Culture Perth & Kinross Trustees Annual Report
Year ending 31 March 2020
A Message from
It is my great pleasure to introduce this report once again on the activity of Culture Perth & Kinross for the year ended 31 March 2021. This report reflects our fifth full year of operation, one which presented new and unforeseen challenges and some business interruption as a result of the terrible COVID-19 pandemic, which as I write remains ongoing, its long-term effects only now beginning to become better understood.
In the face of operating restrictions set at local and national government level, we at Culture Perth and Kinross have remained committed to supporting the citizens of the region during an immensely challenging time and will continue to do so throughout the recovery process and as new priorities for culture within that emerge.
We have worked closely with, and are immensely grateful to, Perth & Kinross Council. Their support has ensured we have been able to continue to deliver services both in times of lockdown and during eased restrictions. Our work together on the City Hall continues, and construction work commenced on site in February of this year. This followed one of the highlights of our year, the historic decision by Her Majesty The Queen in December 2020 to relocate, on long-term loan, the Stone of Scone, also referred to as the Stone of Destiny, as the centre piece of the new Museum.
The circumstances of this year have accelerated developments in how and where we deliver our services. We quickly and expertly made more of our collections and learning content available online through new websites, CPKPlay and CPKMuseums and continue to develop new content to be delivered online to complement our face to face and in-venue services.
The speed with which we have been able to transform our digital output has been made possible by the tremendous work undertaken by our committed staff and excellent volunteers throughout this year. Continuing partnerships with Museums and Galleries Scotland, Google Arts and Culture, Abertay University and the Perth and Kinross Rural LEADER Fund have supported an increase in our digital capacity, helping to make more of our collections and resources as accessible as possible to local, national and international audiences, including via Animal Crossing an online game familiar to many during lockdown which featured images from the Collections and from our highly successful social media campaign #DougieDraws.
Funding from The Gannochy Trust has ensured our commitment to giving young people opportunities to develop their interest and skills in working in culture and heritage environments has been able to continue and we have hosted Foundation Apprenticeships, Internships and graduate work experience supporting the next generation of stewards for the region’s heritage.
In a year where all our usual routes to income generation were cut off, the support from our funders has never been more critical or more welcomed and in addition to The Gannochy Trust and Perth and Kinross Council, our sincere thanks go to Museums and Galleries Scotland, the Crockart Foundation, the Jimmie Cairncross Charitable Trust, the Carnegie Trust, the John Ellerman Foundation, and the Scottish Book Trust.
We have benefited too from two of the many streams of government funding set up to help organisations navigate the pandemic, without such support I may be writing a very different report to you today. Our sincere thanks therefore go also to Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Fund and the Third Sector Resilience Fund.
Recognising the extraordinary challenges of ensuring good governance and oversight of the organisation in a time of national crisis, the Board undertook a self-evaluation exercise this year to review current activity and identify areas for improvement. This was a very positive exercise and highlighted the many strengths of the Board including its role in ensuring safe working practices, strong financial oversight and the skills, knowledge, and experience which Board members bring to the organisation. I am assured that these strengths will support our organisation as we navigate what may be tricky waters in the next few years of activity beyond the pandemic and, will safeguard our vital role in the long-term success of our local communities.
As a Board we recognise and applaud the immense efforts made by our staff and our volunteers. Their enthusiasm and inventiveness especially in such a difficult year has been outstanding and shows a spirit that is very strong at our core and every board member is very proud to be a small part of this. I also very much pay tribute to our many other loyal partners and most importantly our communities, visitors, customers and audiences.
Whatever form your engagement with us takes as we continue to emerge from this pandemic, I would like to offer our most sincere gratitude for your continued support in these exceptional times and for making our work matter. I very much look forward to continuing to work in collaboration with you all.