The 4 Winds Trust is a charity which was set up in 2013 to distribute funds to the communities covered by the four community councils of Lochgelly, Cowdenbeath, Lumphinnans and Auchtertool. The Trust’s income consists of ‘community benefit’ payments from Little Raith Wind Farm which currently amount to £49,500 per year. Seven trustees drawn from the four community councils meet regularly to decide which applicants should be awarded grants.
The Trust’s guidance states that any community project for public benefit is eligible for funding so long as it improves the quality of life for local residents and the applicant is any constituted group within the communities of Auchtertool, Lumphinnans, Lochgelly and Cowdenbeath. Individuals, projects considered to be statutory (such as school provision), projects outwith the four areas or groups without a constitution or bank account are not eligible. There is no minimum or maximum level of funding, although “it is anticipated that the normal level of support will not normally exceed £1000”.
The guidance also says that trustees “will not normally consider multiple applications from the same group during the constitutional term”. While “upon satisfactory completion of one project, a second application may be submitted … the same project will not be funded annually as a matter of course”.
In response to a complaint about their operations in 2015, the 4 Winds Trust was investigated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), found to be multiply in breach of charitable regulations and required to tighten up its procedures. One of these was that the Trust had to submit compliant annual accounts to OSCR, which it did for the first time in August of this year.
The accounts list all awards made by the Trust for the tax year ending 30/04/16. These accounts are publicly available on OSCR’s website and the community council archive . We have extracted information about the awards from these accounts below. Some of the grants overlap with ones we published on LOSW in July when we obtained a list of grants made between 2013 and 2015 via a Freedom of Information request to OSCR.
Questions were raised about the Trust’s policy for awarding grants when the information for 2013-2015 appeared in July, but both the Trust and the four community councils who are responsible for it ignored these questions. The full list of awards for the tax year 2015-2016 raises the same questions, and more. It would seem, on the surface at least, that contrary to its “normal” practice as stated in its guidelines, the Trust regularly makes grants exceeding £1000, awards more than one grant to the same group in a year and and gives some groups annual funding. The same questions about the status of some of the recipients as genuine community organisations, as groups based in the four communities or as projects which could be considered as statutory also arise.
Once again, Lochgelly has received the lion’s share of the annual community benefit from Little Raith. The Chair and Treasurer of the Trust are both from Lochgelly Community Council, where they are Secretary and Chair respectively.
Amounts Awarded per geographical area (2015-2016)
|Area||Total Amount Awarded (£)|
|Location could not be determined*||£6,510|
* Locations that could not be determined for the following group: Central Fife Community Safety Partnership, Co-op Womens Guild, Clock Street Pastors
Breakdown of Expenditure – 2015-2016
|Group||Award Amount (£)|
|Masonic Lodge Minto 385 (two applications)||£3,500|
|Lochgelly Community Council (one application)||£700|
|Cowdenbeath Civic Week (two applications)||£5,555|
|Cowdenbeath Golf Club (one application)||£1,000|
|Zodiac School of Dance (three applications)||£3,000|
|46th Scout Group (two applications)||£1,980|
|Central Fife Community Safety Panel (one application)||£3,000|
|Blue Brazil (one application)||£1,000|
|Caledonian Bonsai (one application)||£1,000|
|Young Enterprise Scotland (one application)||£500|
|Lochgelly Old Folks Reunion (two applications)||£2,500|
|Beath and Cowdenbeath North Church (one application)||£2,500|
|Lumphinnans AFC (one application)||£1,000|
|Lochgelly Community Development Forum (two applications)||£2,925|
|LKB United FC (one application)||£840|
|Homestart Lochgelly (one application)||£715|
|Scottish Co-ops Womens Guild (one application)||£2,510|
|Lochgelly Bowling Club (two applications)||£2,822|
|Lumphinnans Social Group (one application)||£1,500|
|Cowdenbeath Horticultural Society (one application)||£1,000|
|Lochgelly Golf Club (one application)||£1,500|
|Cowdenbeath Bowling Club (one application)||£1,500|
|Station Road Indoor Bowling Club (one application)||£1,000|
|Lochgelly Albert JFC (one application)||£1,500|
|Lochgelly West Primary – PTA (one application)||£2,000|
|Lochgelly St Pats. Primary (one application)||£2,000|
|Funky Fifers (one application)||£1,000|
|Lochgelly Community Christmas Lights (one application)||£1,000|
|Lochgelly South Primary School (one application)||£2,000|
|Lumphinnans Primary School – PTA (one application)||£2,000|
|Auchtertool PC (one application)||£2,000|
|Cowdenbeath Afterschool Club (one application)||£2,000|
|Clock Street Pastors (one application)||£1,000|
|St Serfs Parish Church – Lochgelly (one application)||£2,347|
|Lochgelly Brass Band (one application)||£2,500|
|Lochgelly & District Amateur Musical Association (one application)||£1,341|
At the end of the financial year the 4 Winds Trust had £73,000 remaining in the bank account.