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Plan to free up dormant trust funds approved

Published 21st May 2018

Sandwell Council's cabinet has approved a plan to release over £250,000, held in more than 20 dormant trust funds, to support projects giving children and young people the best possible start in life.

The council will pass the funds to the Heart of England Community Foundation, a grant giving organisation in the West Midlands that last year distributed more than £130,000 to projects in Sandwell.

The Sandwell Community Fund will help promote the long-term well-being of residents in the area and is expected to launch in autumn 2018.

Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children's services, said: “It is fantastic news that we can free up this money to create an active community fund to help children and young people in Sandwell who need support to improve their chances in life.”

Tina Costello, Foundation CEO, said: “We are delighted to have made the first steps in setting up the Sandwell Community Fund and we believe the Foundation is in the best possible position to make a difference in the community.”

The council’s cabinet approved the proposal at its meeting on 16 May.

The dormant funds are from a mixture of registered charities and trusts set up some years ago by local dignitaries and businesses – including Akrill, Kendrick and Wilson, Albright and Mitchells and Butlers.

The Charity Commission is keen to see the release of dormant trust funds locked in local authorities around the country.

Heart of England Community Foundation is well placed to ensure that the new Sandwell Community Fund is a success, with a strong track record in managing endowment funds and distributing grants to voluntary and community organisations.