‘One of the best towns in Dorset which for its continuously sustained urban feeling, is perhaps the best of all.’ Nikolaus Pevsner, Dorset, Buildings of England


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of BADT

Held at the Salt House, West Bay, at 6pm on Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021


Directors (Trustees)

Phyllida Culpin (Chair), John West, Sarah West, David Lee, Sarah Carney, Trevor Ware.


Amanda Streatfeild, Phillip Sturrock, Madeleine Sturrock, Andrew Cook, Mike Carter, Paul Everall, Anna Ware, Penny Deacon, Glenn Crawford, Dee Fenton.

1. Apologies for absence

Alan Scutt, Tim Crabtree, Charles Palmer, Pat Hughes, Sarah Fletcher, Richard Toft, Matthew Solon, John Walker, Martin Isaacs, Tim Connor, Ryan Holmes, Jane Carter, Marek Wakar.

2. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 15th November, 2019, at the LSi

The 2019 minutes were accepted as a correct record of the meeting. No AGM was held in 2020 because of COVID 19 regulations and with an agreed postponement to 2021 by board resolution. Proposed by A Ware. Seconded by A Streatfeild.

3. Matters arising

There were no matters arising from the minutes. Two years had elapsed since the last AGM and ‘live’ items for discussion were now all included on the agenda.

4. Financial report

John West provided a full account of the Trust’s financial position over the past two years. He explained that during 2019 the LSi suffered losses from the Alembic Canteen because of a lack of footfall, and described the various methods used to redress that situation, including events and changes to menus and opening times. The Alembic, as a Trust supported stand-alone trading venture, was closed in December 2019. The cafe continued under an operating licence agreed with a local trader, Giles Smith. Due to Covid 19 this was forced to close in March 2021.The two meeting rooms also failed to reach financial sustainability, as did hot desk bookings, possibly as a result of an underspend on marketing. Take-up was well below the earlier predictions. At the close of 2019/20 the LSi had reserves of £18k.

As a result the board decided to review the 2015 business plan with the help of a resilience grant of £86,000 from NLHF (National Lottery Heritage Fund). 

The total amount of additional Covid-inspired grant funding for the LSi and WBDC was £54,000. This, with a considerable effort to reduce LSi running costs and the resilience fund, had now stabilised the Trust’s financial position for the immediate future.

Members were asked to approve the 2020/21 Report and Accounts –  Resolution 1

The Accounts were accepted by the meeting nem con.

5. The Literary and Scientific Institute (LSi)

Trevor Ware referred members and the meeting to the Directors’ Report in the latest Report and Accounts for 2020 /21. These were available on the Trust website and in hard copy at the meeting. The key objectives for the trustees were to make the building financially viable and sustainable. It was found to be impossible to run the building on a day-to-day basis with only a small group of volunteers and trustees.

The business plan work had been combined with an audience survey amongst current LSi users. This proved that a membership scheme could not attract sufficient annual members to keep the LSi operating sustainably over the medium to long term. It was decided to appoint a commercial property agent – Symonds and Sampson – to seek expressions of interest in running the building. Five were received and two subjected to full feasibility studies to prove their true viability. The results were put to public evaluation with the support and advice of Andrew Cook, a Dorset LEP Mentor. It was decided to give a three-year lease to Crowdfunder and 3DC, a new CIC set up by Clive Stafford Smith and Emily Bolton, for the bottom floors, and introduce Gillinghams, a local financial services company, as tenant for the two upper floors. These arrangements and new leases had now been put in place. All agreements/leases have been signed off by the major grant providers, including the NLHF, Historic England and the Architectural Heritage Fund. Dorset Council have also been kept informed and approve the new plans. The 2021/22 forecasts show a balanced budget.

The meeting was next given two live video-link presentations by Simon Deverell, for Crowdfunder, and Clive Stafford Smith, for 3DC, illustrating the activities they were undertaking in the LSi. The Crowdfunder presentation highlighted the local charities and business startups that had been helped financially with their campaigns. 3DC explained the mentoring and training work they were doing with young people on human rights and other important issues, including social, economic and environmental justice. This included real-time practice in a courtroom situation. 3DC would be organising public access for a number of events and talks during the year. The building would be open during the Dorset Architectural Heritage week.  

