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Somerset Heritage Service Review

Papers that emerge from the SCC/SANHS consultation during the work on establishing the Somerset Heritage Trust sometime in 2014 will be posted here. You can contribute to the body of knowledge by using the comment box below or go to the SANHS Blogs page.



SANHS/SCC Archive Collection Loan Agreement Oct 2014 Archive Collection Agreement. This agreement between SANHS and SCC came into effect on 24 October 2014 and will remain in effect until 27 July 2040 unless earlier terminated in accordance with the terms of the agreement

SANHS Due Diligence Paper Oct 2014 This paper is produced by the Development and Policy Committee of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society for consideration by the Society’s Board of Trustees and was approved at its meeting on 25 October 2014.

SANHS Fundamental Points

Summary list of SANHS fundamental points in dealing with SCC over the establishment of the South West Heritage Trust.

SWHT 20141021 Charity Commission: Registration of South West Heritage Trust as a charity number 1158791


SWHT 20141021 Companies House: Registration of additional Director for the South West Heritage Trust from Devon County Council.

SWHT 20141021 Companies House: Certificate of Incorporation of South West Heritage Trust including Trustees and 'Articles of Association'. Company Number 9053532

SANHS update 20140901 SANHS Update for August: Our Trustees had hoped to approve the package of documents and support for the SWHT on 26 June. Due diligence remains incomplete.

Moving to Museum Trusts Part 2 2006 The Process of Devolution : This is the second part of a report commissioned by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), following the recommendation of the Goodison Review1 that it should make available to local authorities and museums a summary of the means by which local authority museums were devolved to museum trusts

Museum, Libraries and Archives Council Report: Moving to Museum Trusts Part 1 2006 This report focuses on museums that have been ‘devolved’ by local authorities. They are distinguished by the following characteristics:
a) they are charitable bodies (‘museum trusts’) specially created to deliver a local authority’s museums services, with the intention of a long-term relationship between the council and the museum trust the Executive Summary here and the full report as a larger pdf

Museums and Galleries Commission Advice 1996

SANHS AND THE FORMATION OF THE SOUTH WEST HERITAGE TRUST – SOME OF OUR BACKGROUND READING: On several occasions Members have been reassured that the Trustees and their delegated working parties have been using the best of our abilities to ensure that the new body, the South West Heritage Trust, which will manage the future development of the Heritage Service on behalf of Somerset County Council, is given the best possible start, whilst at the same time making sure the assets in the care of the Society – that part of the Castle Estate leased to the County Council and of course our archive, library and museum collections – are wholly safeguarded.

The conversion of local authority services into charitable trusts has been commonplace in the museum world for the past thirty years. We have plumbed into that wealth of experience. We have taken particular note of the research and advice published in the 1990s prompted by the distressing number of collections that were being sold to satisfy the creditors of a number of charitable trusts who were also public limited liability companies. That advice still holds good. So while negotiations are still continuing, you might like to have access to some of this advice to get an idea of the principles we are seeking to apply. Read 'The Legal Status of Museum Collections' here

SANHS/SCC Heads of Terms 20140514 Sets out the basis on which Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society is willing to support Somerset County Council in setting up a Heritage Trust.

SANHS update 20140501 At the December 2013 General Meeting, the Society and Somerset County Council presented their respective positions in relation to the Council’s intent to devolve the delivery of its heritage services to a charitable company, limited by guarantee, by 1 September 2014 and thence to a charity.

SCC Update 20140415

This information sheet highlights the final approval by Devon County Council’s Cabinet for their heritage services to be delivered by the Trust, and the achievement of a key milestone with the appointment of a Chair and shadow board for the trust.

Stakeholders' Forum 20140402 David Gwyther was formally welcomed to the meeting. He has a strong Somerset background and an active interest in history and heritage. He explained that he felt very fortunate to be selected and considers the trust to be an excellent initiative that opens up many opportunities, and not just for financial savings.

Stakeholders' Forum 20140206 The recruitment process began on 13 January and a well-attended event for prospective trustees was held on 27 January at the Museum of Somerset.

SANHS update 20140202 The December update prepared the ground for the Society General Meeting held on 7 December when SCC and the SANHS executive reported progress on creation of a Heritage Trust from their different perspectives.

SCC - Additional Information for Prospective Trustees The information in this paper reflects questions that have been asked by email and telephone, as well as those asked at the Open Evening on 27 January 2014.

Stakeholders' Forum 20140107 [Meeting] welcomed Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member for Business, Inward Investment and Policy, to the meeting. Cllr Hall emphasised that Cabinet recognises the importance of Somerset’s heritage and the Heritage Service.

SWHT Chair and Trustee Recruitment Briefing Pack A rich and remarkable heritage is one of the things that makes Somerset and Devon such special places.

Open Evening for Potential Trustees of the South West Heritage Trust 20140127 This is an opportunity to learn more about the trust
and the role of the chair and trustees


Stakeholders' Forum 20131209 It was confirmed that Cabinet unanimously agreed to the creation of a heritage trust at their meeting on 11 November. There was a brief debate and a few questions.

