England, Midlands & East: committee decisions November 2019

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee for England, Midlands & East on 26 November 2019 at 10:45 am at Peterborough Cathedral.

Members:     

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

Apologies: 

  • Sue Davies

Committee Business

1. Welcome and Introduction

The Chair welcomed everyone to the third meeting of the Committee for the Midlands & East. The team was thanked for continuing to provide professional and timely papers despite IT issues. It was Steve Miller’s final meeting for the Midlands & East Committee and he was thanked for his contribution.

2. Minutes of the meeting held on 3 September and matters arising

The Committee agreed the minutes represented a true record of the meeting.

3. Declarations of interest

Helen Wilson declared a conflict of interest with Museum of Food: A Masterplan for MEAL as the applicant was a member of the Culture Board she chaired. Helen and Steve Miller also had conflicts of interest with Thetford Town Council: Thetford Guildhall Heritage Hub due to the connection with Norfolk Museums Service.  

Other connections for noting were:

  • Steve Miller was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Birmingham and Izzy Mohammed was a research student at the same institution.  Neither had any connections with the Everything for Everybody project.
  • Steve Miller noted that Norfolk Museums Service was listed as a partner in the Rendlesham Revealed: Anglo-Saxon life in south-east Suffolk project but there was no financial gain and he had no prior knowledge of the project.
  • Steve Miller also noted that Essex County Council and MEAL were members of SHARE Museums.

The Committee agreed that these connections were not conflicts of interest.  

4. Chair’s Report

Chair reported all members of the Committee had agreed to extend their term for the next 12 months.

5. Corporate Update

The recent IT problems were being reviewed in order to learn lessons from the experience. The Board would be reviewing the disaster recovery plan.

6. Area Director’s Report 

Further discussions had taken place about the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham.  

The team would be experimenting with a revised approach to case presentation during the meeting. Committee views on the new approach would be welcomed.

7. Grants Budget Paper 2019-20

Six second round and delivery phase applications had been received for the meeting.  Members noted the requirement to save around 20% of the value of second round applications over a two year period. 

Eleven single stage applications had been recommended for approval totalling just over £1.9m, leaving nearly £7.3m available for the development round applications.  

Eight development round applications had been received with a total grant request of £11.6m.  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.   

Ten second round delivery applications, 12 development round applications and 18 single stage applications had been received for the March Committee.

8. SF4 Round 2 and SFF applications overview paper

The full paper was tabled as completion had been delayed by IT issues.  The Committee noted environmental sustainability comments and the application SWORs.

SF4 Second round applications for discussion and decision 

9. Rescuing and Restoring Sudbury Gasworks

Applicant: Sudbury Gasworks Restoration Trust Ltd

Request: £1,377,800 (70%)

Project: A three and a half year project to repair the Grade II listed Old Gasworks, restoring it for use as an accessible community venue.  The Gasworks was located in the village of Sudbury located on Derbyshire’s southern boundary with Staffordshire.

The Committee for the Midlands & East awarded a first round pass of £1,400,000 including a development grant of £22,000 (71% of eligible development costs) in June 2019.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £1,377,800 (70%)

10. Rendlesham Revealed, Anglo-Saxon life in south-east Suffolk

Grantee: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service

Request: £517,300 (71%)

Project: The project would explore the Anglo-Saxon archaeology of the Deben valley, an area in south east Suffolk adjoining the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, working in partnership with 27 local and national organisations, to involve local people and volunteers.  

The Committee for the East of England awarded a first round pass of £558,900 including a development grant of £41,600 (58% of eligible development costs) in June 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £517,300 (71%).

11.  Boultham Park Lake Restoration

Grantee: City of Lincoln Council

Request: £658,700 (56%)

Project: City of Lincoln Council (CLC) sought funding to restore the lake in Boultham Park by improving water quality and its surroundings to support biodiversity; and to enable visitors to engage with natural heritage.  

The Committee for the East Midlands awarded a first round pass of £721,500 including a development grant of £62,800 (74% of eligible development costs) in June 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £658,700 (56%).

