Tim Kelly advised that due to future funding cuts to the windmill, Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) felt that the future funding for the windmill was dependent primarily on the trust’s overarching fundraising plans, as the return on investment from more global plans was likely to be more significant.
In order to manage the reduced funding the Trust had planned to broaden its funding base towards providing a sustainable way forward. Currently the trust was working on broadening funding via: Corporate Partners and Ambassadors, Better Life Chances, Happenings and Trusts and Foundations; Donations and Gift Aid and Inspiring a Culture of Philanthropy. There were also local plans in place including; volunteer development and milling.
Since April 2015, the trust has raised around £70,000 from Corporate and Ambassador sponsorship. There was a positive start to the new financial year 16/17; securing an additional Corporate partner and increasing the donor pool by 5%, receiving over £13,000 in donations.
As part of the Culture Stops project, the retail offer at the Windmill will be improved by introducing better ranges and more products for the Hampshire Fare community. The viability of selling good quality hot drinks on site was also being investigated. The Director of Mozzo Coffee, based in Southampton, was visiting the mill in the coming weeks to provide an expert assessment and make recommendations. In addition the new Chief Operating Officer for the trust, Paul Sapwell, was due to start on the 1 August and had significant experience in the food and beverage sector.
Marketing colleagues were working on a new streamlined process for Gift Aid and it was hoped to encourage further promotions in the new year. The trust had just signed up with the National Fundraising Scheme and was able to take donations online and via SMS. The trust was also in the process of reviewing CRM/ticketing systems that would enable a donor management programme. Once this was in place online giving would be promoted through all appropriate fundraising and marketing literature, driving prospects to the website.
Cerian Trevan the Community Museums Curator for the South East of Hampshire, was picking up the trail of flour production and would report further on this in the coming months. Gary Freeman, the miller, had been awaiting the right conditions for flour production and had produced the mill’s first flour for some time. The possibility of producing flour for sale was being investigated by Cerian.
In order to boost visitor numbers and secondary spend, in the summer months the mill would be open Saturdays and Sundays and closing in the height of winter, when visitor numbers decreased. Along with improvements in café and retail, and the appointment of new posts that had greater retail and catering expertise, the foundations were being laid to increase visitor numbers and income.
In conclusion Tim advised that the windmill would continue to be supported by HCT, however it was important to recognise that ongoing support would be enabled by wider trust strategies for future funding.
Councillor Van Niekerk advised that it was encouraging to receive more information and on behalf of Bursledon, Hamble-le-Rice and Hound Local Area Committee (BHH LAC), it had addressed the concerns they had. She was happy to report that there had been enough progress made that funding could be released on the proviso that it would come back to the June 2016 meeting for further discussion on the future funding of the project. Tim Kelly advised that they could be completely transparent and would happily share any information that was sought.
Diccon Bright advised that after the meeting he would work with BHH LAC to establish what further information was required before June 2016.
It was AGREED that the progress be noted.