Almost £2m to help youngsters in Blyth

The Wellesley Trust and the Community Foundation.
The Wellesley Trust and the Community Foundation.

A major new fund has been set up by the sale of land in Blyth, to help young people in the area.

The new fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has been set up by the Wellesley Trust, an historic charity that once ran a nautical school for the Royal and Merchant Navies. The trust has sold its land for housing development and the proceeds, realised over the next three years, will be used by the community Foundation to support youth projects.

The first gift of £1.3m into the new Wellesley Trust Fund at the foundation has also attracted match of £600,000 from a Government scheme, taking the total founding value to nearly £2m, which includes a sum for a first round of grants.

In time, the fund will total more than £5m, with grant-making each year expected to exceed £250,000.

David Watson, secretary of the Wellesley Trust, said: “We have been occupied by our efforts to sell the trust’s land because we had to realise the assets so we could benefit young people in the area.

“When we thought about how best to fulfil our purpose going forward, we quickly decided that working with the Community Foundation would be the best option because of its track record and expertise.
“We are excited to see the Fund set up, and are very much looking forward to getting on with the job of supporting vital youth projects across the region.”

Rob Williamson, chief executive of the Community Foundation, added: “We are delighted that the trustees of the Wellesley Trust came to us to set up the Fund, and that we were able to add to the founding gift through our match scheme.

“As part of our endowment, the fund will be invested to support young people for generations to come, and we look forward to showing the trustees the inspiring work across our communities that their giving will be able to support.”

The match for the £1.3m founding gift from the Wellesley Trust comes from a Government scheme called Community First through which the Community Foundation can add £1 for every £2 given to new funds in its endowment.

The scheme is designed to encourage giving by individual, family and corporate donors, and to make effective use of charitable trust funds that have not been in active use.