Gannochy Trust

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Gannochy Trust
Predecessor none
Successor n/a
Formation 21 June 1937
Founder Arthur Kinmond Bell
Type Charity
Legal status Registered Charity
Purpose To make a positive difference for the benefit of people living in Scotland, with a preference for Perth & Kinross
Headquarters Pitcullen Crescent, Perth
Region served
Official language
Dr James Kynaston
Chief Executive
Carol Downie MBE
Key people
Main organ
Board of Trustees
Formerly called

The Gannochy trust is a charitable organisation which is based and operates in Scotland with a preference for projects in Perth and Kinross. The trust was founded in 1937 by influential Perth business man Arthur Kinmond Bell, known as A. K. Bell, of Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd.


The Gannochy Trust was founded in 1937, by the established whisky distiller and philanthropist A. K. Bell.[1] The founding aims of the project were to maintain the Gannochy Housing estate, built by A. K. Bell, and to continue to improve Perth and the surrounding area for the local citizens into the future. Initially this was funded from shares in Bell's Whisky, gifted to the trust by their founder.[2]


The Trust funds many activities in Scotland, with a preference for Perth and Kinross, through awarding grants to what it feels are worthwhile causes. It has four over arching themes with grant applications expected to meet at least one of the following aims, although the third and fourth will only be accepted for projects within Perth and Kinross:[3]

  • Inspiring young people
  • Improving the quality of life for disadvantaged and vulnerable people
  • Supporting and developing amenities for communities
  • Caring for the natural and man made environments

The Gannochy trust particularly provides many grants for the improvement of sports provision and participation.[4]

In line with the original Trust Deed, the trust also manages and rents property in the Gannochy area of Perth. This includes an estate of rented homes, a mixture of general and sheltered housing, as well as a small number of farms. The trust also manage the nearby Doo'cat Cricket Park, and Quarrymill park, as places for community recreation.[5]


To help meet the goals stated above, the Trust has helped form a number of charitable partnerships, often in conjunction with Perth and Kinross Council, to help it distribute funds to where they are needed while maintaining its charitable status.[6]

The first such partnership was Bell’s Sports Centre (Perth) Ltd set up to run the sports centre built by the Trust.[7] Now known as Live Active Leisure Ltd, this body has grown to include many recreational venues across the county.[8]

A later partnership was the Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust, which helps maintain the rural walkways and other amenities meeting the objectives of caring for the natural environment.[9]

Another such partnership is the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, which conserves the archaeological and architectural heritage of Perth.[10]

Notable projects[edit]

Within Perthshire[edit]

In line with A K Bell's intentions, the Gannochy Trust has played a large role in the development of modern day Perth, and it has been noted that many of the landmarks visible to visitors today are a result of the support of the Trust.[11]

One of the first major projects for the trust was the construction of the Bell's Sports Center in Perth, announced in December 1964 and construction starting in March 1967 with the Gannochy Trust providing £225,000 towards the costs of construction.[12] The center opened in 1968.[13] They also provided funding for refurbishments and extensions in 1972 and 1982, with the newly extended center being renamed the Gannochy Sports Complex, although the Bell's Sports Center is still the most commonly used name for the complex.[14]

The Trust has also supported the Perth Theatre and recently helped secure £14.5 million in funding for a two-year refurbishment project.[15] This project was scheduled to start in the summer of 2014 and is expected to be completed by spring 2017 with the intention of restoring and extending the Edwardian building to better serve the city.[16]

In 1994 it was announced that Perth's a new multi-million pound library would be named the A K Bell Library. This was both in recognition of the fact that the Gannochy Trust was a major contributor to this project, as well as the large role they, and their founder A K Bell, have made to the City since its foundation.[11] The library was formally opened in 1995.[13]

Within the rest of Scotland[edit]

In 1967, as part of the construction of Stirling University, the Gannochy Trust provided up to £100,000 towards a sports pavilion on the campus. They have continued to support sport at the university, including funding sports bursaries in 1983, and contributing £500,000 to the Scottish National Tennis Centre in 1989.[17]

Between 2003 and 2010, The Gannochy Trust sponsored the Gannochy Trust Innovation Award, awarded in by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. This highly prestigious award was awarded to an individual in Scotland under the age of 45 in recognition of outstanding achievement which had resulted in a major economic or social benefit to Scotland or the wider world.[18] This award consisted of a gold medal and £50,000 to develop the idea, and it is believed the £600,000 awarded has created £4 million of additional value to the Scottish economy.[19]


  1. ^ Welsh, Andrew (9 December 2011). "Perth good cause Gannochy Trust's 75th anniversary". Daily Record. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "A K Bell and the Gannochy Trust". GannochyTrust. Gannochy Trust. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  3. ^ The Directory of Grant Making Trusts - 2012/13 (22nd ed.). London: Directory of Social Change. 2012. ISBN 978-1-906294-56-4. 
  4. ^ "Sportscotland page for Gannochy Trust". 29 October 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Duncan 2012 – pp53-56
  6. ^ Duncan 2012 – p. 67
  7. ^ Duncan 2012 – p66
  8. ^ "Our History". Live Active. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Our Partners". Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "2011-2012 Annual Report" (PDF). Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust. Perth. 2012. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "Perth's Tribute to A. K. Bell extract made available at RootsWeb". Courier and Advertiser. Courier and Advertiser. 4 July 1994. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Duncan 2012 – pp. 43-44
  13. ^ a b Lambert, Tim. "A Brief History of Perth". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Duncan 2012 – p65
  15. ^ "Two-year closure during £14.5m Perth Theatre transformation". The Courier. Dundee, Scotland. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  16. ^ Lowson, Alison (25 April 2014). "Perth Theatre redevelopment starts this summer". Daily Record. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Duncan 2012 – p75
  18. ^ Duncan 2012 – p76
  19. ^ "The Gannochy Trust Innovation Award". The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 

Works cited[edit]

  • Duncan 2012 – Duncan, Jeremy (2012). A Roof Over One's Head. Perth: Farquhar and Son Ltd. ISBN 978-0-9560620-7-9. 

External links[edit]