Details of exactly why Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd [ a.k.a. PACL – the company that holds the 125-year lease on Penarth Pier Pavilion] needs its latest £126,000 grant from the National Lottery have been revealed by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
PACL – which took over the building only in 2013 – had pleaded for more public money from the Heritage Lottery Fund in the wake of a cash crisis which also resulted in the total closure of the Pier Pavilion Cinema and the closure of the Pier Pavilion itself on 3 days out of every 7.
It’s now also emerged that the PACL bid for the extra lottery-funding had been supported, in writing, by the then Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council Cllr Lis Burnett. [ The Vale of Glamorgan Council became Conservative-controlled following the May 4th local government elections. The Deputy Leader is now Cllr Hunter Jarvie and Cllr Ben Gray (Conservative Plymouth Ward) is now the council’s nominee on the PACL board]
Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wales Richard Bellamy – in correspondence with PDN correspondent Chris David – has issued the first detailed breakdown of the bid made for the extra cash by Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd .
The £126,000 grant – all of it public money – was given by what’s called the “Resilient Heritage Grant Programme” to Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd.
The budget submitted by PACL as part of its bid for the grant was as follows:-
- Professional Fees: Programming and community engagement advice £20,000
- Professional Fees: Commercial/Retail consultant/VAT advice £15,000
- New Staff: Temporary Bookkeeper £18,000
- New Staff: Temporary Building management and operations £30,000
- New Staff: Temporary Volunteer Coordinator £22,500
- Audience Research £3,500
- Fundraising training for volunteers and staff £5,000
- CRM [ i.e. Customer Resource Management] database and advice on procurement £5,000
- External evaluator £3,500
- Contingency allowance for an increase in audience research and CRM £2,500
- Volunteer advertising and recruitment £5,000
- Delivery of recommendations from commercial consultancy £10,000
The total amount of cash requested by PACL (£140,000) was evidently cut back 10% by the Heritage Lottery Fund .
HLF Head Mr Bellamy says in his letter to Mr David “As I stated in correspondence to other concerned residents of Penarth, Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd acknowledge that they face serious challenges in securing a sustainable future for the Pavilion Building. The fact that they have had to apply for a Resilient Heritage Grant is evidence in itself. The Heritage Lottery Fund alongside other funders have invested significant sums of money in restoring the building and we want to see it succeed as a community resource for Penarth. If nothing was wrong with way the building has been run in its first three years and every decision that had been made was the correct one, then further support to enable change would not be necessary. It is clear that this is not the case and the Heritage Lottery Fund has made the decision to award a grant to enable change to happen.”
Mr David, in correspondence with Richard Bellamy, had said “Please tell me why you think it’s acceptable to support a company funded by the public that won’t make public its management meeting minutes and accounts.”
Mr Bellamy says in reply ” My understanding is that under this legal status it is not obliged to make public minutes of its management meetings. Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd publishes its annual accounts in the usual way for charity with this structure. The accounts can be viewed using the Charity Commission Website – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission.”
The new Conservative administration in the Vale of Glamorgan Council has already announced that it will carry out a “review” of the terms on which the Penarth Pier Pavilion was leased to PACL for 125 years.
The Vale Council’s forthcoming “review” of the Pier Pavilion lease has been attacked by Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, Stephen Doughty who says “as anyone who’s been in politics knows, a promise to “review the issue” is not a commitment of any substance”.