There was one question from the audience asking for details of the proposed film being made of the courtroom trial. Clive Stafford Smith undertook to announce when it would become available.

6. West Bay Discovery Centre

John West reported on the continuing success of West Bay Discovery Centre. The new centre manager is very effective, and more awards had been received from various tourism bodies. The building was now a recognised part of the Jurassic Coast Centres string of pearls! Even though Covid had forced a closure for part of the summer of 2020, as well as imposing restrictions on numbers, footfall was increasing rapidly once more. A positive number of regular volunteers were helping with stewarding and guided walks. Shop sales were excellent. New exhibitions were being planned for 2022, including, for example, Geology – Layers of Time. Accessibility and safety had both been enhanced and new partnerships had been created.

The income from donations, grants from Bridport Town Council and shop sales meant the project has a viable future.

There were no questions.

7. Election of trustees

Resolution 2

The following directors were due to retire, or had announced their retirement: Trevor Ware, Vanessa White, David Cliffe, Professor Patrick Vaughan, Sarah West. These were noted and approved.

The following were confirmed as new directors since 2020. Alan Scutt, David Lee, Phyllida Culpin, Sarah Carney (Bridport Town Council representative).

Marek Wakar was elected as a director and was proposed for the role of Company Secretary.

 Proposed by David Lee. Seconded by Dee Fenton.

8. Amendment to the Memorandum and Articles of Association

Resolution 3

It was proposed that the Memorandum and Articles of the Trust should be amended to limit the term in office for future Trust chairs to three years. No reappointment would be made without the full consent of the individual concerned and a majority of the directors. This resolution was proposed by the Trust board at the suggestion of Trevor Ware.

This resolution was passed unanimously.

9. Future direction of the Trust

Resolution 4

The Resolution was proposed by Glenn Crawford (BADT member). The trustees would within six months of the date of this AGM agree BADT priorities for the years 2022-2025 and publish this as an outline plan to members. This resolution was seconded by Paul Everall and approved unanimously. The Chair suggested that a meeting would be convened to consult with all members when the draft was ready in spring 2022.

A board audit would be commissioned to establish the required key skills for the future. Further trustee appointments would be sought depending on the outcome of this work. 

10. Any other business

Thanks were given to two retiring directors. Sarah West played a vital part in the creation of West Bay Discovery Centre and its considerable subsequent success, and had handled the management accounts for the Trust over the past 18 months. Trevor Ware had been a director since 2015 and chair for five years, and was a key figure in the redevelopment of the LSi and in the appraisal ensuring its long-term viability and sustainability.

Both thanked the other board members for their hard work, dedication and support over their respective times in office.

11. Close of the meeting

There being no further business the meeting closed at 7.30pm. 

Make a difference: join us in building a better Bridport

BADT is looking to recruit a Treasurer to its board in a key role in fulfilling the Trust’s commitment to preserving great local buildings and spaces, creating jobs and supporting the Bridport economy.

As a Volunteer Treasurer and Trustee you will be a professional finance person who understands accounts and business planning, is used to contributing at a strategic level and seeks an opportunity to give something back to the community while learning a tremendous amount along the way. As a team player at the heart of a small charity, you will be prepared to roll up your sleeves when required and, preferably but not necessarily, be familiar with the VCSE sector.

Your responsibilities, mostly working from home for around two to three hours a week, will include:

  • Liaising with and supporting the Bookkeeper (who is self-employed), supervising financial accounting and reporting to ensure compliance with Charity Commission, Companies House and HMRC regulations.
  • Ensuring controls are in place on income and expenditure, and financial regulatory compliance.
  • Overseeing income, expenditure and cash flow and minimising BADT’s exposure to VAT and tax, etc.
  • Liaising with the Chair on grant, council and other funding applications requiring financial information and with external auditors/examiners as required.

