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REPORT AND ACCOUNTS 2021/22


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Stone, DARTFORD
Kent DA2 6DN
ENGLAND
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Forward

Strategy

We have continued to actively pursue opportunities to secure a permanent home for the Museum over the past year but again without any success. Several factors have influenced this from soaring land and property prices in the South East, all time low interest rates meaning negligible growth of our savings, the tail end of Covid-19 restrictions and reduced funding opportunities during the lockdowns.

Some of these factors will not be going away soon and at the time of writing this report the current energy crisis will adversely affect the Museum in two ways both in the immediate and medium terms.

We have enjoyed a fixed rate contract for energy over the past two years but unfortunately this comes to an end in April and we have no choice but to move to a variable rate contract. Ofgem have raised the cap for this by 54% but moving from a fixed rate to the new variable rate pricing will effectively double the Museum's electricity bill. Ofgem have said that the price cap will not be reviewed again for six months.This significant increase in energy prices will not only inflate our own day-to-day running costs but public donations are likely to be affected by the impact these higher prices will have on the general cost of living. It is therefore highly unlikely that the Museum will be able to afford to acquire or maintain new premises in the coming year and regretfully plans for the Museum to progress the acquisition of a new home will have to be put on hold.

This position will of course continue to be reviewed during the year if and when circumstances change for the better but it will free up resource to concentrate more on seeking sponsorship, grants and potential partnerships.

Sponsorship, Grants and Funding

We have now entered into a partnership with two organisations who provide support for charities seeking grants, Induct.inc - a Norwegian based company that provides their Grantway service for the NHS and charity sectors in the UK and the Good Things Foundation.These partners will provide us with access to databases of grant-making organisations and institutions in Britain that includes the areas that they are interested in supporting along with the criteria and timescales for making submissions.

* * *

To end on another positive note, the Museum responded to a cry for help from one of the members of the Open University Geological Society. Mr Stephen Woodward of Stockton-on-Tees has embarked on an ambitious project to produce a mosaic of Britain's geology using the actual rocks that make up each county. Whilst the north and south west of Britain had responded well to his requests he had received nothing fto cover East Anglia, London, the Home Counties, Sussex or Hampshire.

Most of the rock types he needed we already had in our collection and where we possessed multiple specimens we were able to provide him with suitably sized pieces. others we collected for him by special field trips. Kentish classics such as Chalk from Greenhithe, London Clay from the Isle of Sheppey, Ragstone from Hartley along with Bagshot Sands (unsurprisingly) from Bagshot, Surrey.

In Conclusion

You will see from the report that follows that even if progress against our strategy has so far been disappointing, last year was nevertheless a good year both operationally and financially. I fully expect this coming year though to be one of the most challenging that the Museum has ever faced.

Brian R J Glover
Chairman


Operations

The Museum collection now stands at 5,000 items made up of 3000 geological specimens, 30 botanical specimens, over 160 photos, pictures and works of art and almost 1400 hardcopy publications.

Departmental Reports

Department of Palaeontology

Acquisitions by Purchase

A number of Cretaceous fossils were all acquired from Fossils Direct of Manchester, including:-

Two Cretaceous specimens fossils were acquired from Megalodon & More of Wallasey:

We also acquired a number of fine replicas cast from the original fossils from GeoEd in Scarborough, North Yorkshire:

Acquisitions by Field Trip

A number of field trips were undertaken during the year including one to Gore Road Allotments on the outskirts of Dartford, several to the old Southern Hospital Site and adjacent Country Park in Darenth and one each to the Thames riverside at Gravesend and to the East Beach at Herne Bay.

Specimens were acquired from each site ranging from the Cretaceous to the Paleocene and included gastropod, bivalve and brachiopod shells, worm tubes, trace fossils of sponges within flint nodules and a partial test from a Micraster sea urchin.

Department of Geology

Acquisitions by Purchase

Acquisitions by Field Trip

As mentioned in the foreward to this year's report a number of trips were undertaken this year to collect samples of rocks for the Open University Geological Society Mosaic Project. These trips also allowed us to fill in some gaps in our geology collection by acquiring samples of fresh and weathered Ragstone, Gault Clay and London Clay, along with Calcite Septaria from Suffolk and the Isle of Sheppey.

