio 3 at the Mayflower Studios, Southampton and via Microsoft Teams.


  • Taryn Nixon (Chair)  
  • Stephen Boyce 
  • Nick Holliday 
  • Lydia Lee 
  • Peter Neal 
  • Richard Smith 
  • Claire Madge 


  • Caroline Kay

Committee Business

Welcomes and apologies

The Chair welcomed the Committee to the March meeting held via Microsoft Teams, and in person at Mayflower Studios, Southampton. 

Apologies were received from Caroline Kay.

Minutes from the last meeting on 29 November 2022 and matters arising

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

There were no matters arising. 

Declarations of interest

The following was noted: 

  • Caroline Kay is a Board member of the National Trust. Therefore, she must leave the meeting for any project where the Trust is an applicant, or significant partner to an application.
  • Caroline Kay declared a conflict for item 21, ‘Future Saltram’. The National Trust is the lead applicant. Caroline was not in attendance. 
  • Lydia Lee declared a conflict for item 19, ‘Restoring the Heritage of the iconic Crystal Palace Park for all’. Lydia works as Assistant Director of Culture and Regeneration at Bromley Council and is the main contact for this project. Lydia would be required to leave the room for this item.
  • Nick Holliday declared a conflict for item 22, ‘Exmoor Pioneers: Past, Present and Future’. Nick served as a Secretary of State appointee and was Deputy Chairman until June 2020. Nick would be required to leave the room for this item.
  • Claire Madge declared for item 16 ‘Reactivating Palais de Danse’. Claire works for the National Museums Directors Council (NMDC) as their Newsletter Editor, and the NMDC’s offices are located at Tate Britain. Claire is employed as a paid freelancer through Tate but does not work for Tate specifically and was not involved in the project. No direct conflicted was identified.

Chair’s report 

The Chair’s report was received as follows:

  • Since the last meeting the Chair had visited: Brighton Corn Exchange; Brighton Pavilion; Charleston House and the Charleston House Trust property in Lewes; the Old Laboratory at RHS Wisley; and ZSL with their Chief Executive, to view Snowdon Aviary (Monkey Valley) and hear about future plans. She had attended two Board meetings, and the new Strategy launch on 2nd March, which had been extremely well received by the c.200 stakeholders present.
  • Internally, the Chair had attended the February Delegated decision meeting as an observer, and commented on the value of doing so for seeing applications with wider regional or even national strategic potential. 
  • Three new Committee members had been appointed and were welcomed as observers for this March Committee meeting:  Andrew Vines, Carole Stewart, and Nicolle Collomb. 
  • The Committee had convened for a valuable place-focused Away Day in LB Newham at the end of February to consider lessons learned from the Areas of Focus initiative and consider the future place initiative. The Chair thanked the L&S team for researching, presenting, and organising an excellent day for considering future strategy.

Corporate update

A report to the February Board meeting from Chief Executive Office (CEO) Eilish McGuinness was circulated in advance. Anne Jenkins presented the corporate update which was noted with thanks. It included:

  • An update on the progress of the strategy refresh and launch. 
  • A grant increase to Groundwork UK for the New to Nature partnership programme had been approved by the Board at the February meeting. The Increase would help to expand work with young people and employment.  

The comments and questions from Committee included:

  • A request for further information regarding awards made through the Heritage Innovation Fund: the Board was considering next steps and further information would follow.
  • Questions regarding the delivery timeline of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) Species Survival Fund, and the value of reflecting on learnings from the Trees Call to Action programme: the timeline would be determined by DEFRA and Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS); further information would follow.
  • Staffing and resources as the Fund moves into its new 10-year strategy (Heritage 2033): resourcing across the Business Delivery team was being considered, including in the context of the new Strategy. Further detail would be provided in the June Overview.

Area overview

Stuart McLeod presented the Area Overview Paper for the London and South area which included:

  • Thanks to the London and South team and Committee for their hard work over an exceptional year with a heavy workload, and the successful administration of substantial Grant-in-Aid funding. Demand remained consistently high across all grant programmes with resource needs for the Area under consideration.
  • An update on the ongoing, business-critical system migration, from the Fund’s old grant management system (GEMS08) to the new Investment Management Service (IMS).
  • The upcoming London and South ‘All Team away day’ at the end of April, in Oxford - the first opportunity since 2019 for the team to meet in person and celebrate the achievements of the last four years.
  • Commented on the excitement and optimism, felt across the team, for Heritage 2033.
  • Changes in the governance structure at Union Chapel (London), with the imminent departure of their CEO: Committee were assured that the Fund was monitoring the transition so that continuity would be maintained.

