News from our September AGM
22nd October 2020
LPW held our AGM online for the first time on 29 September.
Members, staff and trustees that joined us were presented with a Statement from our outgoing Chair, Clare Hudson.
We would like to thank Clare for her years of support as an LPW Trustee and most recently as our Chair, and to welcome our new Chair, Sam Javid to our Board of Trustees.
We would also like to thank two long standing LPW Trustees, Nick Mobbs and Mark Chiltern, who also stepped down at the AGM, and to welcome Amber Shilcock, our new Vice Chair, and Raj Rajput, our new Company Secretary. You can read more about our Trustees here.
Chair of Trustees Statement Leicester Print Workshop AGM, 29 September 2020
The AGM is usually focussed on looking back at the previous financial year – so April 2019 to March 2020. The accounts we are signing off today have an Annual Report attached covering all the remarkable activity over that period. We will upload the accounts including that report to our website once they are signed off. Our accounts show both the fixed assets of the organisation (so our buildings and equipment) and our income and expenditure. Our fixed assets are now valued at £655k with a depreciation of £17k. The income and expenditure shows a small loss of £6.5k. A substantial amount of that loss is due to far smaller number of applications for our Small Print exhibition than in previous years. The deadline for Small Print was the end of March, after the national Coronavirus lockdown had begun.
As this is a very unusual year I feel we also need to give an update on recent months. Since March there have been many revisions to our financial plans because of the constantly changing national situation due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Apart from access to the individual artist studios upstairs, LPW was closed in March as part of the national lockdown. We had hoped to reopen the studio in early July 2020 and staff had made preparations for the safe reopening to members and for some workshops. However this re-opening was not possible due to the local lockdown in Leicester. Whilst we were closed our 7 sources of income (broadly from workshops/courses, Arts Council England, members, studio rental, the shop, projects & events and framing) were brought down to just 2 – our Arts Council England grant & rental from the individual artist studios. Only some of those sources of income are starting to improve and to date from April we have lost approximately £43,000 against our planned full year budget. Since July it has become clear that we will be living with COVID-19 for many more months, possibly years and we need to plan for this to ensure the organisation survives.
At a Board meeting in July the Trustees agreed to a plan to reduce outgoings via a restructure to the studio team losing one member of staff and to a reduction on the reserves we will hold in the bank from 3 months of turnover to a minimum of one month. The Director and staff have been successful with a number of grants in recent months including the Job Retention scheme or furlough (£11,000 to date), Small Business Grant (£25,000), Arts Council Emergency Grant (£24,000), Local Lockdown Grant (£3,500), and Mighty Creatives funding (£4,000). These include funding for some new online activity and work with young people as well substantial contributions to our core costs. This will help counteract our loss of income from the funding streams mentioned above.
The studio reopened in August with new measures in place and is one of the few arts venues open regionally – partly because of the nature of what we do and because of what staff have put in place to make sure studio users are as safe as possible. Most other Print Studios in the UK have also partially re-opened.
Yasmin Canvin, who has been Director with us for nearly 3 years, resigned on 8 September and left us last Friday. This has added to our challenges in recent weeks and Yasmin’s clear vision for the organisation will be missed. Sam Javid, the incoming Chair, and I have been working with Yasmin and the full staff team over the past few weeks to plan for an interim period before we recruit a new lead for the organisation.
We are currently planning for Coronavirus restrictions to continue at their current level until March 2021, and to fully reopen in April and feel this is achievable financially. However, the restrictions may change in the short and longterm and it continues to be a very tough and unpredictable time for everyone.
As outgoing chair, there are lots of people to thank for their work over this difficult period. From the Trustees perspective, Nick Mobbs and Mark Chilton have been great as a member champion and financial lead and will be stepping down with me today. I have been working closely alongside Sam Javid, the incoming Chair, who has put in many hours in the past few weeks to support the staff and organisation. I’m also very grateful in particular to Amber Shilcock, our incoming Vice Chair & HR expert and Raj Rajput as more than just our Company Secretary.
The staff team have been fantastic. Despite communication challenges and dealing with the restructure they continue to work through each new issue with energy and determination – the reopening of the studio and increasing online activity is a testament to that.
Thank you all.
- Clare Hudson
Outgoing Chair of Trustees