England, Midlands & East: committee decisions March 2020

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee for England, Midlands & East on 3 March 2020 at 10am in The Bettmann Suite Coventry Transport Museum, Millennium Place, Hales Street, Coventry, CV1 1JD.

Members:

  • Sue Beardsmore (Chair) 
  • Jim Harker 
  • Helen Wilson
  • Perdita Hunt
  • Phil Rothwell
  • Heather Broughton
  • John Everitt
  • Izzy Mohammad
  • Marion Blockley

Apologies: 

  • Sue Davies

Committee Business

1. Welcomes and Introduction

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Sue Beardsmore, Chair, welcomed everyone to the fourth meeting of the Committee for the Midlands & East. She gave a special welcome to Perdita Hunt, Trustee for joining the Committee for this meeting.  

Sue Davies had sent apologies.

2. Minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2019 and matters arising

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The minutes were approved and signed as a true record of the meeting.

3. Declarations of interest

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John Everitt declared a direct conflict with Charnwood Forest (item 9) as CEO of The National Forest.

Other connections for noting were:

  • Marion Blockley is a current member of the National Trust’s Historic Environment Advisory Group and advised on Berrington Walled Garden and was a member of the Shropshire Hills Cultural Strategy Steering Group linked to the Shropshire Hills Young Rangers Project.

4. Chair’s Report    

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The Chair thanked all members who had attended second round project visits. Sue Beardsmore acknowledged the changes and challenges for The Fund over the last year.

5. Corporate Update

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Eilish McGuiness presented an update on corporate activity.

6. Area Director’s Report

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Anne Jenkins reported:

  • Meeting with CVS Bedford was positive and opportunities were being explored to work together in the Luton Area of Focus.
  • The first partnership meeting with DCMS and cultural agencies supporting the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham had taken place. Further discussions for the Cultural Programme would be ongoing.
  •  An update was given on projects at risk due to recent flooding across the Area.   

7.    Grant Budget Paper 2019-20

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The Committee noted that the development round and single round stage application budget for the meeting was £11,754,800. The Committee also agreed to transfer £2million available from the delegated grants budget to the Committee budget.  A total budget of £12,108,900 was therefore available once the recommendation for single stage approvals had been deducted.

Eight single stage applications had been recommended for approval totalling £1,645,900

Twelve development round applications had been received with a total grant request of £16,478,500.  The Committee did not have sufficient budget to support all applications and were reminded of the need to focus on supporting projects of good quality.

Three second round applications (including one Parks for People bid), one grant increase request and four development round applications had been received for the June Committee.  

8.    SF4 Delivery Round and SFF applications Overview paper

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The overview report provided context for SF4 round two project applications to aid discussion and prioritisation.

SF4 Delivery round applications for discussion and decision 

9. Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme; 

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John Everitt declared an interest and left the room before discussion commenced.

Grantee: National Forest Company

Request: £2,767,300 (74%)

Project: A five year project to identify, conserve and promote the heritage of Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire to consist of 18 projects divided into three themes.
 
The Board awarded a first round pass of £2,943,700 including a development grant of £176,400 (73% of eligible development costs) in October 2017.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £2,767,300 (74%) 

10. New Life on the Old West: Creating natural stepping stones between key Cambridgeshire wetland reserves

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Grantee: Cambridgeshire ACRE

Request: £729,900 (84%)

Project: A three year project for habitat improvement work within the 'Old West' area of the Cambridgeshire Fens to address ongoing decline and increase the resilience of fragile priority habitats and species, as well as delivering activities and creating interpretation to engage local communities.

The Committee for the East of England had awarded a first round pass of £828,900 including a development grant of £99,000 (79% of eligible development costs) in December 2017.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £729,900 (84%) 

11. Swiss Rolls, Tea & the Electronic Office: A history of LEO, the first business computer

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Grantee: Centre for Computing History

Request: £265,400 (79%)

Project: A three year project for recording and collating archive material, objects and oral histories to document and interpret the heritage of Lyons Electronic Office computers. 

