Sowing the Seeds. First Annual Corporate Plan Delivering Year One of the Five-Year Strategy Securing the Future of Our Past

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1 Sowing the Seeds First Annual Corporate Plan Delivering Year One of the Five-Year Strategy Securing the Future of Our Past

2 INTRODUCTION Kate Mavor Chief Executive The National Trust for Scotland It gives me great pleasure to introduce this, a summary of the first annual Corporate Plan of the National Trust for Scotland s Five-Year Strategy. The strategy was set out at our last Annual General Meeting, in September 2011, by the newly elected Trustees. Its ambitions are such that I make no apology for giving its first year the theme of Sowing the Seeds. There is much to change and it is likely to take a full five years to bring the strategy to fruition. Putting conservation at the heart of all we do, the executive team will focus in Year One on assessing our assets, determining their potential and scoping their conservation needs. We will also put particular energy into income generation and investing in our staff and volunteers, recognising the value to the Trust of nurturing talent and commitment. Engaging with our members and ever better communications are also priorities for this year. By the end of Year One, some basics will be in place. We will have our property and collections records on a solid electronic platform the Estateman and AdLib databases. Our staff records will be on a single system for the first time and we will be ready to capture membership and visitor information through an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system. This is just a sample of the modernisation that will greatly improve our efficiency. We are investing heavily in staff and volunteers so that many more people will have access to a wider range of training and development opportunities, volunteers will have better support, and research will be completed on how best to reward our staff. We will also bring in additional staff to tackle some of the backlog of project work at specific properties. A plan for significantly increasing our fundraising efforts will be developed by the summer, five innovative projects proposed by staff and volunteers will be underway and research into potential new membership and the current visitor experience will be completed. Our Portfolio Review continues throughout Year One, with the aim of providing a full picture of its significance, potential and investment requirements by the end of Year Two. Action plans for our properties will be completely refreshed and brought up to date. One property the basis of our first Signature Project will be selected for constructive scrutiny to test new ideas for management, interpretation and community involvement so that we can develop and apply best practice across the estate. This is a lot to achieve alongside business as usual in our first year but what a huge stride forwards it represents. I look forward to reporting our progress against this plan in the spring of 2013.

3 Format of the Summary Plan The following pages represent only a brief summary of the key activities that will be delivered by the Trust s staff and volunteers up until the end of February Each activity is itself subject to detailed delivery plans which permeate departmental, property and individual personal objectives. We will confine presentation of further detail to the AGM and the new Local Assemblies; however, we will produce regular updates on progress through the performance indicators listed on the following pages. Scope of the Plan The plan describes only those strategic activities necessary to begin implementing the Trust s Five-Year Strategy, Securing the Future of Our Past. These activities are over and above all normal ongoing operational activity necessary to conserve and promote Scotland s heritage and ensure its accessibility to Trust members and other visitors. Delivering the Five-Year Strategy Securing the Future of Our Past is focused on five strategic objectives covering: The Portfolio and its Conservation; The Promotion of Scotland s Heritage; Financial Sustainability; Visitor Enjoyment; Investment in Our People. The following actions are expressed in relation to each objective and dovetail with our eight strategic priorities (Portfolio Review; Advocacy for the Conservation of our Heritage; Signature Projects; Innovative Micro-Projects; Membership and Engagement; Major Fundraising Initiative; Skills Development; and, Staff and Volunteer Reward and Recognition). By the end of 2016, the Trust will be at the forefront of good conservation practice, with its finances secure and its membership confident of its role as an advocate for the conservation of Scotland s heritage. It will have a clear sense of priorities based upon deeper understanding of the significance of its properties. It will be in a position to pursue longer-term objectives. It is not possible to realise this vision in one go we must enact the strategy in stages, initially building and preparing and then delivering in earnest. For that reason, and appropriately for the custodian of some of Scotland s greatest gardens, we have likened the strategy s delivery to a process of cultivation: the first year requires us to Sow the Seeds, the second to ensure our plans Take Root, then to encourage them to Grow, see them Flowering and, in 2016/17, to benefit from the Harvest they bring forth. This first plan for implementing the strategy is therefore devoted to Sowing the Seeds and is very much about preparing the ground for the future transformation of the Trust.