Michelle Roffe presented an overview of the budget for the London and South area which included:

  • Details of both the delegated and committee budgets to date, highlighting the substantial increase in applications which could be attributed in part to the team’s work with the Dynamic Collections Campaign and around Resilience. 
  • The geographic spread of development round awards made since April 2019, and applications to be considered at this meeting.
  • Since April 2022, the London and South region had awarded 251 awards grants and 10 grant increases through the small and medium grants programmes. The Committee had awarded seven uplifts, five grant increases and twenty-one development round applications with grants totaling £54m in the financial year to date.

Questions and comments included:

  • That it would now be beneficial for the Committee to explore the overall balance of the current portfolio of funded projects, to support future decision making. This could usefully be joined with the analysis of Delegated grant decisions, intended for Committee consideration in autumn 2023, and, going forward, would also provide valuable data for monitoring of Heritage 2033 implementation.
  • The value of considering the suitability of delivery round site visits, and their fit with both the current framework and Heritage 2033.
  • An impact statement will be presented at the next Committee meeting (June 2023) to illustrate the impact of smaller grants and help in the identification of geographical funding gaps.

Place identification

Stuart McLeod, Richard Bellamy and Selina Papa introduced the Place identification process for the London and South area which included:

  • Background to the Fund’s place approach in the past, including use of Indices of Mass Deprivation, identifying cold spots of underinvestment and Priority Places, the Areas of Focus programme, the development of a Place Index and the role of the open and other programmes in working with place. 
  • An outline of process, timetable and mechanisms underpinning the new strategy.
  • The Fund’s ambition to support at least 20 places over the next 10 years, demonstrating a significant commitment to the locations selected. The challenge was to influence real change in policy and practice within a 10-year framework, and not to restrict thinking to predefined Local Authority or even geographical boundaries such as towns and cities. It was proposed that projects of all heritage types would witness some benefit through programme. 
  • In addition to the identified 20 places, the Fund would launch strategic initiatives focusing on Landscape and Nature, Urban Green Spaces and Heritage in Need. There would be continued commitment through the London and South Areas of Focus (AoF) in the London Boroughs of Newham, Enfield and Brent until at least 2024.
  • The extended time frame represented a longer commitment than previous initiatives.
  • The importance of partnerships and leadership, and the consideration of other forms of investment in heritage, culture and tourism. Working with existing networks, and a coordinated approach to include multiple types of heritage and embrace initiatives from other funders would increase impact, demonstrating visible change. Leadership within each place was important for the success of the initiative, and consideration should be given to the ambitions, messaging, timing of announcements and the role of communities and pride of place to ensure success.

The Committee was asked to consider the shortlist of recommended places

  • This had undergone a rigorous process of review which considered the opportunities presented in the place alongside the Fund’s ability to effect change visibly and tangibly. 
  • The process considered the approach to be taken in rural areas, and the need for a programme that caters to the deep-rooted sense of place often found in rural locations. 
  • The shortlist had been developed by the team and further refined at and following the Committee Away Day discussions in Newham in February. Some places which had initially scored highly due to their abundant heritage assets and/or high indices of deprivation were not recommended for the selection for the first cohort of places, for example due to high proportions of recent and current investment.
  • Consideration should be given to further development of the Place Index to address anomalies, and an emphasis on local knowledge in the process. A request for more detailed special mapping to better understand how funding works with other elements.

The Committee was invited to select two locations from those shortlisted to recommend to the Board

  • In discussion, emphasis was laid on the Committee’s wish to address rural and landscape scale places, and to develop clear outcomes for what the place initiative seeks to achieve, with reference to the Heritage 2033 principles. 
  • The Committee had considered whether three London & South places might be included in the initiative, subject to resourcing, and discussed the benefits of announcing subsequent target places soon, so as to enable a ten year commitment to each of them. 
  • It was noted that the Areas of Focus commitment would continue for another year. 
  • Committee members commented that they would be pleased to engage in detailed discussion about specific places and place outcomes. 

The committee agreed the recommendation that Torbay (with Gloucester in reserve) and Medway (with Gosport in reserve) should be put forward to the Board. These were Local Authority areas which offered both rural and urban distinctiveness and which, subject to exploration with the relevant authorities, appeared to have the requisite momentum, leadership, partnerships and commitment in place and which provide a geographical spread across the London & South area.

If approved, the London & South team would explore the opportunity directly with the relevant Authorities and explore place opportunities within those authority areas. Other shortlisted places and local authority areas would continue to be explored for potential inclusion in the place initiative in future. The Board would consider the recommendations of all Area and Nation Committees at its March meeting.