The Committee for the East of England awarded a first round pass of £367,200 including a development grant of £101,300 (92% of eligible development costs) in September 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £265,400 (79%) 

12. All Saints for All Generations - Repairs to Ladbroke Church and sharing its heritage

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Grantee: All Saints' Church, Ladbroke Parochial Church Council

Request: £339,000 (62%)

Project:  A three year project to undertake repairs to remove the church from the Heritage at Risk Register, encouraging and involving people to share their time and skills during and after the project.

The Committee for the West Midlands awarded a first round pass of £460,500 including a development grant of £47,000 (57% of eligible development costs) in June 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £339,000 (62%) 

13. Go Wild at Hudnall

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Grantee: Hertfordshire County Council - Children's Services

Request: £396,100 (80%)

Project: A three year project to conserve and promote the natural landscape at Hudnall in Hertfordshire. To improve threatened habitats, develop interpretation and deliver a wide range of nature-focused wellbeing, learning and volunteering opportunities for vulnerable children, young people and families.

The Committee for the East of England awarded a first round pass of £429,700 including a development grant of £33,600 (90% of eligible development costs) in December 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £396,100 (80%) 

14. Hatworks - a new space for creative pioneers

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Grantee: Luton Cultural Services Trust (Luton Culture)

Request: £885,000 (58%)

Project: A nine month project to transform 47 Guildford Street, to be renamed Hat Works, into a cultural industries 'incubator' allowing individuals to develop ideas and build sustainable businesses.  The building would offer 3,000 square feet of shared workspace in central Luton, aiming to provide a sustainable income for the building.  It would support growth of the creative and digital communities and develop the skills and knowledge of those entering such industries.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East awarded a development grant of £100,000 (32% of eligible development costs) and potential delivery grant of £885,000 (69% of eligible delivery costs) in June 2019.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £885,000 (58%)

15. Living Histories, Lasting Journeys - sharing the heritage treasures of St Leonard's Flamstead

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Grantee: St Leonards Flamstead PCC

Request: £642,500 (57%)

Project: A three year project to carry out urgent repairs, produce new heritage interpretation and deliver a variety of learning and volunteering opportunities.  Work would focus on the nave roof, south clerestory and rainwater goods. St Leonard's church, Flamstead sat in the heart of the conservation area in the centre of the rural village in Hertfordshire, six miles south of Luton, 7.5 miles northeast of St Albans.  

The Committee for the East of England awarded a first round pass of £733,700 including a development grant of £91,200 (69% of eligible development costs) in September 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £642,500 (57%).

16. The Lock-Up

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Grantee: West Midlands Police

Request: £963,300 (37%)

Project: This three-year project would convert the building from a mothballed former Victorian cell block into a modern, accessible and engaging heritage attraction telling the story of 200 years of policing in the West Midlands.

The Committee for the West Midlands awarded a first round pass of £1,108,700 including a development grant of £145,400 (61% of eligible development costs) in February 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £963,300 (37%) 

17.  Reconnecting Grantham to its historic landscape

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Grantee: The Woodland Trust

Request: £428,200 (33%)

Project: Londonthorpe Woods and Bellmount together formed the 17th-century Brownlow estate in Grantham, located in the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire.  Through collaborative working, the Woodland Trust and National Trust would reconnect the two sites with the aim of transforming local people's relationship with a historic area of greenspace.

The Committee for the East Midlands awarded a first round pass of £492,900 including a development grant of £64,700 (39% of eligible development costs) in November 2017.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £428,200 (33%) 

18.  A Right Good Yarn - Retold for a relevant and resilient future

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Grantee: Ruddington Framework Knitters' Museum Limited

Request: £234,500 (28%)

Project: A project to enable a site-wide transformation of the Ruddington Framework Knitters Museum located in south Nottinghamshire.  Founded in 1971, the museum was a complex of 19th century industrial buildings and explored the living and working conditions of framework knitters. 
 