Bridport Area Development Trust (BADT) http://www.bridportadt.org.uk/ is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee established in 2009 and currently run mainly by a team of eight experienced and highly motivated volunteer Trustees. The Trust works in partnership to identify, plan and deliver regenerative projects that meet local need and provide long-term economic, educational and community benefit to the town and beyond, with the key criterion for BADT being sustainability.  

In relation to sustainability a spokesman for BADT said: “The Trust’s finances are currently stable and the projections are for a sustainable level of income over the next three years.”

BADT has undertaken two major restoration projects. The Literary and Scientific Institute (LSi), www.lsibridport.co.uk, a historic Georgian-style Grade II* listed building in the centre of Bridport, built in 1833, has been brought back into commercial and community use after becoming near-derelict when the county-run library closed in 1997 – a project that saved the public purse around £1million in the process.

The other jewel in BADT’s crown is West Bay Discovery Centre, https://www.westbaydiscoverycentre.org.uk/.  A former Methodist chapel, WBDC is now an award-winning visitor attraction providing insights into the history of West Bay and the surrounding Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage site, by bringing to life local stories and fascinating facts using interactive experiences that make learning fun for all ages.

If you are interested in the role and want to know more, please send a copy of your CV with a covering email explaining why and what you have to offer to mail@bridportadt.org.uk, or telephone 01297 446 001 for an initial discussion. A full job description, Trustee recruitment pack and a booklet are also available on request.

Final piece in the LSi jigsaw

24th September, 2021

The final piece is in place completing plans to secure the future of a Bridport icon.

Gillinghams, a firm of independent financial advisers, is the second commercial tenant of the historic Literary and Scientific Institute (LSi).  

Gillinghams, which has offices in East Street, joins Crowdfunder, 3DCentre (3DC) and Bridport Area Development Trust (BADT), the building’s owner, as a partner in the project to ensure the viability and sustainability of the LSi as an asset to the community. 

James Hewitt, director of Gillinghams, said: “We are extremely proud and grateful to have been supported by the Trust and chosen as commercial tenant to occupy the upper levels of the prestigious LSi.

“This move allows us the opportunity to evolve our business and continue to support the town and local area while, most important, remaining in the heart of the Bridport.”

Mr Hewitt added: “Gillinghams has been a presence on the high street in Bridport since the
early 1900s, making it one of the longest-standing local business ventures.

“The company plays an important role in supporting local people and businesses with their
financial affairs, ranging from pension management and investment support to long-term care-free planning.”

The lead tenant Crowdfunder has operated from the LSi for three years and is one of the UK’s leading crowdfunding platforms. It has forged strong local links, generating more than
£750,000 for more than 250 projects – individuals, charities, small businesses – within 20 miles of Bridport.

Crowdfunder’s sub-tenant 3DC was founded by renowned international human rights lawyers Emily Bolton and Clive Stafford Smith to mentor young people in human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.

The LSi courtyard atrium, meeting and training facilities will remain available for hire and use by local organisations with discounted rates for charity/non-profit organisations.

A BADT spokesperson said: “The Trust is delighted to have a long-established and well-respected Bridport business as a tenant in this architectural and cultural landmark.

“The new arrangements are the result of more than a year’s intense work to secure the future of the LSi by adapting to changing business conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The intention is to create an innovative relationship with the tenants to deliver something very different and dynamic for Bridport.”

The East Street building was created in 1833 as a Mechanics Institute, becoming the Literary and Scientific Institute in 1855, since when it has had a varied history, closing in 1997 as a county-run library before falling into near-dereliction. It was rescued and renovated over nine years by Bridport Area Development Trust, reopening to the public in 2018.

Agenda for the 11th annual general meeting of Bridport
Area Development Trust

To be held at the Salt House, West Bay, 6pm, Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021.

1. Apologies for absence.

2. Minutes of Annual General Meeting held on Friday, 15th November, 2019, at Bridport LSi.  To accept the 2019 AGM minutes as a correct record of the meeting.