4 Sowing the Seeds: Summary of the Year One Corporate Plan, Actions Strategic Objective 1 The Portfolio and its Conservation Context: Our portfolio reflects our core purpose ( to conserve and promote our heritage) and vision for the future and can be maintained to a high conservation standard. 1.1 Identification and launch of the Trust s first Signature Project A Signature Project is a concentrated, multi-disciplinary effort to bring about radical re-evaluation and transformation of all aspects of a given property so that they can meet the best possible standards Learning from the projects will be applied right across the portfolio We will select the first project property from a number of options Signature Project identified and launched by April Identification and initial preparation of the Trust s second Signature Project Completion of the first stage of the Portfolio Review and confirmation of arrangements for continuance of the process We will run a series of Signature Projects in the course of the Five-Year Strategy We will identify the second such project and set a date and the preconditions for its initiation Next Signature Project launched by October We are committed to a fundamental review of all properties so that we can understand their significance, condition, capacity and potential it will enable us to prioritise conservation and investment We will complete the first stage, based on recognised international standards and prepare for the next, more in-depth phase, to be completed in Year Two All properties have statements which set out their conservation, heritage, architectural and natural attributes, as well as national designations that apply We will ensure that all properties have their statements up to date Even to maintain the status quo, each property requires an action plan which addresses ongoing maintenance, scheduled conservation projects, visitor services, staffing and volunteering roles and communication We will ensure that a first batch of properties will have fresh plans in place by the end of Year One and that these take account of new learning coming from the Signature Project. The remaining properties will have their plans in place by Year Two As was indicated in the 2009/10 strategic review, much of the data held by the Trust on our properties and collections was compartmentalised in different system, formats and locations We will bring all of this together onto a single electronic format known as Estateman and this will allow us to consolidate our planning processes Conclusions of the first stage of review published by July All of the Trust s properties to have a Statement of Significance All statements in place by February % of Trust properties to have a new action plan Half of all properties to have a fresh action plan by February All currently held data on Trust properties to be consolidated on the new Estateman electronic database Estateman populated and operational 1.7 Project Leaders to be recruited in order to take forward the Signature Projects and key conservation management projects Define and initiate a programme of priority projects Given our limited staff resources and the demands of day to day property management, we will recruit new staff whose job it will be to develop and lead Signature Projects as well as major conservation projects Project Leaders appointed by May Identify a series of major projects that can be afforded in Year One Prioritise and align resources to initiate them Priorities identified by May 2012 Projects underway by August 2012

5 Actions Strategic Objective 2 The Promotion of Scotland s Heritage Context: We tell the stories of all our properties and collections in compelling and inspiring ways. We encourage the effective protection of our natural, built and cultural heritage Launch and roll-out of the Stories of Scotland initiative Highlight and promote local conservation activity though Local Assemblies, Regional Panels, Friends Groups, Members Centres and the media The Stories of Scotland are a suite of interpretative learning materials which are based on the Trust s properties and collections. They illustrate through people, places and artefacts how different aspects of Scotland s heritage have played a part in shaping the modern world We will make these materials available in schools and through our properties and website We will ensure that there is a wide degree of recognition for the work the Trust is doing in supporting local heritage 20 sets of sound slides and three video presentations published by April 2012 Seasonally based activity until February Initiate and organise the first series of Local Assemblies across Scotland Undertake research into the value of Scotland s landscape to the nation and use this as the basis for generating awareness Improve the accessibility and content of the Trust s website and digital media Develop a new communications strategy for the Trust and implement a first annual action plan Local Assemblies will enable the Trust to engage with members and local communities without the expectation of people travelling from far and wide to our AGM to make their views known Regional Panels will play a key role in staging them The first events are to be staged at Culloden, Haddo House, Edinburgh, Threave and London, with others to follow Landscape is one of Scotland s key attributes and yet it is a dimension that often seems to be missing from discussion about economic needs and benefits We will commission research which defines the true worth of landscape and showcases the Trust s expertise in its management to the wider public and policymakers attention Our website has become ever more important in attracting visitors to our properties We will ramp up our web content in order to reflect the diversity and attractiveness of the properties we look after and introduce new means of accessing our website via mobile phones We will seek to improve the ways in which we communicate with members and other stakeholders and highlight the importance of the heritage we care for We will be looking to encourage staff at properties to take more responsibility for the Trust s communications and enabling more use of social media for that purpose First Local Assembly by April 2012 and a total of five undertaken by February 2013 AGM to be held September 2012 Publication of new research on landscape issues by February 2013 All property descriptions on the website upgraded by June 2012 Strategy approved by March 2012