The Committee for the East Midlands awarded a first round pass of £348,800 including a development grant of £114,300 (86% of eligible development costs) in September 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £234,500 (28%) 

19. Prioritisation and feedback for delivery round applications

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The Committee funded:

  1. Charnwood Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme; (item 9)
  2. New Life on the Old West: Creating natural stepping stones between key Cambridgeshire wetland reserves; (item 10)
  3. Swiss Rolls, Tea & the Electronic Office: A history of LEO, the first business computer; (item 11)
  4. All Saints for All Generations - Repairs to Ladbroke Church and sharing its heritage; (item 12)
  5. Go Wild at Hudnall; (item 13)
  6. Hatworks – a new space for creative pioneers; (item 14)
  7. Living Histories, Lasting Journeys – sharing the heritage treasures if St Leonard’s Flamstead; (item 15)
  8. The Lock-Up; (item 16)
  9. Reconnecting Grantham to its historic landscape; (item 17)
  10. A Right Good Yarn – Retold for a relevant and resilient future; (item 18)

SFF Single Stage £100,000 to £250,000 applications for decision

20. Single Stage £100,000 to £250,000 Overview

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Seventeen applications had been received. Nine were rejected prior to the meeting.  Eight awards were made by the Committee (as below).  

Museum of Cambridge- Museum Making
Applicant: Museum of Cambridge
Award: £210,600 (88%)

Heritage and Volunteer Worker
Applicant: Corby Borough Council
Award:  £229,000 (96%)

City Stories
Applicant: The Ecclesiastical Parish of Nottingham Saint Peter And All Saints
Award: £211,000 (62%)

Brampton is Growing (BIG) project  
Applicant: Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council
Award: £248,700 (28%)

Shropshire Hills Young Rangers Project
Applicant: Shropshire Council 
Award: £200,900 (95%)

Embracing communities with our Pugin and Pugin church
Applicant: The Church of the Immaculate Conception and St Egwins 
Award: £186,100 (79%)

Fenland Orchards Project
Applicant: CP Learning Trust 
Award: £246,000 (100%)

Airship Dreams  
Applicant: Bedford Creative Arts Limited
Award: £113,600 (61%)

SFF development round applications for discussion and decision

21. Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens Restoration Project

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Applicant: Nottingham City Council

Request: Development Grant of £130,400 (83%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,158,800 (67%)
    
Project: A project to restore the Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens, a public park and war memorial to the south of the city centre.  The park measured three hectares and was a Grade II registered landscape.  It was gifted to Nottingham by the industrialist Jesse Boot in 1920 but was now in need of major repairs.  

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £130,400 (83% of eligible development costs) and a potential delivery grant of £1,58,800 (67%).   

22. Kings Park Living Heritage

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Applicant: Bassetlaw District Council

Request: Development Grant of £18,000 (75%) and potential Delivery Grant of £501,400 (91%)
    
Project: A project to engage more people in Kings Park, based in Retford, North Nottinghamshire.  The project would create a café and heritage facility in the existing empty pavilion and deliver interpretation and engagement activities that were accessible to everyone.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a LOW priority for support and REJECTED the application.

23. New stories, new audiences

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Applicant: Association of Independent Museums

Request: Development Grant of £12,200 (94%) and potential Delivery Grant of £742,700 (95%)
    
Project: A project to work in strategic partnership with AIM on a three-year scheme to help members develop new audiences; to tell neglected or lesser known stories that related to their local area, their mission, groups, individuals or heritage that were not currently explored.  

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £12,200 (94% of eligible development costs) and a potential delivery grant of £742,700 (95%).   

24.  River Sherbourne Valley Living Landscape 

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Applicant: Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

Request: Development Grant of £253,600 (75%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,815,600 (74%)
    
Project: A four year project, following a 19 month development phase, to revitalise the River Sherbourne, raise awareness of its existence and heritage importance, and its place in Coventry’s history.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £253,600 (75% of eligible development costs) and a potential delivery grant of £1,815,600 (74%).

25. Recognising and Recording Derbyshire's Heritage at Risk

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Applicant: Derbyshire County Council

Request: Development Grant of £82,600 (37%) and potential Delivery Grant of £298,300 (54%)
    
Project: In partnership with the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust, a community heritage project to survey the condition of all 7,262 statutory Grade II listed built heritage assets within Derbyshire, the Peak District, and the borough of High Peak and Staffordshire Moorlands.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a Medium priority for support and REJECTED the application.

