Keeping the ICE on a sound financial footing during the economic downturn was a key focus of the last ICE Council meeting of 2011.
Vice president for finance Andrew McNaughton presented the 2012 budget, saying that it was “not unachievable, but not a walk in the park.”
Budget papers show that the Institution had anticipated a £55,000 operating surplus by the end of 2011, but by November was forecasting a £177,000 deficit. This was partly due to the impact of difficult trading conditions for the ICE’s trading arm Thomas Telford Ltd (TTL).
McNaughton forecast a £100,000 operating surplus for the ICE in 2012.
Predicted income increase
This is due to a predicted increase of £805,000 in the ICE’s income, which includes income from partnerships and sponsorship, and a £190,000 profit increase at TTL.
McNaughton admitted that there was some risk in predicting such a large income increase for 2012, after a “difficult” 2011.
To help meet the demands of the budget, the ICE would seek to make purchasing efficiencies, and will consider the possibility of not filling vacancies which may come to pass during next year.
Consolidated bank accounts
Council also agreed, subject to consultation, to the consolidation of ICE regions’ bank accounts into one central account that the regions and branches can access. McNaughton told Council, “We are making it an efficient way of managing our capital. This is not about taking cash sums away from the use of the regions. These cash sums will be held in the account for the use of the regions.”
Plans to refurbish ICE headquarters One Great George Street were also discussed.
The move is intended to tie in with the bicentenary celebrations of the founding of the ICE in 2018. Funding for this work would be entirely through a capital fundraising campaign.
Council confirmed Barry Clarke as the next ICE President. He will assume the role in November this year.
New business plan
At the meeting, new director general Nick Baveystock also outlined his business plan for 2012.
Baveystock said his two main priorities for the year were to increase membership and to maximize the value of the ICE’s knowledge. He added that “a plan cannot be all things to all people […] it must be clear and unambiguous.”