12. Conserving Herefordshire's Ice Age Ponds

Grantee: The Herefordshire Wildlife Trust Limited

Request: £252,600 (79%)

Project: The project had two key aims: increase and share knowledge of Herefordshire’s Kettle Hole landscape with communities, visitors and stakeholders; and improve conservation and management of Kettle Hole Ponds (KHPs) through landowner and public engagement.  The Committee for the West Midlands awarded a first round pass of £343,000 including a development grant of £90,400 (74% of eligible development costs) in June 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £252,600 (79%)

13. Everything to Everybody

Grantee: University of Birmingham

Request: £675,200 (67%)

Project:  A partnership between The University of Birmingham (UoB) and Library of Birmingham (LoB) which sought to reposition the 1868 Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library (BSML) as a resource for the whole city. The project aimed to unlock the BSML and The George Dawson Collection (GDC) through a programme of engagement activities, raising awareness of them and making them more accessible to the public. The project would assess and preserve the Collections, as well as producing web-based resources and using social media to facilitate wider presentation, interaction and collaboration.

The Committee for the West Midlands awarded a first round pass of £707,900 including a development grant of £32,700 (42% of eligible development costs) in September 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £675,200 (67%)

14. St Mary's Beeston: Repairs, Careers and Community Engagement

Grantee: Beeston Parochial Church Council

Request: £230,300 (78%)

Project:  The project focused on repairs to the church tower where there were major cracks and significant rainwater ingress; new works to install heating in the nave and chancel and a timed lock on the porch entrance to provide easy year round public access; and the creation of a Heritage Pathway Trail. The project would include a range of activities, interpretation and learning materials.

The Committee for the East of England awarded a first round pass of £259,400 including a development grant of £29,100 (72% of eligible development costs) in June 2018.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East AWARDED a grant of £230,300 (78%).

15. Prioritisation and feedback for second round items            

All six applications were considered a high priority and were supported.  

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

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

Twenty two applications had been received. Eleven were rejected prior to the meeting. Eleven awards were made by the Committee (as below).  

Opening the Gates to Everyone Applicant: Historic Coventry Trust Award: £249,000 (49%) 

City of Empire to City of Diversity Applicant: Sampad (South Asian Arts Development)  Award: £177,400 (90%) 

Thetford Guildhall Heritage Hub Applicant: Thetford Town Council  Award:  £168,700 (40%) 

Celebrating 50 Years Applicant: Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)  Award: £129,000 (80%) 

Snapping the Stiletto: Campaigning for Equality Applicant: Essex County Council  Award: £207,100 (98%) 

Buried Bouskell Applicant: Blaby District Council  Award: £156,000 (90%) 

Breathing new life into St Benedict’s, Scrivelsby Applicant: Scrivelsby with Dalderby PCC  Award: £180,000 (68%) 

The Spirit of Wartime Sherwood Applicant: The Sherwood Forest Trust  Award: £151,100 (95%) 

Wirksworth St Mary’s nave roof repairs and heritage interpretation Applicant: St Mary’s Parochial Church Council, Wirksworth  Award: £120,000 (62%) 

Development of Gresham’s Heritage Church Applicant: All Saints Gresham PCC  Award: £140,900 (73%) 

Mother Oyster and her Super Spat Applicant: Zoological Society of London  Award: £225,165 (85%) 

SFF Development round applications for discussion and decision 

17. Our Market Place Applicant: Caistor and District Community Trust Ltd

Request: Development Grant of £102,000 (58%) and potential Delivery Grant of £700,000 (46%)      Project: A partnership between the Caistor and District Community Trust (C&DCT) and the Lincolnshire Co-Operative Society (LCS) which aimed to repair and bring back to productive use a complex of five Grade II listed buildings at risk in the market place at Caistor (Numbers 2-4 Market Place). 

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £102,000 (58%) and a potential delivery grant of £700,000 (46%).  

