Scotland: Committee decisions March 2020

Summary minutes of the meeting of the Committee for Scotland on 5 March 2020 at 10.30 am at NASUWT Scotland (The Mews), 35 Young Street North Lane, Edinburgh, EH2 4JD.

Members:    

  • Ray Macfarlane (Chair)
  • Sam Anderson
  • Stuart Housden
  • Gillian Findlay
  • Liz Davidson
  • Beltus Etchu
  • Martyn Wade

Apologies:

  • Alice Mayne

Committee Business

1. Welcomes and Chair’s Report

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The Chair welcomed everyone to fourth meeting of the year for the Committee for Scotland.  She noted that Alice Mayne had sent her apologies for the meeting.

The Chair highlighted to the  Committee that this was the last Committee meeting in Scotland for Sue Bowers, Director of Investment - after 25 years Sue is moving on from the Fund in April to a new role as Director of the Pilgrim Trust – a charitable grant-giving foundation that supports a variety of heritage and social welfare projects.  On behalf of the Committee Ray wished her every success in her new role. 

The Chair updated the Committee on the following areas. 

  • Ray welcomed Vanessa Harbar, Head of Culture Change to the meeting. Vanessa was attending the meeting as an observer. Ray noted the priority that Culture Change has been given within the organisation. The work involves establishing the values and behaviours that we are now encompassing.
  • Ray noted that she attended the Chair and Chief Executives Scottish Lottery Distributors’ Forum held at Sportscotland offices.
  • Following the departure of Sir Peter Luff, one of our UK Trustees, René Olivieri, has taken over as interim Chair.
  • Martyn Wade was thanked for organising an excellent session on Rare books at Innerpreffray Library for staff and Committee, with valuable input from representatives of National Libraries Scotland and Innerpeffray Library.

2. Minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2019

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Committee agreed the minutes and signed as an accurate record of the meeting.

3. Matters arising from the minutes

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No matters arisen.

4. Corporate Update

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Sue Bowers, Director of Investment presented the Committee with an update. This included:

Innovation and New Business

  • Sue updated the Committee on our new structure, funding framework and Corporate Strategy.

Scotland Town Centre Fund

  • Sue noted that in March 2019, the Scottish Government launched a £50million fund to help boost town centres. 

Campaigns:

Digital Skills for Heritage -  On 10 February the Fund launched Digital Skills for Heritage, an advocacy initiative to drive up digital capabilities across the Heritage sector. 

Resilience: Enterprise Development and Business Support Funding - Sue updated the Committee that we have received 17 Expressions of Interest across both strands. Decisions will be made on 23 March and we expect to launch the wider campaign in early April.

Environmental Sustainability

  • Drew Bennellick, Head of Land and Nature Policy UK has delivered an initial thinking paper to the Board of Trustees which presents a three point plan:  
    • Lead by example
    • Drive faster change through investment
    • Establishing and conveying our leadership role

​​​​​​5. Country Directors Report

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The paper was presented by Caroline Clark and highlighted the following key areas.

Heritage Horizons Awards

  • Caroline noted that of the 12 Heritage Horizons Awards to pass the UK Expressions of Interest Panel, 2 were from Scotland.

Strategic Funding Framework Campaigns

  • Digital: The Digital Skills for Heritage advocacy initiative was launched on 10 February.  The funding stream for small grants (up to £10k) in Areas of Focus has opened for applications.  
  • Resilience: In late December an Expressions of Interest process was initiated to source organisations to provide resilience programmes both across the UK and within the four nations. Through this process two applicants from Scotland were invited to submit full bids.  These are currently under assessment with decisions due by the end of March.  
  • Wellbeing: The wellbeing campaign is expected to launch in September 2020. In the meantime discussions are continuing with sector stakeholders, including Historic Environment Scotland, Carnegie Trust and Venture Trust, amongst others.  A stakeholder workshop is proposed for May to discuss policy developments and successful approaches to wellbeing to help inform our campaign proposals.  
  • Dynamic Collections: In late January representatives of key museum organisations met with the Fund to identify the challenges and opportunities of the sector in Scotland which will help inform the focus of the Dynamic Collections campaign in Scotland and ensure parity of approach across the UK in terms of the grant-making processes around the campaign.  Awards under this programme will be made in 2021, giving sufficient time for further sectoral consultation before the campaign opens.

