MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE BOARD OF THE
GAIRLOCH & DISTRICT HERITAGE COMPANY LTD
Roy Macintyre; Pauline Butler; Jeremy Fenton; Nevis Hulme; Hugh Macintyre; Irene Macintyre; Alice Mackenzie; Dugald Macpherson; Willie Macrae; Marcus Simpson; Allan Templeton; Katie Pilcher; Lorna Cruickshank.
Karen Buchanan; Liz Forrest.
1. Conflicts of Interest
No potential conflict of interest was declared with respect to the Agenda.
2. Minutes of the Board meetings 20 May & 27 May 2019 & Matters Arising
The minutes of the Board meeting of 20 May were agreed to be a correct record, proposed by Allan and seconded by Irene.
The minutes of the single agenda Board meeting of 27 May were agreed to be a correct record, proposed by Dugald and seconded by Allan.
i) The new ‘brand’ font (Avenir Book), as used by the designers, has been well received.
ii) Willie has cut the grass at the Steading. The turf should soon be laid at the AAOR.
3. Treasurer’s Report
Dugald reported that all outstanding bills have been paid, and the bank account is in credit. There are still significant invoices to come, but we hope that the grants from RCGF, LEADER and HIE will be paid in good time to avoid us having to increase the bridging loan from AHF. Mia is working on this. She is also requesting that HLF accept a further grant payment report in July, and agree to retain 5%, rather than 10% as they have indicated, given the cash flow situation and that the building work is complete, though aspects of the Activity Plan cannot be delivered and evaluated until we are open to the public. There are a number of bills coming in, such as for additional legal fees, licensing, installing the alarm and data systems, that are not covered by grants so are at our own expense. Karen will contact the Northern Lighthouse Trust to see if they will defray some of the additional unexpected costs incurred in moving the Fresnel lens.
Payroll is now being processed by PNL Accounting and Dugald has an appointment with a Bank Manager to finalise the setting up of the Trading Company account.
4. Curator’s Report
There was no Report, owing to Karen’s absence through illness. Katie is dealing with routine enquiries.
5. L&I Officer’s Report
Katie reported that the Induction sessions on 14 June had gone really well. Everyone was delighted with the new Museum and she has enough volunteers already committed to cover the ‘reception desk’ shifts planned for the initial months of opening, though we are open to further offers to share the load. There are other volunteers interested to be room stewards and/or tour guides. A good many have not been on our rotas before.
Six very successful and enjoyable sessions have now been held with the Skills and Learning Group about ‘Life on a Croft’, the outcomes of which will contribute to the September ’Open Doors’ Day.
6. Museum development: updates & way forward
i) Roy updated the meeting about building work still ongoing, mainly electrical, but also some ‘industrial cleaning’, which is delaying the moving of a lot of non-display equipment, furniture etc. Highland Council Building Control is due to inspect on 18 June, so it is hoped that the essential completion certificates can then be issued. We need to get operational details from Simpsons at the next site meeting on 21 June.
Hugh reported that most of the internal networking is now complete, thanks to Alex Gray. The current phone number may need to be diverted short term, but we have three other numbers available. The CCTV, lift phone, fire and alarm systems all seem to be working.
ii) Almost all the display objects have been moved over and Campbell & Co. and their various exhibition contractors have completed their installation work. Everyone who has seen the exhibition areas is very impressed. There are some costs for shelving, table legs and cases that will be additional to the project budget. The Library books have been moved out, ready to place in the new cupboards; other archival, textile and map resources should be taken over later this week.
iii) John English has completed the ‘Gairloch’ film and those who have seen it are very pleased.
7. Commercial and retail operations
i) Notes from the meetings of the Commercial Operations Group (COG) held on 27 May and 10 June have been circulated. Roy presented an update on the various estimated and confirmed costs of fitting out the café kitchen and seating area. After careful consideration of the time pressures given all else that is going on, the current uncertainties of additional costs incurred for other aspects of the project, and the funding gap between what we know that we can obtain as grants and what we would have to take from our reserves, the Board made the decision to delay commitment to the works and purchases that would be required. The situation will be reviewed once the Museum is open and we have income coming in. Although a ‘shell’, we will be able to make the space presentable and use it for the two opening events.
ii) Having not appointed to the Commercial Manager role, and having had the sterling support of Lorna to ensure we are organised for opening, the COG recommends reviewing the operational set up envisaged before we decide whether to have another recruitment process. It is hoped that Lorna might be able to continue to help for another month or so, by which time we will be able to evaluate what would be best for the longer term. There has been one expression of interest in the cleaner post.
iii) The EPOS system is now in place and training is underway. The details and photographs of Board members required for the setting up of ‘Chip and Pin’ have been provided.
iv) There remains one expression of interest in the second retail unit. The proposed uses will be considered further, once we are open and the temporary exhibition there has run its course.
v) Lorna is working through the necessary revisions to the Health and Safety policy and practices and is undertaking new Risk Assessments arising from the move. Additional fire extinguishers will be needed.
vi) Notes from the Exhibitions Planning Group meeting of 12 June have been circulated and the preparation for future exhibitions is going well, with the programme for the next two years being finalised. More than 30 artists/photographers/makers are involved in the initial Inspired by Gairloch exhibition, with a ‘closed set’ preview being held on Saturday 6 July, 7pm. Allan is delighted with the interest and efforts of the EPG group. Mark Appleton is taking on the advertising and promotion.
8. Opening of the new Gairloch Museum
i) Final details for the organisation of the official openings are in hand. About 130 people have indicated they would like to attend on Monday 8 July, 2-5pm, with the ‘royal opening’ from 9.30-11am on 9 July. The circuit for this, and sequence of meetings, is very tightly controlled. There will then be free entry for the rest of the day, which has already been publicised. However, we very much hope that we will be able to open to the public the previous week, as we need to ensure that everything works smoothly.
Irene went through many of the arrangements that she is working on, including the catering supplies. Nevis offered to help with securing tables, urns, fridge and other equipment required. Willie will ensure that cars are directed appropriately as parking at the AAOR will be very limited, particularly on Tuesday morning. Irene, with others, will compile a list of tasks to circulate for offers of assistance.
ii) Most of the sorting out of the names for the two donors’ boards (‘public’ funders and individuals) has now been completed. The fixings for the boards are in place. It is also hoped that all the texts for the Donors’ Book have been received, so that the folder envisaged for the short term is available to view on 8 July.
9. Any Other Business
Pauline will send out reminders to last year’s members who have not yet renewed for this year just before the official opening, in order to encourage re-joining. Dugald will find out what would be required to set up direct debit payments for membership renewals from next year.
10. Date of next meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for 22 July 2019.
There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9.25 pm.