Scotland: committee meeting minutes June 2021

Minutes of the meeting of the Committee for Scotland held virtually on 9 June at 9.30am.

Members:      

  • Chair Ray Macfarlane
  • Sam Anderson 
  • Liz Davidson 
  • Martyn Wade 

Apologies:

  • Stuart Housden
  • Alice Mayne 

Committee Business

1. Welcomes and apologies

The chair welcomed all to the first committee meeting of the financial year. The committee members and Senior Management introduced themselves to our new Chair Dr Simon Thurley.

The chair extended a warm welcome to:

  • Heritage Fund's new Chair Dr. Simon Thurley CBE joining the Committee for Scotland meeting for the first time

The chair noted that Stuart Housden and Alice Mayne sent their apologies for the meeting.

2. Minutes from the last meeting held on 10 March 2021 and matter arising

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

No matters arisen.

3. Declarations of interest

The chair confirmed that there are no declarations of interest noted from Committee for Scotland members.

Dr. Simon Thurley noted a conflict of interest with item 16 Save Mavisbank. His wife, Anna Keays is the Director of the Landmark Trust who is a joint applicant for the project. It was confirmed that Dr. Simon Thurley will not be present for either of the HHA discussions at today’s meeting and will be absent for any discussion and decision about Mavisbank at the Board meeting on the 29 June 2021.

4. Chair’s Report

The chair updated the committee on the following areas:

  • the chair thanked Stuart Housden in his absence for attending the virtual online meeting for the Highland Wildlife Round Two visit and for submitting his comments in his absence
  • the chair expressed her thanks to Martyn and Sam for their continued commitment to the Race and Heritage Steering Group
  • she noted that René Olivieri had left as interim chair of NHMF and The Heritage Fund and has been replaced by Simon Thurley who joins today’s meeting
  • Ray noted her tribute to the outgoing Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop who was very supportive of the Heritage Fund and our work and noted that Jenny Gilruth is newly in post as Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development

5. Corporate Update

Eilish McGuinness, Executive Director of Business Delivery, provided an update on corporate activity. Key points noted were as follows:

  • The NHMF 40th anniversary stakeholder event was held at the British Library this week which was streamed live and recorded. This event saw the launch of the £20m allocation from the Cultural Recovery Fund to NHMF by DCMS.

6. Scotland Director’s Report

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

  • Caroline highlighted the key external influences in the upcoming year which will impact on the work of the Heritage Fund in Scotland. These include electoral changes and new Cabinet Secretary and Ministerial structures and responsibilities; further impacts of COVID 19, such as differences to unlocking restrictions across different local authorities; COP 26; the development of Scottish Government themed year focusing on literature and storytelling over 2022 and the Scottish Government’s consultation on Empire and Slavery.

Business Continuity

  • there have been a number of staff changes in the Heritage Fund’s Scotland team over the last six months which include new members of the team who are joining the meeting

COP 26

  • The Scotland team are liaising with partners across Scotland to identify appropriate opportunities to support COP26 and to ensure that the impact of our investment is effectively communicated to key stakeholders at this time.  It is anticipated that a number of our Landscape Partnership Projects will feature in the summit.

Race and Heritage A series of curated perspectives

  • Caroline extended her thanks to committee for supporting the delivery of our Race and Heritage series and in particular to Sam and Martyn for their time and expertise extended to the Steering Group

7. Policy and Public Affairs Update

Frank Toner, Policy and Public Affairs Manager for Scotland introduced himself to the committee as he is new in post and provided an update to committee following the Scottish elections in May.

8. Scotland Budget Overview

This paper was presented by Riona McMorrow, Head of Investment.  

Riona noted that we are back to accepting applications through our open programme and confirmed the Scotland budget for the forthcoming financial year is £16.4million. 

SF4 Delivery second round applications for discussion and decision

9. Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre; HG-18-02827

Grantee: Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Request: Award Grant of £1,900,000 (33%)

Project: This four-year project aims to greatly improve visitors’ experience at the Highland Wildlife Park, creating three interconnected hubs showcasing Scotland’s native wildlife and the nature conservation taking place across the Cairngorms.

