The Blackford Trust, established in 2008, supports projects in Scotland and China that give people opportunity. Where appropriate, we also look for projects that have both a local and global relevance.
You will find an introduction to our activities below, or via the various links on the menu on the left. We hope you enjoy reading about our work.
A good place to start is our 'What's new' page, where we will provide news on developments with the Trust itself, and links to major developments reported elsewhere on the site.
Potential applicants should please note that after a long closure due to a backlog, we are pleased to say that the Trust is re-open for applications as of 1 February 2013.
What we do
We have two fundamental aims :
to provide opportunity for talented people in Scotland and China
to promote links and cross-cultural understanding between Scotland and China, and about both countries
Our work, where appropriate, is in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals, both in terms of the individual goals and the overall Goal 8, which aims to "Develop a global partnership for development".
Who we are
The Blackford Trust is a charity registered in Scotland (no. SC039658, Scottish Charity Register entry here). The Trust was established in June 2008 by the Chairman, Graham Thompson, in memory of his late father, Dr Gordon Thompson. To learn more about the background to the Trust, please
We have five Trustees who bring a wide variety of relevant experience to our work, from both the private and public sector and from the rural, legal and media industries. To meet the Trustees, click
The Trust is a member of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Scotland China Association, the Scotland China Education Network, and regularly attends the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on China.
How we work
We work in two simple ways - we make awards to partners, and we share knowledge.
Awards to partners
We are "social investors" and are aiming to give opportunity to people who might not otherwise have it. However, rather than simply dealing with an immediate need, we see such spending as an investment for the future. We expect partners and projects to demonstrate clear and identifiable long-term outcomes for the individuals and communities involved - we are aiming to achieve a "social return on investment".
We can provide grants, loans and other assistance to partner organisations who operate in one (or more) of four policy areas - these are our official "charitable purposes", under the Charity and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 :
prevention or relief of poverty
environmental protection or improvement
Our awards will be made mainly to existing relevant charities, educational bodies and non-governmental organisations (please note that we do not provide funds directly to individuals). In all cases, we wish to develop a long-term supportive relationship with each partner, and will aim to support them not just by funding, but also in other ways if possible. We are particularly interested in pilot projects, research and development projects, ways to lever additional funds from other stakeholders, and other innovative mechanisms to gain the maximum impact and value from our funds.
The awards can be made for purely Scottish projects, purely Chinese projects, or projects that link the two countries. We are particularly interested in projects that have both a local and global relevance. However, please note that we cannot consider international projects from any country other than China.
For more information on our awards and partners, please
click here or see the links in the left-hand menu for individual partner pages. In summer 2011, some awards were re-classified as "social enterprise" awards - for more on our new interest in this concept, please see here.
We believe that communicating and sharing knowledge, experience and information can often be as valuable, as a form of "social investment", as simply spending money. If we help to transfer an idea from one person or organisation to another, that idea might lead to the creation of new cross-cultural understanding ; educational progress in school, university or lifelong learning ; a new business idea ; or a new way of delivering social benefit.
For more on our information resources, please
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This page was last updated on 24 February 2013.
The Blackford Trust, c/o Gillespie Macandrew LLP (B.12891.1), 5 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 8EJ, Scotland, United Kingdom