The Committee thanked the London and South Engagement team for their significant input, balancing quantitative and qualitative information and providing important context and local knowledge to the process.

Grant increase requests

Devon and Exeter Institution Library and Reading Rooms            

Applicant: Devon and Exeter Institution

Request:  £856,235

Project summary: The Next Chapter project will cement the transformation in management, activities, and audiences by creating physical space and essential infrastructure for it to flourish and expand. It will address the pressing need to reconsider the way in which the space is used in the building to become more accessible and to further develop an understanding of the collection and their capacity to enhance well-being and support pandemic recovery.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a grant increase of £856,235 to make a total grant of £1,670,235 (74%).

Heritage Enterprise – Redruth Buttermarket: Rediscovering the Market Town

Applicant: Redruth Revival CIC

Request:  £607,000

Project summary: A Heritage Enterprise project which aims to conserve and revitalise a group of Grade II listed buildings in Redruth, Cornwall, collectively known as the Buttermarket, creating a mix of new workspaces, larger business units, a food market, and event space. This project will respond to conservation, economic and social need in an area of deprivation and will make a significant contribution to local place-making, building on the Fund’s existing investment in the area.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a grant increase of £607,000 to make a total grant of £3,341,875 (74%).     

SFF Delivery round application for discussion and decision

 The Gardener’s House                                      

Applicant: The Gardeners' House, Penzance

Request: £2,206,618 (71%)

Project summary: To create a new Green Community Hub to address the area’s social issues through green heritage and education. The project will provide a home for The Gardeners’ House archive as well as a community hub in the park. It will team up with partner organisations over two years to deliver a range of workshops. The Stable Block will be restored and repurposed to a high standard, creating a self-sustaining flexible community space, harnessing its natural position as a green education centre. 

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Delivery Grant of £ 2,206,618 (71% of total eligible delivery costs) 

Heritage Enterprise – Regenerating Tottenham High Road

Applicant: Paxton17 Ltd

Request: £2,677,310 (47%)

Project summary: To restore and conserve existing buildings for use as artist studios, café, garden, and exhibition space by developing 808-810/12 High Road, Tottenham as part of the wider regeneration of the whole Northumberland Terrace as a Creative Quarter 'Paxton17'. This project will support the local growth of the creative industries by generating more employment, apprenticeship, and skills development opportunities.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Delivery Grant of £2,677,310 (47% of total eligible delivery costs).

SFF Development round applications for discussion and decision

Docking Station                    

Applicant: University of Kent

Request: £375,600 (25%)

Project summary: This project will restore and regenerate the Police Section House (PSH) of the former Royal Dockyard Chatham, which was once a centre of technical innovation and cutting-edge design. It will transform it into a new epicentre for creative innovation in a digital era.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Development Grant of £375,600 (25% of total eligible development costs) and a potential Delivery grant of £3,567,400 (28% of total eligible delivery costs)

St Anne's Limehouse: celebrating 300 years                    

Applicant: The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Anne’s, Limehouse

Request: £613,000 (90%)

Project summary: To mark St Anne’s tercentenary in 2030 and complete decades of restoration works, and provide the access, facilities and fresh vision to re-commit to its historic role for generations to come. The Grade I listed church is currently on the Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register. The project aims to invest new energy into this historic purpose, engaging with wider audiences, breaking down cultural barriers and deepening social cohesion. 

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Development Grant of £613,000 (90% of total eligible development costs) and a potential Delivery grant of £2,887,000 (44% of total eligible delivery costs)

John Harvey House Project                        

Applicant: Harvey's Foundry Trust

Request: £229,221 (83%)

Project summary: To carry out structural repairs to the Grade II* John Harvey House in Hayle, Cornwall, expanding the current Heritage Centre and creating new exhibition and conservation space in the building. The Development phase would take place between April and October 2023, with the Delivery phase running from April 2024 to November 2026.

The Committee for London and South REJECTED a Development Grant of £229,221 (83% of total eligible development costs) and a potential Delivery grant of £4,718,734 (82% of total eligible delivery costs).  

Reactivating Palais de Danse                          

Applicant: The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery

Request: £353,970 (37%) 

Project summary: To restore and reactivate the Palais de Danse, a nationally important artistic heritage site, for inclusive public use. The Palais is a former studio of Barbara Hepworth, a major 20th century artist. The project would create dedicated learning and event spaces, workshops and various training programmes alongside apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities.  

