Graham Bell of the North of England Civic Trust has circulated an update on the changes there, as it evolves into the ‘Cultura Trust’.
Over the last two years we have been undertaking a fundamental review of every aspect of the trust, including who we are, where we work, how we are funded, what we do, how we do it and for whom. This was supported by a generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund – a Resilient Heritage grant. This provided a valuable opportunity to evaluate our achievements over 50 years and then project forward 5-10 years. What emerged for us is that resilience could not be ‘business as usual’. Having a fifty-year legacy has considerable benefits but as a charity, our public benefit responsibilities are about relevance here and now – relevance and benefit to as many people as possible.
Being UK National Co-ordinator for 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage confirmed to us that in the UK we distinguish between heritage (preservation of tradition) and culture (creative expression), whereas across Europe this distinction is not usually made: heritage and culture are simply past and current tenses of what makes societies who they are. Heritage is an inheritance of expression of values and identity; culture is continuity of tradition, where heritage is being made. We believe removing barriers to this sense of continuity is essential to the future of cultural heritage in the UK, how the UK engages internationally and, especially for us, how we work across the UK and Europe.
Working across borders and to remove barriers to public benefit must be our priority as a charity. This includes being more accessible, working with more people and in more ways that is meaningful and beneficial. We are starting by removing our own barriers and anything which might inhibit people from benefitting from what we could offer. As ‘culture’ is more inclusive and universal than our previous name suggests, we have adopted the Latin root word, ‘cultura’. This reinforces our heritage roots but it also is immediately recognisable as the cultural root in 32 of the 34 languages across Europe, so internationally what we offer will be understandable and accessible. The removal of a geographically specific name and fixed office location is deliberate too: we already operate nationally and across Europe but the emphasis is on being readily available for whoever we can benefit, wherever they are.
We will continue to do much of what we are known for but in working to remove barriers, we will broaden our horizons. Our work in education and traditional skills will extend further into lifelong learning because cultural heritage offers valuable benefits for wellbeing as well as life skills. We will build on our successful hosting of UK and European internships. We will develop the creative possibilities of culture as an expression of the established traditions which define the relationships between communities, places, storytelling and inter-generational sharing. We will do more together with others through partnership initiatives around complementary interests, especially cross-sector, to ‘mainstream’ cultural heritage into political and economic agendas. Our longstanding role in urban and rural regeneration will continue but broaden to include environmental considerations. We already have three properties in which renewable energy for sustainable cultural heritage is a driving factor; we will take this further into the immersive environments which digital media is opening up.
Here is what we make of it
The significant changes we are making cannot take place overnight. We will announce a range of new initiatives and organisational changes over the next 3-6 months and beyond. Here is what you need to know now:
- Our legal details (charity and company numbers and status) remain unchanged
- Our landline and registered address remain unchanged but will change soon, so look out for this
- During the transition both old and new email addresses will be in use, but please move to the new addresses as soon as possible and delete from your auto-infill address books and menus the old addresses
- Our VAT, bank account numbers and sort codes all remain unchanged but the change in name means only payments made out to Cultura Trust can be accepted; please ask about invoicing
- During the transition the NECT website will remain live in parallel to development of the new Cultura Trust website
The new Cultura Trust contact details are:
Graham Bell, Director Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile +44 (0) 7815 874423
Richard Beattie, Finance Manager email@example.com
Joan Robson, Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Mason, Miller, Warwick Bridge Corn Mill email@example.com
+44 (0) 191 232 9279 for a limited time
Opportunities will arise from these changes. We will be recruiting to the team, so watch for new opportunities. We also will be recruiting new trustees with interests and skills to support our new activities, so if you know anyone who could be interested, please ask them to contact us. We also welcome financial and in-kind support as we embark upon this new endeavour – the biggest change for the trust since the 1980s.
See more at Cultura Trust
For contact details download the press release