South West: committee decisions March 2019

Summary report of the meeting of the Committee for the South West held on Tuesday 19 March 2019 in the Miami Washington Room, Building 15F, Northway, Bristol, BS34 7QH starting at 11.00 a.m.

Members:    

  • Stephen Boyce (Chair)
  • Tamsin Daniel
  • Sarah Flannigan (Trustee)
  • Sue Minter
  • Wilbert Smith
  • Sarah Staniforth
  • Evelyn Stacey

Apologies:

  • Phil Collins

Committee Business

1. Chair’s Report

Oral

The Chair welcomed the Committee members and staff members in attendance to the final meeting of the South West Committee.

In advance of the meeting the Chair had received apologies from Phil Collins. Phil sent his best wishes to the Committee and staff and wished them luck for the future.

The Chair highlighted the recent rebranding of the organisation and the regional launches of the Strategic Funding Framework (SFF). Both had been met with positive responses, especially the SFF. Stakeholders felt that the Fund had listened to feedback and were pleased with the outlined organisational priorities.

2. Declarations of Interest

Oral

Tamsin Daniel declared a conflict of interest with The Gardeners’ House- A Community Resource & Learning Centre (item 10) as Cornwall Council was considering giving the applicant a capital loan and she had provided some guidance on the project.

Wilbert Smith declared a conflict of interest with Cranborne Chase Landscape Partnership (item 14) as he is a member of the Cranborne Chase AONB Partnership Panel.

The following interests were also declared. The Committee were content that these did not constitute conflicts of interest and members could remain in the room for discussion:

  • Sue Minter- her partner had an office in Exeter Community Centre (item 11).
  • Sarah Staniforth and Sarah Flannigan. Both used to work for the National Trust but were not involved with and had knowledge of the project.

3. Minutes of the meeting on 4 December 2018

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The Committee agreed the minutes of the last meeting. These were signed by the Chair.

4. Matters arising from the minutes

Oral

There were none.

5. Corporate Update

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Anne Jenkins presented the Corporate Update and thanked the Committee members on behalf of the Chief Executive, Chair and staff as a whole for the hard work and expertise that the members had brought to the Committee.

The members were also updated on the Fund’s work on ‘Shaping our Future Business’.

Anne and the Chair thanked members for their applications to be part of the Interim England, London & South Committee. Stephen Boyce, Tamsin Daniel and Evelyn Stacey had been appointed as Deputy Chair and Members respectively of the new interim Committee. Members highlighted their concern around whether members of the new interim Committee would be able to effectively complete the advocacy role across the new, larger geographical area but were reassured that this was something that was being considered by staff.

6. South West Regional Overview

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Nerys Watts presented the paper and highlighted the following key elements:

  • Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund had visited the region and signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Arts Council England, Historic England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Cornwall Council, which flagged the benefits of heritage and culture and would increase strategic working in the county.
  • The regional SFF launches had been successful with many applauding the new delegation levels. Some concern had been raised regarding the geographical size of the new, England, London & South Area.
  • The Expression of Interest process was working well and at the England, London & South Committee there were three cases for discussion and decision that originated in the South West region.
  • Sincere thanks was extended to all Committee members for their work, advocacy impact on heritage that they had had over the years.

7. South West Regional Budget

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Julie Cooper presented the paper.

There were four delivery round applications for decision at the meeting, totalling £1,931,800. All four cases remain in line with their original development round pass, and are not asking for any additional funding. The Committee were asked to consider whether all four cases continued to meet the Fund’s outcomes strongly and offered good value for money.

The Committee noted that the South West had far exceeded the target spend in relation to Places of Worship they were set at the beginning of the year across all funding programmes. Alongside this the region had a record breaking year in the amount of investment they had made at their monthly regional small grants meeting.

SF4 first round applications for discussion and decision:

8. Seaton Tramway- Travels through Heritage and the Axe Valley; HG-16-00779

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Grantee: Modern Electric Tramways Ltd

Request: Award grant of £420,000 (61%)

Project: To establish new facilities and resources across the Seaton Tramway branch line, accompanied by a three year activity programme, to enable more people to engage with the heritage of the tramway and its relationship to the Axe Valley and the wider Jurassic Coast. Activities would include special events, participation activities and creative projects and new projects would be devised to work with people with dementia, to combat isolation and loneliness and to develop activities for those with mental health issues. Interpretation and information panels would be installed at Colyton station and at other points along the route, linking the tramway to Seaton Wetlands.

The Committee for the South West awarded a first round pass of £465,000 including development grant of £45,000 (67%of total eligible development costs) in June 2017.

The Committee for the South West considered the project as a high priority and AWARDED a grant of £420,000 (61%)

9. Bristol- My Wild City; HG-16-09092

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Grantee: Avon Wildlife Trust

Request: Award grant of £453,100 (79%)

Project: Delivered in partnership with Bristol City Council (BCC) the project would carry out habitat restoration with local communities at 8 key Local Wildlife Sites across Bristol. Engage local communities and help them deliver more, better and joined-up spaces for wildlife in Bristol. New audiences would be engaged with the natural environment to build interest and knowledge, and communities would be empowered to contribute to the long-term management of wildlife habitat in their Local Wildlife Site, park, open space or garden.

