My Experiences of Firm Foundations Part Two – Elisa Harris

Firm Foundations part two started at the beautiful Tate St Ives. It was great to catch up with everyone again after a three-month gap. The lightning talks in the morning were quite different from the first time around with everyone speaking much more confidently about their projects.

The morning session was focussed on planning permission and building regulations, with a really useful workshop run by representatives from Cornwall Council in which we were able to ask direct questions e.g. What counts as a non-material amendment? and What requires a resubmission to planning? This was followed by a sneak preview of the Anna Boghiguian show with Sara Matson, Senior Curator at Tate St. Ives, which was a rather special added bonus! 

In the afternoon the course covered procurement and value engineering and the day was topped off with a delicious evening meal in the Tate’s Clore Sky studio. We were privileged to be joined by Marketing Manager Arwen Fitch and Andy Bruton who chatted with us openly about their experience of the capital redevelopment – the highs, the lows and the lessons learned.

Andy Bruton talking at the February 2019 Firm Foundations programme

Andy Bruton giving a talk at Firm Foundations

Day 2 was held at Porthmeor Studios and this is where we got into the nitty-gritty of the construction process. It has to be said that by the afternoon we were all suffering a bit from information overload and it was helpful to be reminded that we don’t have to be experts in every field, the project manager you appoint is there to guide you through the process.

The final session was led by Chris Hibbert, Manager of the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust, who managed the £4 million renovation of Porthmeor Studios. He gave an inspirational talk and a tour of the studios which a great way of demonstrating how everything we’d learnt could be put into practice.

We were all a bit sad when the course came to an end but we’ve agreed to stay in touch and will be planning a reunion at Krowji towards the end of our Phase 2 redevelopment project, which is now underway!

You can find out more about the upcoming 2019/2020 Firm Foundations programme here.

 – Elisa Harris, Krowji Studio Manager
www.krowji.org.uk

My Experience of Firm Foundations – Elisa Harris

Presentation by CMP CEO Emmie Kell

The invitation to go on the Firm Foundations course came at the perfect time for me. Krowji had secured the match funding for Phase 2 of our redevelopment project and we were waiting for news of our ERDF bid – we have since been told it was successful!

The course is true to its name – designed to enable you to create a solid foundation before embarking on a capital project, there was a huge amount packed into just two days with a good balance of talks, site visits and tasks making it very engaging. During the first half of the course we were given direct access to an impressive list of experts covering everything from board structure to funding and marketing to risk management.

Highlights for me included a talk by Eden’s CEO Gordon Seabright, in which he spoke very candidly about the successes and challenges he’s faced during his time at Eden, and an informal surgery with Phil Gendall of Wolf Rock focussed on creating a clear message in your marketing materials. The risk assessment of preparing and eating a cream tea was also a lot of fun!

Firm Foundations has been designed for small groups of delegates in order to create an open, honest and safe environment in which to share experiences and ask questions. It’s relevant to all levels so there’s a good mix of people who have worked on capital projects and those who have never done anything like this before.

CMP have generously paired each of us with a mentor, one of their team of experts, so that we are supported in the months between the two halves of the course – an invaluable resource which I intend to make full use of. I’m now very much looking forward to diving into second instalment of the course come February, in particular attending an exclusive evening with Jamie Fobert over supper at the Tate!

– Elisa Harris, Krowji Studio Manager

To find out more about the Firm Foundation programme click here