Latest poll shows Network members looking to the future

We asked Network members what their biggest three challenges would be in 2021-22. The top response was fundraising. Just over half of Network members plan to be fundraising for a restoration project this year. The next biggest challenge members reported was improving trading income with around a quarter of members citing this in their top three.  Around a fifth of members saw engaging the community and explaining their project and plans as a major challenge. Other significant challenges were:

  • Engaging with new/different parts of the community
  • Overcoming (non-financial) barriers to starting a project (e.g. legal/ownership issues)
  • Uncertainty over remaining COVID restrictions and safety measures
  • Recruiting new trustees/board members
  • Fundraising for project viability assessment and initial fees

Among the 99 members who responded to the survey over half were planning and fundraising for a restoration project, so it no wonder that funding was high on the agenda. Around a quarter were managing completed sites and 20 had projects underway.

It is encouraging to see so many members looking to the future…

“Looks busy and need more staff”

“Positive next steps!”

“We’ve faced many different issues but thanks to teamwork and learning from our mistakes and the support of others, we have more hope than we’ve ever had of seeing our project through.”

…although a minority are still worried about continued uncertainty around COVID and other issues…

“There is a great deal of uncertainty, not just because of the pandemic and how the recovery will play out, but also due to the impacts of Brexit becoming clearer. Uncertainty creates both challenge and opportunity, let’s hope the heritage sector can make the most of the opportunities!”

“Uncertainly, uncertainty, uncertainty. New more infectious variants, ever changing levels and permissible activities, local infection rates changing, travel restrictions changing, engagement hesitancy, unpredictable financial position.”

…and one or two face existential crises…

“A real struggle to continue to exist and to develop as an organisation”

“As a group of trustees/volunteers we are struggling with the reality of having to wind down our charity”

The results of this poll will be used by the Network team to plan events, Toolkit content and other support to members over the coming year. A big thank you to everyone who participated.

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