Northern Ireland: Committee minutes for March 2023

Northern Ireland: Committee minutes for March 2023

Minutes of the Committee for Northern Ireland meeting held on 9 March 2023 at 10am via Microsoft Teams.

Members

  • Mukesh Sharma – Chair
  • Jim McGreevy
  • Olive Hill
  • Patricia Corbett
  • Sally Montgomery 
  • Darren Rice
  • Nikki McVeigh


Committee business

Welcomes, Apologies and Declarations of Interest

The chair welcomed guests and presenters including, Simon Thurley, Chair of the Board and Anne Jenkins, Executive Director of Business Delivery. This being a virtual meeting.


Declarations of interest

Sally Montgomery and Olive Hill both noted a conflict of interest with item 9 – Rathlin Acting for Tomorrow, and item 10 – East Lighthouse Rathlin Island.

Minutes from the meeting held 30 November 2022 and matters arising

Minutes were agreed as a true record of the meeting and signed by the Chair.

Chair’s Report

The Chair updated the Committee on his activities since the last Committee meeting. It was noted:

  • The strategy launch held on 2 March in London was an excellent event and very engaging. Thanks were given to all staff involved behind the scenes with feedback received to date being very positive.
  • A recent visit to HMS Caroline was very positive. A new General Manager is in place with bookings and events coming through.

Fellow Committee Members provided feedback on events attended.

Corporate Update

Confidential in confidence.

The Committee noted the highlights of the report.

Place – Strategic Update

Confidential in confidence.

Overview Paper NI

Paul Mullan, Director for NI introduced the report.

The highlights included:

  • Ulster University project for the Good Friday Agreement – event being held mid-April
  • the issue of branding was raised and how perhaps the Committee can assist with that. 
  • To keep us informed on anything seen or not seen – this has always been a battle to ensure our funding is innovatively acknowledged. It is initiated from the very earliest conversations

A brief update on the implementation of the new Strategy was provided by Anne Jenkins.

Policy and Public Affairs update:

Noted – no comment.

Communications update:

Noted – no comment.


SFF Delivery round applications for discussion and decision

St Joseph’s Glenullin – Exploring and restoring our heritage!

Applicant: Derry Diocesan Trust

Grant request: Delivery grant of £584,000 (73%)

Project: The restoration of the listed Grade B1 St Joseph’s Church originally built in 1879, near Garvagh, Co Londonderry. The project will entail the creation of a Community Hub for the wider Glenullin area. The applicant will look to collaborate with other partners in the region. The activities strand will look also at local cultural heritage alongside nature and biodiversity. The project will create formal and informal educational opportunities maximising the knowledge in the local community. 

The Committee for Northern Ireland AWARDED a delivery grant of £584,000 (73%) of eligible costs.


Hilden Mill School Refurbishment and Reinvigoration

Applicant: Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council

Grant request: Delivery grant of £833,846 (50%)

Project: Hilden Mill School, located in Hilden on the outskirts of Lisburn City is a Grade B1 listed building on the Heritage At Risk register and one of the few surviving mill schools in Northern Ireland, where the related mill building still stands. Proposed as a partnership project with Resurgam Ltd to create a childcare facility and tearooms. 

The Committee for Northern Ireland AWARDED a delivery grant of £833,846 (50%) of eligible costs. 

Sally Montgomery and Olive Hill left the meeting for items 9 and 10 due to a declared conflict of interest.


Rathlin Acting for Tomorrow

Applicant: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Grant request: Delivery grant of £720,000 (19%)

Project: Rathlin Island based on the Northeast coast hosts Northern Ireland’s largest seabird colony where several threatened species exist. The wildlife is under threat from a predation of invasive rats and ferrets. The project aims to eradicate the threat whilst working closely with the island community, ensuring a recovery in building resilience and diversifying socioeconomic opportunities and so ensuring it to be on track as an ecotourism destination. 

The Committee for Northern Ireland AWARDED a grant of £720,000 (19%) of eligible costs.


SFF Development round applications for discussion and decision

East Lighthouse Rathlin Island

Applicant: Rathlin Development and Community Association

Grant request: Development grant of £225,000 (94%) of total eligible development costs, and potential delivery grant of £2,000,000 (42%) 

Project: The East Lighthouse being the oldest lighthouse on the island, circa 1849, and is based on the eastern coastline of Rathlin Island situated 6 miles of the north-east coast. The project is to develop the site for community use and a visitor attraction. 

The Committee for Northern Ireland REJECTED the application.

Sally Montgomery and Olive Hill returned to the meeting.


Riddel’s Warehouse Project

Applicant: Hearth Historic Buildings Trust

Grant request: Development grant of £463,907 (71%) of total eligible development costs, and potential delivery grant of £4,259,277 (64%) 

Project: To restore Riddel’s Warehouse, a B+ listed building. Built in 1867 with a five-storey galleried atrium and situated in the centre of Belfast. The aim being to supply creative, performance and exhibition space alongside a co-working, collaborative office space. 

The Committee for Northern Ireland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority and AWARDED development grant of £463,907 (71%) of total eligible development costs, and potential delivery grant of £4,259,277 (64%).


Market Heritage Visitor Centre (at old St Malachy’s Convent School)

Applicant: Markets Development Association

Grant request: Development grant of £70,000 (47%) of total eligible development costs, and potential delivery grant of £1,781,248 (26%) 

Project: To acquire and convert St Malachy’s Convent Schoolhouse, a grade B1 listed building situated in Belfast, into a heritage hub and visitor centre. 

The Committee for Northern Ireland REJECTED the application.


Ballycastle Museum

Applicant: Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council

Grant request: Development grant of £202,981 (91%) of total eligible development costs, and potential delivery grant of £1,641,592 (91%).

Project: Capital works will focus on the restoration and expansion of the 1759 Grade B+ listed building which is a rare example of a combined Market House and Court House. The building is situated within the Ballycastle Conservation Area. Overall accessibility and facilities will be improved at the museum site, allowing for an enhanced activities and engagement programme to be developed with the addition of heritage skills training.

The Committee for Northern Ireland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority and AWARDED development grant of £202,981 (91%) of total eligible development costs, and potential delivery grant of £1,641,592 (91%).


Papers for information

No other papers.


Any other business

None.

The next meeting will be held 14 June 2023.