The Committee for the South West awarded a first round pass of £499,000 including development grant of £41,500 (76%of total eligible development costs) in June 2017.

The Committee for the South West considered the project a high priority and AWARDED a grant of £453,100 (79%)

10. The Gardeners’ House- A Community Resource & Learning Centre; HG-16-09341

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Tamsin Daniel left the room.

Grantee: The Hypatia Trust

Request: Award grant of £725,000 (48%)

Uplift: £3,000 (0%)

Project: To undertake the full restoration of the partly derelict stable block located in Morrab Gardens in Penzance, creating a new learning resources centre and a home for the Hypatia Archive. A programme of learning activities and community engagement increase understanding of the extensive sub-tropical plant collections and interpretation materials would increase people's appreciation of the gardens. The Hypatia Archive would be catalogued and digitized to make it accessible both physically and virtually, as a resource for academic research and enthusiasts. An oral history project would take place to capture the memories of local residents. New volunteers would be recruited and opportunities for training in horticultural research, practice and horticultural therapy would be created.

The Committee for the South West awarded a first round pass of £792,100, including a development grant of £70,100 (90% of total eligible development costs) in September 2017.

The Committee for the South West agreed to REJECT the application due to concerns raised above.

11. Connecting and celebrating Community Heritage in St David’s: Our Big Building, Our Big Map; HG-17-02036

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Grantee: Exeter Community Centre Trust

Request: Award grant of £333,700 (34%)

Project: To restore and refurbish the top floor of the Grade II listed Exeter Community Centre building, safeguarding the structure of the whole building and creating flexible community use space. The local community would be engaged with the heritage of the St David's area of Exeter through a range of volunteer and learning opportunities.

The Committee for the South West awarded a first round pass of £368,600, including Development Grant of £34,900 (51% of eligible development costs) in March 2018.

The Committee for the South West considered the project a high priority and AWARDED a grant of £333,700 (34%)

12. Prioritisation of second round items

Oral

The Committee were content with the scores of the case-by-case discussion and prioritisation was not required.

The Committee rejected The Gardeners’ House- A Community Resource & Learning Centre (item 10) and funded:

  • Seaton Tramway- Travels through Heritage and the Axe (item 8);
  • Bristol- My Wild City (item 9) and;
  • Connecting and celebrating Community Heritage in St David’s: Our Big Building, Our Big Map (item 11)

SF4 second round Board applications for discussion and recommendation:

13. Snakes in the Heather: helping Britain’s rarest reptile; HG-16-01612

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Grantee: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust

Request: Award grant of £412,000 (57%)

Project: To address the conservation needs of the Smooth Snake through habitat conservation, snake population surveys and raising public awareness of Britain’s most endangered snake through a range of engagement activities. Volunteers would be recruited to the project and trained to provide standardised monitoring across the Smooth Snake range and undertake accredited survey work. Technology would be used to facilitate the collection and dissemination of data.

The Board awarded a first round pass of £467,100 including a development grant of £55,000 (72% of total eligible development costs) in March 2017.

The Committee for the South West recommended the project to the Board as a HIGH (2 of 2) priority for support.

14. Cranborne Chase Landscape Partnership; LP-16-00304

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Wilbert Smith left the room before discussion commenced.

Grantee: Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB

Request: Award Grant of £1,676,600 (63%)

Project: Three programmes of work, Natural Landscapes, Historic Landscapes and Cultural Landscapes, would be supported by a volunteer and youth programme. The landscape focuses on the traditional heart of the Cranborne Chase, the Medieval Royal hunting ground, the chalk river valley in the north of the area and the downland of the Chase.

The Board awarded a first round pass of £1,782,000 including development grant of £105,400 (71% of total eligible development costs) in October 2016.

The Committee for the South West recommended the project to the Board as a HIGH (1 of 2) priority for support.

15. Prioritisation of second round items

Oral

The Committee had two high priority cases, meaning prioritisation was required. Following careful consideration and a vote the Committee ranked the two cases in the following order:

  1. Cranborne Chase Landscape Partnership (item 14) and;
  2. Snakes in the Heather: helping Britain’s rarest reptile (item 13)

Papers for information

16. Communications Report

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The Committee noted the report.

17. Any other business

Oral

The Chair thanked the Committee members, past and present for their dedication and camaraderie over the years. The Chair also thanked the team for their professionalism and effectiveness that had demonstrated when assessing and presenting projects.

Note of Annotation: This was the last meeting of the Committee for the South West. The Committee would be replaced from 1 April 2019 by an interim Area Committee for England, London & South which would include the area originally covered by the Committees for the South West, for the South East of England, and the Committee for Londo