Scotland Campaigns

  • The Scotland team continues work collaboratively with Visit Scotland on Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.  
  • In addition the team are being briefed by Visit Scotland on the focus for the next themed year in 2022; the year of Stories.   

Events

Caroline thanked the Committee member for attending the following events:

  • Martyn Wade - Paisley Museum Grant announcement  and Corncrakes Round 2 visit
  • Stuart Housden - 350th anniversary of the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh and Coalfield Round Two visit
  • Gillian Findlay - Discovering the Deep Round Two visit

6. SF4 / SFF applications Overview paper

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The paper was presented by Riona McMorrow to provide context for the Strategic Funding Framework single stage and development phase applications. 

7. Scotland Budget

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This paper  was presented by Riona McMorrow.  

Riona confirmed that the overall Scotland grants budget for the financial year 19/20  is £16m.

8. Declarations of Interest

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Stuart Housden noted an interest in the SCALE - Saving Corncrakes through advocacy, land management and education project  The applicant is the  RSPB and as Stuart was the Director until 2017 this represents a conflict of interest and he would absent himself from the room for this discussion and decision.

In addition, Stuart declared and interest in the Species on the Edge project as RSPB is a partner organisation.   As the RSPB is a significant partner in this project the Committee agreed that Stuart would leave the room for this discussion and decision.

Alice had send apologies for the meeting but it was noted that she declared a conflict of interest in Destination Tweed as the Environment Agency is a partner in the project.   Alice confirmed that she works in Environment Agency funding department and, should she have been present, would have left the room for the discussion and decision of this project.

Alice also noted that she was a member of the Board of Trees for Life until August 2019.  She therefore declared an interest in the project Lost Woods as they are a partner in this project. The Committee agreed again that should she have been present, Alice would have left the room for the discussion and decision of this project.

9. Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership

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Grantee: East Ayrshire Council

Request:  Award Delivery Grant of £2,220,500 (35%)

Project: This five year Landscape Partnership covers an area of 231km2 in East Ayrshire’s industrial heartland. Responding to severe need in a landscape scarred by opencast coal mining, the project aims to foster greater connections between communities and their landscape ensuring a more sustainable environment.  

The Board of Trustees awarded a First Round Pass of £2,562,900, including development grant of £194,900 (49%) September 2017.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a grant of £2,220,500 (35%)

10. SCALE - Saving Corncrakes through advocacy land management and education

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Grantee: RSPB Scotland

Request:  Award Delivery Grant of £375,300 (51%)

Project: SCALE aims to conserve one of Scotland’s most rare and secretive birds. Once widespread across the UK, corncrake populations fell dramatically with the intensification of farming. They are now confined to some Scottish islands and parts of the northwest coast. This project will work with crofters / farmers to deliver corncrake friendly land management.

The Committee for Scotland awarded a first round pass of £405,600, including a development grant of £30,300 (90% of total eligible development costs) in June 2018.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a grant of £375,300 (51%).

11. Discovering the Deep; A new exploration of Scotland’s historic and natural deepwater marine heritage

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Grantee:  Dynamic Earth Charitable Trust

Request: Award Delivery Grant of £443,000 (45%)

Project: This project will redevelop Dynamic Earth’s ocean galleries, creating an immersive experience focusing on Scotland’s deep-water marine heritage

The Committee for Scotland awarded a first round pass of £500,000, including development grant of £57,000 (63% of eligible development costs) in November 2018.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a grant of £443,000 (45%)

12. Auld Kirk of Cullen - Repairs and improved facilities to increase access

HG-18-01209        CS 19/20 (4) 12 Grantee:  Cullen & Deskford Parish Church

Request: Award Delivery Grant of £131,600 (29%)

Project: The project will deliver urgent repairs to an A-listed building in Cullen, together with an associated programme of activities and training

The Committee for Scotland awarded a first round pass of £168,200, including Development Grant of £36,600 (78% of eligible development costs) in September 2018.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a grant of £131,600 (29%).

