Revitalising Trusts Initiative

Date Posted:30/07/2020


Northamptonshire Community Foundation is delighted to have been part of the Revitalising Trusts initiative, which has seen over £3million invested across Northamptonshire.

The programme forms part of the government’s Civil Society Strategy and comes as a result of a partnership between the Charity Commission, the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Office for Civil Society and UK Community Foundations (UKCF). It aims to transfer up to £20million from inactive or dormant trusts to 46 Community Foundations across the country to invest in local communities.

Inactive trusts are defined as those which have spent less than 30% of their income over the past five years, whereas dormant trusts are those which have not spent any income whatsoever over the past five years. It is expected that the initiative will provide an extra £1million in grant funding to local community groups each year.

Northamptonshire Community Foundation has liberated several dormant trusts locally, including the Queen’s Institute Relief in Sickness Fund, the Mark Taylor Charitable Trust, the Leslie Church Memorial Trust and the Cecil Pettit Legacy Fund.

These trust transfers alone have resulted in £2.1million being made available for the benefit of the local community, with an additional £1million due to match funding.

Speaking at the time of the transfer, Michael Orton-Jones, former Chairman of the Northampton Queen’s Institute Relief in Sickness Fund, said: “Running a small charity is becoming increasingly onerous, with all the rules and regulations now facing us. Northamptonshire Community Foundation has the professional support and expertise to enable us to deal with the daily management issues that confront us. The trustees of the Queen’s Institute are confident that this charity, which has done so much to help the health of the inhabitants of Northampton, will continue to prosper under the guidance of the team at the Community Foundation.”

There are a variety of reasons why a Trust may become inactive or dormant. The charity’s objectives may be outdated or no longer relevant, making it increasingly difficult to find appropriate beneficiaries to support. The charity’s assets may be so small that the income available to distribute will not be able to make a significant impact. It may be that the founders have passed away, as seen through the Cecil Pettit Legacy Fund.

Cecil Pettit worked tirelessly for the equal rights of disabled people; his primary concern being to ensure disabled people had access to a normal education and an ordinary life. He was recognised in 1982 with an MBE for his outstanding contributions and his property was put into trust with Howes Percival Solicitors.

Now sold, the building was match funded 50% from the Constance Travis Endowment Match Challenge, creating a fund of just over £1million.

Gerald Couldrake, senior partner of Howes Percival and a trustee of the Cecil Pettit Will Trust, said: “I am sure that Cecil would be both astounded and delighted that his legacy is a £1million fund to benefit disabled people in the county. We have worked very successfully with the team over a number of years as we were convinced that they were the right people to take on the administration of finding the best projects to fund. I look forward to reading about how Cecil’s money will be spent in supporting many worthwhile projects in the years to come.”

Community Foundations are established, trusted charities that support local communities across the UK. We are leading grant makers, reliable, have a trusted model of delivery and are all quality accredited. We ensure that funds are distributed to tackle the most pressing issues in our localities.

If you are concerned that your charity may be considered inactive or dormant, or would like further information, please get in touch with the Foundation’s Head of Philanthropy, Mary Hollands, or CEO, Victoria Miles DL.

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