26. Chalkscapes- North Chilterns Community Landscape Initiative 

ME 19/20 (4) 26

Applicant: Chilterns Conservation Board

Request: Development Grant of £232,600 (81%) and potential Delivery Grant of £2,357,500 (83%)
    
Project: A five year community landscape partnership initiative led by the Chilterns Conservation Board.  It would focus on the northern section of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the fast-expanding urban conurbations of Luton and Dunstable

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £232,600 (81% of eligible development costs) and a potential delivery grant of £2,357,500 (83%).

27. Re-imagining Greyfriars: 800 years of stories in the making; 

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Applicant: City of Lincoln Council

Request: Development Grant of £175,000 (65%) and potential Delivery Grant of £950,000 (55%)
    
Project: A partnership project between City of Lincoln Council and Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire.  It would see the historic Greyfriars building in Lincoln restored and refurbished as a heritage attraction and event space, alongside a programme of activities.  

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a Medium priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £175,000 (65% of eligible development costs) and a potential delivery grant of £950,000 (55%).

28. St Andrew’s Church, Soham: Exploring our heritage; sharing our discoveries; building our future

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Applicant: St Andrew's Church, Soham, PCC

Request: Development Grant of £397,000 (76%) and potential Delivery Grant of £2,351,500 (75%)
    
Project: In addressing the most urgent works the project was an opportunity to further develop the church as a hub for learning, activities, volunteering and training, developing its function as a local resource. St Andrew's Church was prominently positioned within the centre of the fenland town of Soham in Cambridgeshire.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a Low priority for support and REJECTED the application.

29. Colsterworth Church Isaac Newton Project

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Applicant: St John the Baptist, Parochial Church Council, Colsterworth

Request: Development Grant of £127,700 (76%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,048,100 (69%)
    
Project: A three year project addressing urgent repairs and improvements to facilities at the Grade I St John the Baptist Church, Colsterworth, Lincolnshire.  Once complete, a learning centre would be established, drawing on the church’s significant links with Sir Isaac Newton.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a Low priority for support and REJECTED the application.
 

30. Willow Court Farmhouse - Safe as Houses

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Applicant: The Worcestershire Building Preservation Trust Ltd

Request: Development Grant of £259,400 (57%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,398,100 (55%)
    
Project: In partnership with Wychavon District Council the project would repair and adapt the derelict Grade II Willow Court Farmhouse, located on the Westlands Estate, one mile from Droitwich Spa town centre into six modern affordable rentable homes. 

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £259,400 (57% of eligible development costs) and a potential delivery grant of £1,398,100 (55%).

31. St Mary’s Guildhall Coventry Transformation

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Applicant: Coventry City Council

Request: Development Grant of £78,200 (65%) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,762,700 (75%)
    
Project: To conserve, repair and re-display the Coventry Tapestry.  A programme of interpretation and activity would also be undertaken.  Activities would be delivered over three years aiming to expand the range of audiences and increase access and learning to the heritage.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £78,200 (65% of eligible development costs) and a potential delivery grant of £1,762,700 (75%). 

32.  Well, Well, Wells! The Restoration of St Nicholas Church, Wells-next-the-Sea

ME 19/20 (4) 32

Applicant: Wells Parochial Church Council

Request: Development Grant of £39,200 (73%) and potential Delivery Grant of £287,900 (70%)
    
Project: To carry out a programme of capital repairs to the Grade II* St Nicholas Church in Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk and deliver a programme of activities to engage the community and visitors.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a Medium priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £39,200 (73% of eligible development costs) and a potential delivery grant of £287,900 (70%).

32.  Prioritisation and feedback for SFF Development applications

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The Committee funded:

  1. Victoria Embankment Memorial Gardens Restoration Project; (item 21)
  2. New Stories, New Audience; (item 23)
  3. River Sherbourne Valley Living Landscape; (item 24)
  4. Chalkscapes – North Chilterns Community Landscape Initiative; (item 26)
  5. Re-imaginging Greyfriars: 800 years of stories in the making; (item 27)
  6. Willow Court Farmhouse – Safe as Houses; (item 30)
  7. St Mary’s Guildhall Coverntry Transformation; (item 31)
  8. Well, Well, Wells! The Restoration of St Nicholas Church, Wells-next-the-sea; (item 32)

For information 

33. Communications Paper

ME 19/20 (4) 34

The Committee noted the report.

34. Any other business

ME 19/20 (4) 35

There was none.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 17 June 2020.