13. Prioritisation and Recommendation

Oral  

14. Single Round Grants Overview

CS 19/20 (4) 14 Riona McMorrow presented the overview paper for single round grants and provided the budget implications and recommendation. 

The Committee for Scotland considered the papers and AWARDED 6 grants to give a total spend of £1,274,000:

  • OM-19-02468; Who do we care for & who cares for us? 150 years of Aberdeen social care - £158,700 (84%)
  • OM-19-04336; Community Restoration of the Native Oysters Beds of Loch Craignish - £216,400 (96%)
  • OM-19-02502; Delivering our community's Masterplan for the Plock of Kyle - £196,100 (55%)
  • OM-19-04978; Gateway to Gigha - £228,100 (24%)
  • OM-19-01911; B-Wild- £224,700 (100%)
  • OM-19-05013; Gateway to the Trail: home of the whales, heart of the Hebrides - £250,000 (91%)

The Committee considered and REJECTED the following projects:

  • OM-19-03490; Holding On to Our Heritage-  £166,000 (33%)
  • OM-19-00094; "Reaper FR958: Bringing back the Power and Grandeur" - £208,000 (84%)

SF4 Grant increase for discussion and decision

15. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum Redevelopment Project

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CS 19/20 (4) 15 Applicant: Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum Trust

Request: Award Grant Increase of £200,000 to make a total grant of £1,173,100 (36%)

Project: This project will transform the regimental museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a nationally significant collection located within one of the most important buildings at Stirling Castle. The Committee for Scotland had awarded a first round pass of £1,362,500 including development grant of £245,500 (60% of total eligible development costs) in September 2016.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a grant increase of £200,000 to make a total grant of £1,173,100 (36%)

SFF development round applications for discussion and decision

16. Species on the Edge

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Applicant: Scottish Natural Heritage

Request: Award Development Grant of £195,700 (71% of total eligible development costs) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,169,600

Project: This project responds to a critical need to halt the dramatic decline of Scotland’s species. Identified as a priority for the sector, the strategic partnership will harness collective expertise to enhance habitats for 40 vulnerable species.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a Development Grant of £195,700 (71% of total eligible development costs) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,169,600

17. Destination Tweed - Source to Sea Restoration and Revitalisation

OL-19-03710 CS 19/20 (4) 17 Applicant: Tweed Forum

Request:  Award Development Grant of £299,000 (53% of total eligible development costs) and potential Delivery Grant of £2,980,000.

Project:  The project will celebrate the Tweed and its heritage from source to sea; establishing an identity reaching far beyond its 100-mile length and enhancing, connecting, and promoting multiple heritage assets. It will increase visitor numbers to Border towns along the river including Galashiels, Kelso, Coldstream and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a Development Grant of £299,000 (53% of total eligible development costs) and potential Delivery Grant of £2,980,000.

 

18. The Lost Woods – getting ancient woodland on the map; OL-19-02728

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Grantee: Woodland Trust Scotland

Request: Award Development Grant of £195,700 (71% of total eligible development costs) and potential Delivery Grant of £1,169,600.

Project: This project focuses on recording and protecting  ancient and native woodland fragments in four key areas containing fragments of ancient woodlands of significant natural, cultural and scientific heritage importance: Scottish Borders, Scottish Highlands, Cairngorms National Park, and Coigach and Assynt.

The Committee for Scotland REJECTED the application.

19. Prioritisation and Decision

For Information

20. Communications Report

CS 19/20 (4) 20 Shiona Mackay, Communications and Marketing Manager, Scotland presented the Committee with an overview of recent media coverage.

21. Any other business

CS 19/20 (4) 21 No other business raised.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 10 June 2020.