In July 2019, Assistant Director of Operations Nick Lawrence, based at the National Trust in Cornwall, travelled to Canada with an INTO grant. His mission was to share expertise in property acquisition and operational strategy. The request came from Natalie Bull, CEO of the National Trust for Canada, who had used our ASK-INTO programme, open to all INTO members, to request professional advice. NT Canada are considering an opportunity to acquire a high-profile site, which if undertaken would be the organisation’s first acquisition in decades.
While initially envisaged by the NT Canada as a relatively straightforward consideration based on financial implications and membership development potential, Nick’s perspective suggested many changes to the approach taken until then. He brought a much broader set of questions regarding strategy and fit, and further perceived the opportunity to consider an ambitious and transformational landscape-scale project that would do justice at what is one of Nova Scotia’s (and Canada’s) most iconic sites. Nick was able to draw on invaluable experience from the development and delivery of similar projects in the UK to shape the concept and thereafter explore feasibility and strategy.
Thanks to INTO support for this successful mission, the Canadian trust benefits from a number of direct project outcomes:
• creation of a number of draft options and clear definition of a potential role for NTC working in partnership with others at the project site;
• detailed analysis of the opportunity and strategy for moving forward, including board approvals, the approach to funding partners, timeframes and budgeting considerations;
• sample documents and templates; and
• more broadly, the basis of a vision, ambition and draft framework for a future acquisition strategy for NTC.
Both trusts also agreed that there is a great deal of additional space for potential future collaboration, on diverse areas of work from the commercial sponsorship to audience development.