6 Actions Strategic Objective 3 Financial Sustainability Context: We run the Trust efficiently and within its means, setting and measuring performance against clear targets. 3.1 Put in place the framework for major fundraising initiatives to transform the conservation of Scotland s heritage We will be seeking to raise significantly greater sums to tackle our conservation backlog to enable this will require time and a high standard of preparation based on the best professional advice The money we raise will be used to secure Scotland s heritage for the foreseeable future Plan developed, approved and ready for implementation by February Initiate the first five Innovative Micro-Projects through the Chairman s Prize Fund to test new approaches to the work of the Trust These innovative projects will be small-scale and proposed by staff and volunteers Those selected will improve operational efficiency and allow us to better achieve our core purpose and will be recognised by prizes granted from the Chairman s Fund Five micro-projects announced and implementation underway by April Develop and deliver a market research programme aimed at encouraging a wider range of people to become members of the Trust and/or visit our properties and existing members to stay with us The Trust is committed to increasing and widening its membership base and to encourage more people to remain as members To do this we need to understand better what motivates people to become members Research programme completed by October Introduce an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system beginning with three sites EPOS will allow us in real time to capture membership and visitor information, including retail and catering data, as the year progresses and better meet their requirements Three sites using the new system by December 2012

7 Actions Strategic Objective 4 Visitor Enjoyment Context: We deliver a consistently high-quality visitor and membership experience which appeals to a broad range of people. 4.1 Undertake a visitor satisfaction survey, communicate and use the results to set out a baseline to measure the future effect of improvements to visitor experience within properties The new survey will continue to measure customer satisfaction whilst measuring the inspirational aspects of our properties The feedback received will directly inform property action plans and local improvements New survey underway by June 2012 Performance measured against baseline from spring Publish a digital engagement strategy for members and visitors The strategy will cover ongoing development of our website and the use of social media as a way to engage current and future members Strategy published by September Review and modernise the Trust magazine, Scotland in Trust We will look at different ways to use and present the magazine based on member feedback and preferred information needs Decide revised format by December Develop an overall countryside Many people are unaware that the Trust is one of the largest owners of Scotland s wild lands and marketing strategy through which we of the costs incurred in providing upkeep and access our campaign will target countryside users will promote the Trust s properties and encourage them to help us Launched as part of the Trust s new marketing strategy from February 2013

8 Actions Strategic Objective 5 Investment in Our People Context: Our people are motivated, fairly rewarded and have the right skills. 5.1 Identify the skills required to deliver the Trust s priorities and objectives An audit of skills in relation to key roles will be undertaken to identify gaps and training needs Audit completed by February Launch a framework for management and leadership development A framework will be launched to support and equip our managers and leaders with the skills required to deliver the Trust s priorities and objectives Framework completed and launched by February Put in place the foundations to achieve Investing in Volunteers accreditation across all our volunteering activities by 2012 Volunteers are vital to the Trust s effective functioning and we must ensure we have the good practice and processes in place to help and support them play their very important role Implementation plan ready by February Benchmark and scope reward for staff and recognition for staff and volunteers Benchmarking with other relevant organisations to allow us to consider what is not only affordable, but fair, reasonable and appropriate in our sector Complete research and make recommendations by February 2013

9 Budget is a year of investment in key strategic priorities and we have earmarked up to 1.1m of additional investment to build our strategic capability. As a result, our General Income Fund (or free reserves) may decline slightly during the year depending on our operational performance and the unrestricted donations and legacies we receive. We believe any reduction will be small and manageable as we fund the investment necessary to drive our GIF balance to the targeted level of 21m by the end of Key Performance Indicators In addition to the outputs specified in the preceding pages, we will show progress in delivering our actions throughout via a range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are defined in the following table: Strategic Objective KPI Measurement Frequency The Portfolio and its Conservation Progress against annual schedule for completion of property plans Both quarterly Project spend against forecast The Promotion of Scotland s Heritage Membership numbers against budget Number of paying visitors Both quarterly Financial Sustainability Number of properties operating at or better than budget Fundraising achievement against target Both quarterly Visitor Enjoyment (c) Visitor enjoyment survey score Number of visitors Membership profile (c) Annual Quarterly Annual Investment in Our People (c) (d) Staff satisfaction as measured by annual survey Volunteer satisfaction survey score Training hours delivered against target Achievement of all targets under our corporate Health and Safety Policy (c) (d) Annual Annual Quarterly Quarterly The National Trust for Scotland for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is a charity registered in Scotland, Charity Number SC

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