3. Presentation of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 annual reports and accounts. Previously distributed by email and on the BADT website.

Resolution 1. To accept the directors’ reports and annual accounts. 

4. Election of directors (trustees).

Resolution 2. To note the retirement of the following directors (trustees): Trevor Ware, Professor Patrick Vaughan, Vanessa White, Sarah West and David Cliffe.

To elect the following Directors (Trustees).  Alan Scutt, David Lee, Phyllida Culpin,  Matthew Solon, Sarah Carney (Bridport Town Council representative).

5. Amendment to Memorandum and Articles of Association.

Proceedings of Directors. Item 36.

Resolution 3. The appointment of a Chair by the Board of Directors (Trustees) should be limited to a term of three years. Reappointment for any agreed term must not exceed three years and must be with the full consent of the individual concerned and the majority of directors.

6. Close of meeting.

Members of the charity have the right to appoint a proxy to represent them and vote on their behalf at the 2021 AGM in accordance with section 324 of the Companies Act 2006 and article 14 of the Articles of Association of the charity. 

Nominated representatives of organisations that are members may vote without the need to be appointed as proxies. If there has been a change in the nominated representative, it is requested that a written confirmation of nomination is presented to the secretary before the meeting.

Any questions relating to the agenda and the resolutions proposed should be directed to the Company Secretary through the Trust email address at least seven days in advance of the meeting: mail@bridportadt.org.uk

A different and dynamic asset for the town

5th August, 2021

A new chapter has begun in the story of a Bridport landmark.

The running of the Literary and Scientific Institute (LSi) in East Street has been restructured (with effect from Monday, August 2) to ensure the building has a viable and sustainable future in the post-Covid-19 environment.

Owners Bridport Area Development Trust worked closely with Bridport Town Council, Dorset Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England and others to preserve the historic LSi at the heart of the community. It re-opened in 2018 after a nine-year restoration from near- dereliction – seven years to raise the funds and transfer the building from Dorset Council, two years of structural work.

The lead tenant is Crowdfunder, which has operated from the building for three years and is one of the UK’s leading crowdfunding platforms. It has forged strong local links, generating more than £750,000 for more than 250 projects – individuals, charities, small businesses – within 20 miles of Bridport.

Crowdfunder’s sub-tenant is 3DCentre (3DC), founded by renowned international human rights lawyers Emily Bolton and Clive Stafford Smith to mentor young people in human rights and social, economic and environmental justice.

The bridge across the LSi atrium leads to the work hub hot desks

Simon Deverell, founder and creative director of Crowdfunder said: “Crowdfunder has been helping thousands of charities, communities, businesses and individuals to raise funds needed to establish themselves and to survive the pandemic.

“As a ‘people business’, we have been counting down the days to when we can re-open the doors to Bridport and the surrounding communities.

“Crowdfunder and 3DCentre will be resetting this beautiful space in a sustainable way, creating an accessible hub for work, education, mentoring and creativity. We are going to release an exciting schedule of events, but also from Monday, September 6 ,and in line with Covid-safe government guidelines, we will offer: hot desks bookable by the day (or half-day); permanent desk spaces; meeting spaces; podcast recording and editing facilities; video conferencing; events and presentation space; and monthly network lunches.

“All facilities will be bookable in advance online on the basis that if you are profit-based then there’s a fee, if you’re a charity or community group and can’t pay then access is free (more details to follow).

“We also encourage community groups, arts organisations and others to consider the LSi as a place to host your own events. We would love to hear what you have in mind. Feel free to get in touch, to knock on the door and say hello. We are getting ready to welcome you all this autumn.”

Dr Nick Hollely, of 3DC, said: “Bridport’s 3DCentre is a pilot hub for decentralising third sector opportunities for young people. Most major third sector organisations are based in major cities. The pandemic has accelerated uptake of communications technologies that means this no longer needs to be the case.

