Local charities could be in line for a £12m cash boost as the City of Edinburgh Council looks to transfer control of 38 trusts set up to help vulnerable people in the city. The council has traditionally been nominated as a trustee for bequests but it wants the third sector to take over so the money can be used more efficiently. The move is also expected to inject around an additional £50,000 a year into the city's voluntary work, through better use of the trusts' income and capital, as well as saving cash on administration costs.
Cllr Tim Mckay said: “We want to see the money used in the best possible way and charities are better placed than the council to do that. Simply by changing how the trusts are managed, there will be benefits to charities, the Council and those people in Edinburgh who need help. In this financially difficult times, that is good news for everyone.”
The trust assets range from £192 in the Douglas Brown Bequest for the 'deserving poor of Corstorphine' to the £7.5m Trinity College Hospital Fund which provides pensions for older people. The transfer was prompted by expressions of interest from charities in being involved in the trusts and has been the subject of reports to the Council's Pensions and Trusts committee, which oversees their management.
The charities must do work in Edinburgh and it is expected that they will have an annual income of more than £75,000. The deadline for applications is 6 August. Proposals will be then considered by the committee. Charities interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Existing beneficiaries will continue to receive support.
Notes to editors
1. Cllr Tim Mckay is the convenor of the Pensions and Trusts Committee.
2. The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) provides a low cost mechanism for organising charity transfers. Receiving charities will be expected to cover their own costs.
3. The reorganisation is being carried out in accordance with the procedures and guidance of OSCR. The transfer process allows for modernising the terms of the trust, which will mean some of the restrictions on their current use can be removed provided the changes are within the spirit of the intentions of the original donors.
4. More background is available in these Council papers:
29 June 2010 – http://cpol.edinburgh.gov.uk/getdoc_ext.asp?DocId=141697
8 March 2010 – http://cpol.edinburgh.gov.uk/getdoc_ext.asp?DocId=137387