The Director of the Seafood School (CJ Jackson) to be heard.
The Committee received a presentation from the Director of the Seafood School (CJ Jackson).
Ms Jackson’s presentation covered the following points:
· The establishment of the Seafood School in 1999 as a charitable company;
· Diversification and the wide variety of courses now available, tailor made to suit the needs of a wide variety of groups;
· Schools and Young Peoples Programmes – encouraging young people to eat seafood as part of a healthy diet;
· Outreach work;
· Industry Programmes/Partners;
· Attracting business to the Market;
· How the School might work more closely with the City of London Corporation going forwards;
· Funding and Deficits – it was highlighted that market tenants had decided that they no longer wished to financially support the School as they felt that they were now in a position to financially support themselves. However, tenants did not appear to have viewed the School’s finances ahead of reaching this decision which would result in a deficit of £22,000 per annum going forward. Ms Jackson stated that the School and its new General Manager had tried to address tenants further and highlight the substantial benefits of the school to the Market;
A Member questioned whether the School had looked at alternative funding (from the City Corporation’s City Bridge Trust or the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers for example) following the decision of tenants to no longer financially support them. Ms Jackson confirmed that the School held some reserves which would provide a ‘cushion’ against the deficit for approximately 4-5 months. They were also hoping to continue to raise their own funds as a charity and to generate a surplus in this and future years. She added that funding had previously been received from the City Bridge Trust but that this had related to particular projects and not to general running costs.
In response to a question regarding financial support from the City of London Corporation, Ms Jackson stated that preferential arrangements were in place regarding the renting of facilities but that there was no exchange of finances between the City Corporation and the Seafood School.
A Member suggested that further meetings/discussions should be held with the tenants’ association around their continued financial support of the Seafood School given that it was such an asset to the Market.
The Chairman, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Ms Jackson for a very interesting and informative presentation.