“3DC’s tenancy is returning the LSi to its roots as a portal to a better future for young people in the area. 3DC shares space and synergy with Crowdfunder, who will help our apprentices fund their third sector apprenticeships and projects.

“3DC has 22 apprentices at schools and universities in the South West working with 3DC founder Clive Stafford Smith on projects as diverse as creating bills of rights and responsibilities for their schools, to testing off-grid renewable energy systems, to mapping out community responses to racism, to delivering 100,000 books to a bookshop bombed in the recent Gaza war, to investigating the cases of innocent people executed in the US since 1978 with the aim of putting another nail in the coffin of the death penalty.

“3DC has lots of exciting plans. Keep up to date at: web 3dc.org.uk ; Facebook https:// www.facebook.com/3DC.org.uk ; Instagram https://www.instagram.com/3dc_org/ ”

A BADT spokesperson said: “These new arrangements are the result of more than a year’s intense work to ensure a viable and sustainable future for the LSi in the face of changing business conditions and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The plans are also consistent with the aims of the Trust and the LSi in the benefits they provide to the community. The intention is to create a new relationship with the building’s tenants to deliver something very different and dynamic for Bridport.

“Crowdfunder and 3DC are involved in important social, cultural, economic and environmental issues. They are enablers and facilitators of business growth, charitable outreach and personal development. Their relationship will be close and mutually beneficial and their presence in the LSi will generate the income essential to maintaining a working building while continuing to provide a valuable resource at the heart of the community.”

Landmark plans win public support

1st July, 2021

Plans to ensure the viable future of a historic Bridport landmark have won the backing of the community.

A survey by Bridport Area Development Trust (BADT) invited feedback on its package of
proposals for the Literary and Scientific Institute (LSi) in East Street.

Three tenants will share the building: Crowdfunder, who have been resident in the LSi for three years and who wish to expand their operations in Bridport, is the lead tenant; an established local firm of financial advisers is the second commercial tenant; the third is 3DC a mentoring and skills development organisation headed by internationally renowned human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith.

Crowdfunder and 3DC are compiling a programme of activities, events, training, mentoring and access to LSi facilities which will be submitted to leading funders and stakeholders for approval.

BADT’s online Public Engagement Survey, which ran for three weeks in May, asked five
questions, with six response categories: very satisfied; satisfied; neither satisfied nor
dissatisfied; dissatisfied; very dissatisfied; not applicable. For all the questions, those respondents who were very satisfied or satisfied, heavily outweighed the dissatisfied responses.

The questions and responses were:

  • How satisfied are you that the proposal meets the needs of Bridport as laid out in the LSi’s aims?
    % 28.57, 20.00, 21.43, 17.14, 11.43, 1.43
  • How satisfied are you with the proposal’s offer for community and public use?
     % 22.86, 27.14, 18.57, 20.00, 11.43, 0.00
  • How satisfied are you that the proposal creates unique and inspirational place for
    enterprise and giving young people new opportunities?
    % 22.86, 25.71, 22.86, 17.14, 8.57, 2.86
  • How satisfied are you that the proposal creates the right balance of financial stability and benefit to the town?
    % 24.29, 31.34, 15.71, 17.14, 10.00, 1.43
  • How interested are you in receiving regular updates about the work and activities of the LSi?
    % 22.86, 30.00, 32.86, 8.57, 5.71, 0.00

A BADT spokesperson said: “Free-text comments also offered a range of views with some looking for clarification or more information; some also offered advice.

“These comments are a rich source of information which will help the LSi tenants shape a plan to grow community engagement and understanding of what is happening in the building and what it delivers for young people and the wider community.

”The survey was sent out to the full LSi events attendees, work hub users and hirers mailing lists; BADT members; and was available through Bridport Tourist Information Centre and the LSi website.”

Overall public satisfaction with the LSi plans is shared by funders and stakeholders at national, county and local levels. In line with Historic England’s suggestions, public access will total 28 days a year, including access during Dorset Architectural Heritage Week, six annual events and two days’ free use of the community space for Bridport Town Council.

