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Minutes of Board Meeting held at Highgate Hall 12 April 2010
Directors: Ron Cruickshank Acting Chair
Pearl Brown Treasurer
David McKenzie Secretary
Advisor: Cllr Bruce Marshall
Apologies: Dinah McDonald
Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the last Trust meeting held on 15 February 2010 were proposed by David McKenzie, seconded by Pearl Brown and adopted.
Business of the Trust
Ø Nothing to report
Update on membership
Ø The membership update has yet to take place – it was agreed to set aside 30 minutes at the next Trust meeting to do this.
Ø Pearl advised that the balances on hand were:
o Account 1 - £1,560.06
o Account 2 - £12,715.22
Ø The balance in account 2 reflects monies received from various sources for the Blairmore / Gairletter path and not yet paid out and also monies received from Community Energy Scotland and Argyll & Bute Council towards the final invoice from AECOM for the Anaerobic Digestion project. The AECOM invoice has been received and will now be settled.
Ø Bruce Marshall advised that the planning application for the Midge Lane access road has been submitted.
Villages in Bloom
Ø Jeanette Sloss reported that the new flower tub for Clachaig bus stop has now been installed and is blooming. The bus stop has been repaired.
Ø Bruce Marshall advised that he is personally maintaining the planters from the Cot House to Blairmore.
Ø Pearl reported that the repair works were not yet completed, but could be expected to be done shortly.
Ø Bruce Marshall reminded the Board that Evelyn Boyd had previously contracted with Colin Stewart to build a BBQ; after discussion, it was agreed to combine the required repairs with the BBQ construction, and to do this before summer. Pearl will liaise with Bruce to get this carried out.
Paths and Access
Ø Due to Dinah’s absence, there was no update on the Blairmore / Gairletter path.
Ø Bruce asked if the Trust could undertake a new paths project – namely the construction of a footpath on the South side of Loch Eck. This would be a major undertaking, but is becoming necessary due to the number of walkers who use that route. After discussion, it was agreed that the Trust would examine the proposal and get back to Bruce.
David McKenzie reported on each of five work streams:
1. Legal Documents:
a. The text of the Mausoleum Lease is now agreed.
b. As previously advised, the lease will not be signed until offers of sufficient funds for restoration are received. The signature process will be documented in an exchange of letters (missive) between the Council legal department and the solicitors acting for the Mausoleum. This is in process.
c. It is becoming clear that the amount of legal effort that has been necessary to arrive at an agreed lease and Minute of Agreement means that the estimates for legal costs will be exceeded and may reach £8,000. However, such amounts have been provided for in the funding requests.
a. Nothing to report
3. Fund raising / financials:
a. Both Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic Scotland (HS) had responded positively to the application for funds. HLF had indicated that the Mausoleum could be eligible for a sum of around £240,000, with a first round component available almost immediately of around £37,000. HS had requested that the sum they were considering be kept confidential for the meantime, but it is significant. A meeting with the funding bodies, including LEADER and SRDP, will be held on 21 April.
b. A copy of the agreed lease has been provided to OSCR. The decision on charitable status was still pending.
c. Application to the Archaeological Challenge Fund for small amounts of funds to carry out some initial archaeological investigation was still pending.
4. Marketing Plan / Visitor Centre:
a. David advised that the National Park and the Council had distributed a Press Release announcing the first round award from HLF. Coverage in the local paper had resulted, and a request had been received from BBC Alba for a Gaelic speaking interviewee – David was pursuing.
b. The enhanced visitor centre was going to be a bigger problem than anticipated. A meeting had been held with the National Park planning department, and various options had been reviewed. These will be discussed in detail at the next Board Meeting of Argyll Mausoleum Ltd on 23 April.
5. Temporary repairs:
a. Nothing to report
Ø David McKenzie reported that the feasibility study with AECOM was now complete. A meeting will be held on Thursday 15 April at Highgate Hall for a presentation to the Trust and to the community. The meeting has been advertised in the local press and a letter to the editor has also been published.
Ø It is anticipated that the AECOM report will conclude that there is insufficient feedstock to make an anaerobic digestion scheme for the shore communities feasible. Jim Hart from AECOM, who will be presenting the study at the community meeting, will introduce the idea of a district heating system, powered by local biomass / wood chips, which might be a way to build a waste water collection system in tandem with the district heating system. This would need a further feasibility study, building on the work done by AECOM. It was agree to see what the community meeting view would be on this.
Post Office / Shop
Ø A sub-committee has now been set up to investigate the possibility of the Trust managing a community shop / post office. Jean Maskell has been elected chair of this sub-committee and several meetings have been held. Jean has prepared a status report on the project and this is attached to these minutes.
Ø The Trust has submitted an application for a feasibility study for the community shop project to the Big Lottery Fund. The application has been acknowledged and a decision is expected at the end of April.
Bruce Marshall advised that SRDP were accepting applications to deal with invasive species and up to 90% grants were expected. This will be discussed at a future Trust meeting.
Date of next meeting
The date of the next Trust Board meeting will be on Monday 24 May 2010 at 19:30 in Blairmore Hall.