Previous grant award: The Committee for Scotland awarded a first round pass of £1,600,000, including development grant of £100,000 (30% of eligible development costs) in 2018.

Dr. Simon Thurley left the meeting at this point.

SFF development round applications for discussion and decision

10. Discovery Point Transformed: A new centre for Antarctic heritage, environment and learning; OL-20-05900

Grantee: Dundee Industrial Heritage Limited

Request: Award Development Grant of £316,500 (90%) and potential Delivery Grant of £2,555,400 (27%)

Project: This project is seeking to conserve the RRS Discovery, redevelop, and extend Discovery Point, improve exhibitions, create new learning spaces and new visitor facilities overlooking the River Tay.  It aims to deliver a new and engaging learning programme.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a Development Grant of £316,500 (90%) and potential Delivery Grant of £2,555,400 (27%).

11. Museum and Activities Redevelopment and Expansion; OL-20-05861

Grantee: Glencoe Folk Museum

Request: Award Development Grant of £74,100 (45%) and potential Delivery Grant of £677,900 (70%)

Project: Redevelop the Glencoe Folk Museum by repairing the building, re-interpreting the collection and improving visitor facilities.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority for support and AWARDED a development Grant of £74,100 (45%) and potential Delivery Grant of £677,900 (70%).

12. The Scottish Cooperative Discovery Centre; OL-20-05920

Grantee:  West Calder & Harburn Community Development Trust

Request: Award Development Grant of £218,800 (68%) and potential Delivery Grant of £955,600 (28%).

Project: The project will create the Scottish Cooperative Discovery Centre, developing the disused former Cooperative bakery in West Calder, West Lothian into a heritage attraction and a hub for education, training and community well-being.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a LOW priority for support and REJECTED the application.

13. Prioritisation and Decision

During the case by case discussions, the committee considered that:

  • Discovery Point Transformed: A new centre for Antarctic heritage, environment and learning; OL-20-05900 (item 10) and  Museum and Activities Redevelopment and Expansion; OL-20-05861 (item 11) represented a high priority for support
  • The Scottish Cooperative Discovery Centre; OL-20-05920 (item 12) represented a low priority for support.

Liz Davidson left the room at this point.

Heritage Horizon Award (HHA) Delivery round applications for discussion

14. Heritage Horizon Overview

Eilish McGuinness, Executive Director updated the committee on the Heritage Horizons applications.

15. HHA2019 Cairngorms 2030: people and nature thriving together; OL-19-02745

Grantee: Cairngorms National Park Authority

Request: Development Grant of £1,717,500 and potential Delivery Grant of £10,770,600.

Project: Deliver inclusive, transformational, landscape-scale change across the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a HIGH priority and should be recommended for support at the Board of Trustees.

16. HHA2019 Save Mavisbank: Pioneering Approaches to Heritage & Communities; OL-19-03936

Grantee: Historic Environment Scotland

Request: Development Grant of £1,258,100 and potential Delivery Grant of £7,035,700

Project: Reroof and restore Mavisbank House to provide fully accessible self-catering holiday accommodation with regular free public access, operated by the Landmark Trust.

The Committee for Scotland agreed the application represented a MEDIUM priority and should be recommended for support at the Board of Trustees.

17. Prioritisation and feedback to grantees

During the case by case discussions, the committee considered that

  • HHA2019 Cairngorms 2030: people and nature thriving together; OL-19-02745 (item 15) as a high priority for support.
  • HHA2019 Save Mavisbank: Pioneering Approaches to Heritage & Communities; OL-19-02745 (item 16) represented a medium priority for support.

Papers for Information

18. Annual Report

The committee noted the report expressing it has been a remarkable and challenging year for the Scotland Team and extended their thanks to the team for responding to the challenges faced  by the pandemic and supporting the sector this year.

19. Any other business

No other business raised.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 8 September 2021.

 

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