Model & Display Department

Acquisitions by Purchase

Library

Acquisitions by Purchase

Our library holdings now contain over 30,000 items comprising almost 1400 hard copy books, leaflets and magazines and 29,000 books, booklets, leaflets, scientific papers and news articles held electronically.

Botanical Department

Our thoughts last year that we might be able to generate an income stream from the sale of seeds from our Wollemi Pine did not come to fruition as only two of the hundreds of seeds we collected actually germinated. Unfortunately - despite following the advice provided by the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney, Australia, to the letter on the most effective was to propagate Wollemi Pine seeds - neither seedling survived.

However, already this year our Wollemi has produced five times the number of female cones that it did last year and, if the weather this Spring and Summer is kind, stand to provide us with a harvest of thousands of seeds this autumn.

Acquisitions by Purchase

iT Department

The total number of visitors to our website has reached a fantastic 9,508,072.

Finance

Donations were down over the 2020/21 high by 5.3% but this was more than offset by a reduction in costs of 21.1%

The Museum made an operating surplus of 503.89 and achieved an overall surplus of 542.83 with the addition of income from the Museum Gift Shop.

The total value of Fixed assets fell due to depreciation by 4.8% but total assets, including the value of the Museum collection, increased by 2.8% overall.

Admin costs this year increased by 13.1% from 2020/21 mainly due to increased postage rates and energy usage.

Notes to the Accounts


1. Museum Expenditure

As a non profit making organisation, the Museum aims to spend the minimum possible on administration and overheads so that funds can be channelled into curation of the collection and the acquisition of display equipment and new specimens.

2. Tangible fixed assets and depreciation

Fixed assets at 31st March 2022 are stated at the lower of (a) cost, less provision for depreciation if originally purchased by the Museum, or (b) net realisable value, less provision for depreciation if the asset was donated free of charge.

Depreciation is provided on a straight line basis, and is calculated on historical amounts, after providing for any permanent diminution in value. The period of depreciation being the estimated life of the asset subject to the maxima shown below and commencing when the capital expenditure was incurred or on acquisition of the asset by donation.

Type of assetMaximum period
Computer equipment10 years
Laboratory and display equipment20-40 years

Estimated lives and residual values of individual items are reviewed periodically and amended when circumstances change. Asset values shown represent the estimated replacement cost of the collection with specimens of similar quality and size.

The residual worth of fixed assets that have remained operational beyond their expected life have been valued to reflect what they could deliver if sold on the second-hand market. The residual value of these items is fixed and they are not subject to any further depreciation.

3. Disposals

No specimen in the collection is considered to be a disposable asset - the Museum's charter provides strict safeguards and restrictions on disposals of the specimens themselves.

Amounts shown against this entry represent write-off of fixed assets e.g. obsolete iT equipment or laboratory/admin equipment beyond economical repair death of botanical specimens and mineral specimens that have degraded to the point where they are no longer of use scientifically or for display. Figures shown represent the residual value of items disposed of after depreciation.

4. Interest Receivable

Current account interest is received gross of tax each quarter. Investment interest is received gross of tax each June.


Balance Sheet

Position as at 31st March 2022

2021/222019/20
INCOME ()
Donations2186.062240.83
Gift Shop Sales215.37145.46
Stock in Hand1006.021006.02
Cash In Hand965.311395.60
Interest Received0.595.21
TOTAL4373.354793.12

EXPENDITURE
Acquisitions457.55701.16
Purchase of Fixed Assets227.18572.77
Operating Costs1174.461071.01
TOTAL1859.192354.94

BALANCE2514.162438.17

WORKING CAPITAL
Interest Received0.595.21
Cash in Hand1507.551395.60
Stock in Hand1006.021006.02
TOTAL2514.162438.17

STATEMENT OF ASSETS
Position as at 31st March 2022

OPENING BALANCE3997.153501.73
Acquisitions134.81857.36
Depreciation324.37361.94
Less Disposals0.900.00
CLOSING BALANCE3806.693997.15

Working Capital2514.162438.17
Value of Collection41876.5440452.63
Current Assets520.46516.47
Fixed Assets3806.693997.15
TOTAL ASSETS48717.8547404.41


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