Lucy Culkin CEO Jurassic Coast Trust

There is optimism and change in the air at JCT!

Following frustration and scaling back during the ‘covid years’, 2022 was very much a year of action at JCT!

During Covid, we had been working hard on our plans to become financially secure in an increasingly difficult landscape of reducing grant and public funding, and yet of course as a Charity, we rely on this income to deliver our charitable aims and ambitions.

In the end, it came down to taking a leap of faith, in a challenging economic market, to invest into a new strategy which involved launching a trading company which functions as a social enterprise to reinvest profits into the charity, so that in the future, we can continue to support and grow the future of our organisation and realise the ambitions set out within the 2020-2025 Partnership Plan.

We launched the Jurassic Coast Trust Trading company in October 2022 and have been overwhelmed with the support and encouragement received from both local and national business communities; we will use our new digital platform to not only raise income from holiday bookings and destination marketing, but also increase awareness and engagement for sustainable tourism along the Jurassic Coast.

We are delighted that as part of this new venture, we will be launching the JCT Conservation Fund, available for not-for-profit businesses along the coast to bid for small pots of funding to support the conservation of the World Heritage Site. In addition, we will be working with businesses to develop their own Sustainable Development Goal framework, based on UNESCO’s SDG’s at the Sustainability Summit in March 2023 (get your tickets here!

Team changes

As always, I am overwhelmed by the loyalty and dedication of our team and Trustees to deliver a united vision. As we move forward, we regrettably have to say a sad goodbye to some people and a warm welcome to others. Here are our movers and shakers:

- Dr Lauren Sewell, our Earth Scientist and Content Creator temporarily waved goodbye to us in December 2022 to welcome her newborn son to the world on New Year’s Eve.

- Many of you will know Guy Kerr, who was the original instigator of the Trusts' Business Partner Scheme back in 2014, and who has been pivotal in creating our new digital platform. Guy will sadly be leaving JCT at the end of March 2023 but we are happy that he will be embracing new opportunities and will be spending precious time with his young family. We will greatly miss Guy but will remain in touch and hope to twist his arm in volunteering at an event on the coast!

- Along with these operational changes, we also said goodbye to Helen Stiles in January. Helen has been a Trustee since 2017 and as Editor of Dorset Magazine, Helen has been an avid supporter of the Trusts' work; we thank her for all her support over the last 5 years.

Melanie Campbell, Guy Kerr

New faces at the Trust include Melanie Campbell who we are delighted to welcome as new Head of Business Development. Melanie will be taking on the task of making THE place that visitors check out when considering a trip to the coast and also working in partnership with businesses to help them understand the benefits of working with us to conserve and protect the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Melanie says: “I have been working with the Jurassic Coast Trust since November. I love the Jurassic Coast and as an avid hiker and runner, the outdoors is my natural habitat. More so though from working closely with the Trust, it was quickly clear to me that this was a role I wanted to commit to in the longer term.

I love working with this small, dynamic and knowledgeable team. At this stage in my career, I want to work with companies that align with my own values and the synergy of focus with the Jurassic Coast Trust in sustainability, conservation and education align perfectly with my own. I am looking forward to nurturing key relationships and helping the Trust move forward and achieve their ambitions.”

Bringing new skills and experience on- ‘Board’.

Our Trustees Board recognised the need to bring in new skills and experience as we further our work with the Jurassic Coast Collect and deliver areas of the JCWHS Partnership Plan, and so, further to a recruitment campaign to appoint new Trustees, we are pleased to introduce Fritha Costain and Rebecca Bridgeman as new members of our Board. 

Fritha Costain is a senior leader in the museums and heritage industry. She has worked for a number of key institutions in the sector including the National Trust, where she was the commercial lead for the South West region; and the National Trust for Scotland where she was responsible for the Glasgow & West region.

Fritha Costain

Fritha brings considerable expertise to the Trust, including commercial development and strategic vision, together with her in-depth knowledge of partnership development and audience engagement.

Fritha said “I am delighted to be joining the Jurassic Coast Trust. The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is an incredible 95 mile stretch of coastline, which the Trust works hard to conserve, protect and promote.  I look forward to helping to support the team. I am particularly excited about the Trust’s proposals to create a home for significant Jurassic Coast fossils.  

This will provide public access to the collection for the first time and importantly will ensure its protection.  It will also make it possible for research to be undertaken.  Local residents will be central to the project, and community engagement and participation will be a key feature.”

Dr Rebecca Bridgman is a heritage professional with 14 years’ experience working in the museum sector. She has led on a range of exhibition projects on topics from climate change to anti-racism and worked with museum collections from ceramics to fine art. 

She is the Curatorial and Exhibitions Manager at Birmingham Museums Trust where she leads a team who manage a collection of over 1 million objects ranging from Natural Science to Social History.  Currently, her team are working on a diverse range of projects including the redevelopment of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and planning of a new museum focusing on Science and Industry collections.

Rebecca Bridgman

Rebecca is a very regular visitor to Dorset, with strong family ties to the region and a partner now based in Poole. Over the last year, she has been getting to know the Jurassic Coast better, enjoying coastal walks and sea swimming. She is delighted to become a Trustee and looks forward to sharing her knowledge of the heritage sector and developing her understanding of the work of the Jurassic Coast Trust.

And into 2023 we go…

As I said at the start, in 2022 we put all of these plans in place to secure the future of the Trust, which ultimately supports the future of protection and conservation of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

We have started the year strong, and have ambitious plans for engagement, learning, protection, conservation and partnership working throughout this coming year.

We hope you will join us at an event, use our website to help plan your next visit to the coast, become a JCT member and supporter and most of enjoy, enjoy the 95 miles of magnificent coast here in Dorset and East Devon.




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