18. Dysart Park – a hidden gem

Applicant: South Kesteven District Council

Request: Development Grant of £109,000 (90%) and potential Delivery Grant of £891,800 (89%)      Project: Dysart Park lay to the south-west of Grantham town centre in south Lincolnshire. South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) aimed to: restore heritage features and achieve an increased heritage profile for the park, with better public understanding of its links to the wider industrial heritage of Grantham; the re-establishment of the site as the 'green lung' of Grantham, promoting opportunities for health and wellbeing and enhancing benefits for nature; and the widening of the leisure offer of the park to diversity audiences and increase sustainability.

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

19. Tower of Strength

Applicant: Brightlingsea Parochial Church Council

Request: Development Grant of £61,000 (71%) and potential Delivery Grant of £368,000 (71%)      Project: The project at All Saints’, Brightlingsea was to carry out urgent repair of the church tower, install a kitchenette and toilet in a small new build extension, and deliver a programme of activities.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £61,000 (71%) and a potential delivery grant of £368,000 (71%).  

20. Divine Beauty

Applicant: Birmingham Cathedral

Request: Development Grant of £81,900 (61%) and potential Delivery Grant of £486,700 (68%)      Project: Birmingham Cathedral, located in the city centre, sought support towards the conservation, repair and interpretation of four nationally important stained glass windows designed by artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones and manufactured by William Morris and company: The Ascension (1885); The Nativity (1887); The Crucifixion (1887) and the Last Judgement (1897). New static and digital interpretation would be also be installed along with a programme of engagement delivered to increase awareness of the church and its windows to a wider and more diverse audience.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £81,900 (61%) and a potential delivery grant of £486,700 (68%).  

21. Museum of Food: A Masterplan for MEAL

Applicant: Museum of East Anglian Life

Request: Development Grant of £890,100 (90%) and potential Delivery Grant of £4,001,400 (68%)      Project: MEAL was seeking to become the National Museum of Food by transforming into a leading regional attraction, educating people about where their food came from and the environmental and social impact of food choices.

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

22.  Watermeadows – Unlocking Towcester’s Heritage

Applicant: South Northamptonshire Council

Request: Development Grant of £37,200 (64%) and potential Delivery Grant of £427,500 (56%)      Project: South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) had recently brought Towcester’s Grade II* registered Watermeadows into public ownership as the final piece in a programme of strategic public realm regeneration works in Towcester town centre.  Historically, the Watermeadows were an important landscape “buffer” between Towcester and the private Easton Neston Estate, but had become neglected and at risk of loss.  SNC intended to develop and manage the Watermeadows as Towcester’s first public open space, conserving their natural features, improving biodiversity, increasing public access and revealing heritage importance.

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £37,200 (64%) and a potential delivery grant of £427,500 (56%).  

23. Creating a Museum of Scouting

Applicant: The Scout Association

Request: Development Grant of £250,000 (40%) and potential Delivery Grant of £2,250,000 (30%)      Project: To develop the Museum of UK Scouting at Gilwell Park in Epping Forest, the headquarters of Scouting in the UK. The project would challenge perceptions about scouting, expanding opportunities to achieve new and hard to reach audiences.  

The Committee for England, Midlands & East agreed the application represented a High priority for support and AWARDED a development grant of £250,000 (40%) and a potential delivery grant of £2,250,000 (30%).  

24. Turning Tragedy Into Opportunity

Applicant: St. Mary the Virgin, Gamlingay

Request: Development Grant of £96,800 (77%) and potential Delivery Grant of £854,100 (78%)      Project: The project would undertake repairs, reordering and deliver activities at a Grade I listed church, 14 miles west of Cambridge, near the Bedfordshire border.

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

25. Prioritisation and feedback for SFF applications

Dysart Park was rejected in line with officers’ recommendations, Museum of Food: a Masterplan for MEAL and Turning Tragedy into Opportunity were also rejected as they were considered Low priorities. The other applications were considered a High priority and were supported within the available budget.

Items for Information 

26. Communications Report

The Committee noted the report.

27. Parks for People Overview 

The Committee noted the report.

28.  Any other business

Information on the venue for the next meeting would be circulated shortly.

The next meeting would be held on Tuesday 3 March