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Development Grant of £353,970 (37% of total eligible development costs) and a potential Delivery grant of £2,846,030 (46% of total eligible delivery costs).

Greenwich museum Re-Opening and Urgent Charlton House Conservation and Repair

Applicant: Royal Borough of Greenwich Heritage Trust

Request: £483,203 (87%) 

Project summary: The project would replicate the publicly accessible elements of the former Greenwich Heritage Centre in a conserved and repaired Charlton House as the Greenwich Museum and build critical staffing, digital and programming capacity to interpret and display the heritage in its care through a rolling programme of exhibitions, events and outreach programmes co-curated with its communities.

The Committee for London and South REJECTED a Development Grant of £483,203 (87% of total eligible development costs) and a potential Delivery grant of £2,028,719 (35% of total eligible delivery costs) 

Lighting up the Lea                

Applicant: Gasworks Dock Partnership

Request: £148,393 (72%)

Project summary: Newham’s history is deeply intertwined with the Lea River and this project will shine a light on this remarkable story, drawing upon its rich industrial, ecological, and social heritage. The project aims to deliver a three-year programme of capital works, exhibitions, volunteering opportunities and heritage activities at Cody Dock. At its heart will be the permanent installation of a new multi-use learning and interpretation space focussing on the local heritage and ecology. The roof of this new space will be a fully restored upturned historic ship.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Development Grant of £148,393 (72% of total eligible development costs) and potential delivery grant of £1,022,256 (78% of total eligible delivery costs).

Restoring the Heritage of the iconic Crystal Palace Park for all    

Applicant: London Borough of Bromley 

Request: £304,350 (60%) 

Project summary: A £52m Regeneration Plan for Crystal Palace Park with three strands: new governance; new business model; and capital works. The new governance and business model are in place. This project is phase 2 of the capital works strand.

This includes: the restoration of the Tidal Lakes (home of the famous Grade I listed dinosaurs); restoration of the lower Paxton Axis; demolition and relocation of a new playground; and the replacement of the information centre. These capital works are complemented by an activity plan.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Development Grant of £304,350 (60% of total eligible development costs) and potential delivery grant of £4,695,649 (57% of total eligible delivery costs).

100 Years of Ashburton Park                          

Applicant: London Borough of Croydon

Request: £304,831 (77%)

Project summary: To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Ashburton Park being open to the public in 2024. The park had suffered decline due to financial constraints and social tragedies which have impacted the park users and the wider community. The project would improve the ecology and biodiversity of the park and help rebuild confidence and bring about positive community engagement through several community heritage activities, events programmes, and a potential new youth centre in the Parks Lodge.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Development Grant of £304,831 (77% of total eligible development costs) and a potential Delivery grant of £1,457,411 (85% of total eligible delivery costs).

Future Saltram                                 

Applicant: The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty

Request: £238,332 (64%)

Project summary: To improve access to Saltram, a natural environment landscape for local communities and residents of Plymouth who currently struggle to reach the area. It aims to contribute to green recovery in Plymouth through creating jobs, skills, and new career pathways, develop and implement solutions to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises, supporting a positive transition to net zero carbon.  The project would ensure Saltram would be a top-quality local service for the city, for nature, culture, health, skills, and the economy.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Development Grant of £238,332 (64% of total eligible development costs) and a potential Delivery grant of £3,998,798 (73% of total eligible delivery costs).

Exmoor Pioneers: Past, Present and Future                 

Applicant: Exmoor National Park Authority

Request: £60,516 (90%) 

Project summary: To provide improved access and interpretation alongside nature recovery works in and around the moorland of the old royal forest of Exmoor. By establishing Simonsbath, Somerset as a gateway to Exmoor, the project would enable more people to enjoy, understand and contribute to sustaining the landscape, creating opportunities to engage with nature, as well as learn about the stories and legacies of 8000 years of human influence.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Development Grant of £60,516 (90% of total eligible development costs) and a potential Delivery grant of £1,111,330 (75% of total eligible delivery costs).

Re-uniting Sydenham Hill Wood and Dulwich Wood         

Applicant: The London Wildlife Trust   

Request: £108,365 (65%)

Project summary: The four-year project (April 2023 – March 2027) would help conserve two pieces of endangered ancient woodland in the London Borough of Southwark, engaging local communities in the process.

The Committee for London and South AWARDED a Development Grant of £108,365 (65% of total eligible development costs) with potential Delivery grant of £989,270 (81% of total eligible delivery costs).


The Committee agreed to award the cases as outlined above.

Other items

There were no additional items.

Any other business

The next meeting would be held on 13 June 2023, at The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset BH20 6JS.