The BADT spokesperson said: “The town council is very supportive and has voted the LSi a
Service Level Agreement (SLA) of £5,000 a year for three years, which is a welcome endorsement of the Trust’s plans to ensure the building’s future as a resource for the community.”

A spokesperson for Dorset Council said: “The council is very supportive of BADT in this task, and predecessor councils have actively supported the restoration of the LSi to play a significant role for the Bridport community. The timing of the Coronavirus pandemic was not good for anyone and particularly so for the LSi in its born-again infancy. However, it is reassuring to see that lessons have been learned quickly and the proposals for the way forward seek to increase
resilience and establish a more solid financial model upon which to play a leading role in the
recovery and reshaping of Bridport.

“The council commends BADT for taking up the offer of a mentor through the Dorset Business Mentoring service, and believes this has worked for the benefit of all concerned.”

A spokesperson for Historic England’s South West Regions said: “BADT has done due diligence as landlord of the building and followed a very thorough and fair selection process. We agree that the occupancy proposal looks to be sustainable and robust and will put interesting and
exciting tenants in place to take the Bridport Literary and Scientific Institute into the future.

“We are pleased to see that the lease covers requirements of the tenants to allow public access through events, tours (including Dorset Architectural Heritage week) and meetings.”

A representative of the Architectural Heritage Fund, South West and South East, said: “We are very pleased to see that a viable proposal has been identified for the building, which will allow public access to the building, support a wide range of uses and widen community engagement through activities and events.

“The proposal and business plan outline a positive mix of tenants and an exciting opportunity for the building to become a hub for social enterprise and training, as well as generating a sustainable income to secure the building for the long term. We can confirm that AHF is broadly supportive of this proposal.”

The BADT spokesman said: “The LSi appraisal was carried out with the guidance of the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and in accordance with this major funder’s strict requirements on financial viability and sustainability, the benefits the LSi offers to the community and the preservation of the Grade II* listed building’s architectural integrity. The NLHF is satisfied that the bid feasibility studies, which were independently supervised, were thorough, fair and conducted with due diligence.”


Building a brighter future for the LSi

6th May, 2021

The use of the iconic Literary and Scientific Institute has been reviewed and reorganised to
ensure its financial viability and sustainability. The new plans combine commercial and charity tenants with community access to events and facilities within the LSi.  

A spokesperson for BADT said: “The intention is to create a new relationship with the building’s occupants to deliver something very different and dynamic for Bridport.

“BADT fulfilled one of its primary purposes by rescuing the LSi and preserving the historic building for Bridport and posterity. The Trust believes the chosen proposal is consistent with its aims and those of the LSi in the benefits it provides to the community and wider society.”  

More detail of the proposal is available at http://www.lsibridport.co.uk/11800-2/.

The Trustees, Bridport Area Development Trust

About Bridport Area Development Trust

Our mission statement explains our purpose and what we are trying to achieve.
‘The Bridport Area Development Trust works in partnership to identify, plan and deliver projects that meet local need and provide long term economic and community benefit to the town and beyond.’

Our vision is simple: Building a better Bridport.

BADT has completed a number of innovative projects in the Bridport area, details of which can be found on our projects pages. We are always prepared to consider requests for support from appropriate enterprises.

Development Plan

Have a look at the new Neighbourhood Plan for Bridport, there are some great ideas and opportunities which the Trust will support with assistance when appropriate.

Bridport Area Development Trust
Report and Accounts 2019/20

The Report and Accounts 2019/20, unanimously approved by the Board on 12th October, 2020, are available through the link below. Questions will be taken at our next AGM if notified in advance to tware@pobroadband.co.uk

Trevor Ware Interim Company Secretary

BADT seeks a new Treasurer

This post is unremunerated but supported by an excellent paid bookkeeper. The role is principally to compile the Annual Report and Accounts with our Independent Examiners and give helpful strategic advice to the Board of Trustees. Reasonable travel and office expenses will be paid. If you would like to help make a difference, please apply using reference TREAS20 to mail@bridportadt.org.uk