Venue: Rooms 16/17, First Floor, Eastleigh House, Upper Market Street, Eastleigh SO50 9YN
Contact: Jack Grounds, Democratic Services Officer Tel: 023 8068 8026 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
RESOLVED – That the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 June 2015 were approved as a correct record of that meeting.
The Curator, Erica Munro, reported that the Windmill’s summer activities had been a great success. These events had primarily consisted of public events, schools’ events as well as out of hour’s services.
The Hampshire Harvest event had been held on 30 August and had been a very successful event. Local traders had taken part and sold a wide variety of rurally sourced and rurally themed products. There had also been live music performances. Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) had provided relevant collections for visitors to view and engage with; on item of particular interest was a steam tractor. Windmill staff had also liaised with One Community and there had been a display from the Bursledon Brickworks. It was advised that HCT had wanted to offer guided tours of the Windmill but due to capacity issues, not enough guides were available. Erica reported that this was one of the main difficulties of the day.
Members were given an update on the progress of the Windmill’s volunteer recruitment. It was reported that unfortunately the progression had been slow and that the recruitment process had been carried out primarily through email and word of mouth. Despite this, three new volunteers had been recruited and time had been taken to allow them understand and engage with the buildings and structures. This had been helped through a radio interview on BBC Radio Solent with regard to the recruitment of volunteers for the Windmill and other local heritage sites. Moreover, a garden maintenance volunteer had been recruited with a view to building raised beds in order to plant wheat on site.
It was reported that eight school visits had taken place from 24 June to 30 September including one visit from a Special Educational Needs school. These visits had been very successful. Feedback from teaching staff had been very good and the Windmill had been given excellent scores for the delivery of their service. It was highlighted that a further five classes had also been booked for future dates. The Community Engagement and Learning Officer had revised and produced new publicity and flyers for schools which detailed the workshops available to schools.
It was advised that in May 2015, HCT had produced and distributed its ‘What’s On’ leaflet that covered the period from June to September. This was distributed throughout the region to TICs, libraries, museums, accommodation providers, educational establishments, attractions, art centres and theatres. The new edition, covering the period October to December had been delivered in early September. Online marketing through the use of social media and an e-newsletter had also been increasingly used and this had produced an increased interest from the public and potential visitors. This increase had been significantly aided by the Hampshire Harvest event. It was reported that there had been an upward trend in visitor figures on the previous year but a slight fall in visitors was expected for the winter period, however, it was stressed that this fall would be expected due to the colder temperatures. It was advised that HCT would always be looking for new ways to attract new visitors.
Members congratulated Erica Munro on her comprehensive and detailed report.
Members raised the issue of the obscured view of the Windmill as a result of nearby trees. Diccon Bright advised that a survey of the trees and their ownership had been commissioned but the survey’s findings had not yet been distributed.
Members were concerned that there had been a lack of engagement with schools in the Eastleigh Borough area. It was reported that advertising of school sessions and workshops was very prominent and schools were never turned ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
Tim Kelly reported that income had been strong in relation to the previous year. A significant amount of change had taken place and HCT had moved to its own accounts package. It was highlighted that the salaries and costs were included in venue management and both were actuals.
Members were advised that there would be a different allocation of funds for different venues and that certain areas of expenditure, such as collections, would differ from venue to venue. It was reported that as HCT consists of 23 different venues and therefore while benefitting from various collections for example, costs cannot simply be split 23 ways as this would depend on the size and function of the particular venue. Moreover, it was reported that HCT had recently appointed a Financial Director. HCT would no longer be able to rely on the support of the strength and size of the finance team at Hampshire County Council and that assistance would be required despite the use of two full time accountants at HCT.
RESOLVED – That the report be noted.
HLF Update and Future Plans and Toilet Block Update
It was agreed that agenda Items 5 and 6 be taken together.
The Chair highlighted the three levels of local authority funding directly involved with the Windmill; Hampshire County Council (HCC), Eastleigh Borough Council (EBC) and Bursledon Parish Council.
Tom Quinton, Chief Operating Officer at HCT, gave a presentation highlighting HCT’s approach to the management of the Windmill and the future of its relationship with the Joint Management Committee.
It was reported a 2% reduction in funding with a 2%, 2%, 10% and 2% model for the next five years. At the end of the five year period, there would be a firm commitment to the renegotiation of the agreement. It was advised that this would take place in year 3.
It was reported that there had been many redundancies in HCC’s Arts and Museums Service and the Windmill’s current curator was also responsible for five other venues across Hampshire. Moreover, the cost per visitor to the taxpayer was approximately £25 per person and heritage organisations in general were struggling to move towards sustainability.
Many different funding ideas had been previously discussed such as obtaining a marriage licence for the Windmill site in order to generate income and provide a more diverse use for the site. A marriage licence would cost approximately £2,100 and such a cost would need to be off-set with marketing and publicity with a view to gaining a customer base. Tom Quinton advised that Members and HCT needed to be wary of short term solutions as these may be a distraction away from long-term targets.
Members expressed their frustration at the length of time it had taken to make repairs to the structure and mechanism of the Windmill but appreciated this may be due to a lack of sufficient resources. Members were advised that the wind-shaft replacement had been completed and that resolving a number of snagging issues had caused the delay. As a result of health and safety checks, staff were not happy to use the repaired mechanism until it had been thoroughly checked and tested. Erica Munro expressed regret that these tests could be fully carried out until the wind was blowing and both the miller and architect are available. It was advised that this testing would be carried out on 12 November 2015.
Tom Quinton reported that HCT were keen to advance with the work on the proposed toilet block at the Windmill site but needed to wait for a decision from the EBC Local Area Committee with regard to funding.
Councillor Van Niekerk advised that the Local Area Committee needed to see a fundraising plan for the Windmill in order to make a decision but would soon be meeting to discuss the issue and would report back to HCT soon after.
(1) That a decision with regard to the funding for the toilet block be confirmed by the Borough Council;
(2) That the position on the Windmill’s revenue funding for 2015/16 and 2016/17 be clarified by the Borough Council;
(3) That the plans for the proposed toilet block be completed by the Hampshire Cultural Trust;
(4) That a fundraising plan for the Windmill be provided by the Hampshire Cultural Trust; and
(5) That details of revenue cost apportionment based on actual expenditure for the Windmill be provided by the Hampshire Cultural Trust.
Date and Venue of Next Meeting
RESOLVED – That the next meeting be held on 23 February 2016 at 11:00 am at Eastleigh House.