SANHS General Meeting 20131207 A view of its [SW Heritage Trust] creation from a Somerset Archaeological and Natural History perspective.

SANHS Chairman's letter to Members 20131119 The Society’s statement in full can be found on our website or in hard copy in the SANHS Office. It expresses our constructive support for the concept of creating a Somerset Heritage Trust.

Stakeholders' Forum 20131104

The shape of the Gateway Paper had been explained at the stakeholder meeting in September. The governance structure was amended to reflect comments from stakeholders.

SCC Cabinet Outcome 20131112 At its meeting yesterday the County Council’s Cabinet agreed the recommendations concerning the creation of a heritage trust.


SCC Somerset Heritage Trust Gateway Paper to Cabinet 20131111

This report sets out the benefits of the approach described in the Gateway Report and how SCC have ensured that the proposal is affordable, viable and sustainable.


SANHS Statement on Gateway Report for SCC Scrutiny 20131031


Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society (SANHS) is grateful for this opportunity to comment on the proposed creation of a Heritage Trust – Final Gateway Report.



SCC Somerset Heritage Trust Gateway Report 20131029 This Gateway Report does not seek to replicate the detail set out in the Full Business Case, but instead focuses on the affordability, viability and sustainability of a trust. ........

SANHS update 20131007 Members will remember that the last update report, published in the autumn Newsletter, gave an account of the work that the Development and Policy Committee of the Society .........

Stakeholders' Forum 20130903

The general way in which the financial case is developing was explained. It is focusing on coming up with a budget which is affordable, viable and sustainable, both for the trust and for SCC..........

Stakeholders' Forum 20130724 The decision on whether to proceed to trust status will be made by SCC’s Cabinet on 23 October. A draft paper needs to be completed by the end of the first week of September......

Monthly Report to SANHS Trustees 20130723 Since the Trustees’ Meeting on 18 April 2013 when the Board agreed that RFC and BK would represent SANHS using the approved guidance of the Board and advice from the D&PC working group, there have been exchanges of correspondence and meetings with SCC.
SCC Heritage Services Review Project Initiation Document The purpose of this Project Initiation Document is to define all major aspects of the Development Phase of the Heritage Service Review Project and to form the basis for its management and the assessment of its overall success.
SANHS Commentary on Review 20130618 The Society’s Board of Trustees has since made clear to the Council that, in order to be able to assess the further work towards Trust status, and the implications of that to its interests as a major stakeholder, it needs to be fully involved in the implementation process.
SCC Heritage Services Review Public Consultation This consultation forms part of the further work SCC Cabinet requested, and seeks feedback on the trust proposal. The proposal is about how it delivers and manages heritage services, not about what services are delivered. The questionnaire can be downloaded here or found at


Western Daily Press 20130612 People across Somerset are being asked for their views on proposals to move the Heritage Service to a not-for-profit charitable trust.


Stakeholders' Forum 20130513 It was explained that the purpose of the meeting was to ensure ongoing communication about the proposal to establish a heritage trust, and to understand the issues and views of stakeholders.

SCC Update - Information for Users 20130410 Somerset County Council, like local authorities across the country, is facing serious budgetary challenges. To meet these challenges, and at the same time to provide services that are sustainable for the future, it needs to consider new approaches and potential new ways of working.

SCC response to SANHS submission 20130331

I write on behalf of Councillor David Hall to thank you for your attendance at the Cabinet meeting on 20 March and for the statement you made on that occasion. ..........

SANHS submission to SCC Cabinet 20130320 Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society (SANHS) is grateful for this opportunity to comment on the Heritage Service Review – Full Business Case. The Heritage Service has been and remains a key ‘partner’ in the care and maintenance of the Society’s Castle Estate and of the three priceless collections on loan to the Council.
Somerset Heritage Service FBC 20130320 In July 2012 Cabinet decided that a Full Business Case should be developed to explore the option of delivering the Heritage Service through a not-for-profit trust.
SANHS submission to SCC Cabinet 20120704 As the Outline Business Case papers demonstrate, Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society is Somerset County Council's most significant partner in the field of heritage through owning the Castle and 40% of the collections. We feel strongly that the existing Heritage Service not only provides enjoyment, education, social cohesion and well-being to the residents of Somerset but is a proven economic driver supporting the tourism offer and economic development.
SANHS/SCC Library Loan Agreement Jul 2010 Library Loan Agreement. This agreement between SANHS and SCC came into effect on 28 July 2010 and will remain in effect until 27 July 2040 unless earlier terminated in accordance with the terms of the agreement

SANHS/SCC Museum Collection Loan Agreement Sept 2008 Museum Collection Loan Agreement. This agreement between SANHS and SCC came into effect on 2 September 2008 and will remain in effect until 31 March 2056 unless earlier terminated in accordance with the terms of the agreement


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