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New Trust director outlines top priorities

Bill Zuill

Securing the future of the National Trust’s education programme and making its vast archive of historic artefacts and documents more accessible to the public will be top priorities for newly appointed executive director Bill Zuill.

Mr Zuill, who took over from Jennifer Gray earlier this year, said the Trust hoped to begin a major $32,000 revamp of the Globe Hotel in St George in 2017.

He also told The Royal Gazette that preparation work had already begun to establish an online database of charity’s artefacts and a new phone App to guide visitors around Trust properties.

“We very much want to proceed with the revamp of the Globe Hotel next year. That will include the creation of an interactive education centre,” he said.

“The idea would be for school groups to take advantage of this new education space, while the Rogues and Ruins exhibits would be scaled back slightly.

“It’s a work in progress and part of our commitment towards the extensive education programme the Trust runs.”

About 5,000 students take part in the National Trust’s education programme each year, which encompasses a large variety of classes, holiday camps and outdoor pursuits.

For the past nine years Axis has provided the financial backing for the programme, but now the Trust is looking for a new sponsor to ensure the scheme continues for another decade.

Mr Zuill said: “Axis have sponsored our education programme for the last nine years, with some help from the Bank of Bermuda Foundation.

“It has been amazingly successful and we want to ensure it continues to give amazing opportunities to children at preschools all the way up to secondary schools. We are now looking for a new sponsor to take over from Axis and help provide the $130,000 required to keep it going.

“Donors can choose to fund different elements of the educational programme such as the experiential learning, the teacher training of the holiday camps. They don’t have to sponsor the whole thing.

“We have the funding to keep us going through the school year but need to secure its future. The programme is not in imminent jeopardy, but we are looking for a long-term commitment to ensure it carries on.”

In 2017 the Trust hopes to start work on a $32,000 digital database of all the charity’s artefacts and historic documents as well as establish an $11,000 phone App providing information on Trust properties.

“We have a huge collection of artwork, documents and artefacts, much of which is currently stored at the archives,” Mr Zuill said.

“We want to make this more accessible to the public in the shape of a digital database, which is a major project and expected to cost in the region of $30,000. It’s a big project but one that we are keen to get started in 2017.”