The 1989 Willan Charitable Trust

  • Grant Range: £500 to £10,000
  • Closing Date: Rolling grants programme

About the 1989 Willan Charitable Trust

The 1989 Willan Charitable Trust is a registered charity (number 802749) which aims to distribute approximately £500,000 each year to good causes, primarily in the North East of England.

Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland supports the 1989 Willan Charitable Trust’s grant making in the North East region, receiving and vetting applications for the trustees.

What is funding available for?

The 1989 Willan Charitable Trust will fund charitable activities benefitting residents of Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, County Durham and Teesside. Priority will be given to those which:

  1. ease social deprivation; and/or
  2. enrich the fabric of the local community and the quality of life of individuals within that community.

Grants are available to support organisations’ core costs, as well as discrete projects, and  generally range from £500 to £10,000.

Examples of projects that the 1989 Willan Charitable Trust will fund include:

  • projects that meet the needs of communities experiencing high levels of deprivation
  • self-help initiatives that improve local quality of life
  • services for young people that address educational needs or offer diversion from crime and anti-social behaviour
  • projects assisting local communities affected by crime and anti-social behaviour
  • art projects that help tackle deprivation or improve local quality of life
  • the work of youth organisations and in particular Sea Cadets, Scouts, Guides, Boy’s Brigades and other uniformed organisations. Grants here will not generally exceed £2,000
  • projects that draw on the region’s rich maritime tradition to deliver improvements in local quality of life or address deprivation

The Trustees wish to prioritise projects for which Willan funding will represent a significant contribution to delivery of the project

Who can apply?

Applications are welcomed from registered charities based in, or benefitting, residents of Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, County Durham and Teesside.

Community and voluntary groups that are not able to register as charities may apply for a Willan grant. However such applications must include a letter of support from a suitable registered charity (e.g. a local CVS) which is willing to hold the grant on their behalf.

The trustees tend to weight their support towards local charitable organisations, including those operating as branches of national charities.

Applications from national charities are welcomed, but only for projects that solely benefit the North East. Applicants should provide evidence that they are well placed to meet identified needs within the region, indicating why support from local funders is essential.

Applicants with more than 6 months’ running costs in reserve will not usually be considered for a grant, unless it can be demonstrated that the project cannot be funded by the applicant from this source.

Willan grants are for a maximum of one year, although continuation funding will be considered on an annual basis.

The trustees will not normally consider more than three applications in any 6-year period.

Please note that grants will NOT be available to fund:

  • Statutory organisations including schools or activities eligible for public funding.
  • Trips abroad.
  • Projects focused on:
  • Heritage and the environment
  • Religion and the promotion of faith
  • Scientific and / or medical research

unless these address deprivation and/or enrich local communities and improve local quality of life.

Applicants that do not provide feedback on previous awards from the 1989 Willan Charitable Trust within the required timescale will not generally be considered for further funding.

How do we apply for a grant?

Applicants must provide a letter of application not exceeding 2,000 words in length (approximately 2 sides of A4).

The letter of application must provide the following.

  • Contact details for the applicant organisation, and a named individual with whom we may discuss the funding proposal in more detail.
  • A brief description of the applicant organisation, its track record and current activities.
  • Details of the activities for which funding is sought and why they are needed.
  • A budget for the activities and details of any funding from other sources (stating if secured or unsecured).
  • Details of the charity’s bank account (a copy of the most recent bank statement should be provided). The name of the account should be the name your bank account was set up in i.e. of your group. Please fill in the address of your bank and your sort code (6 numbers) and account number (8 numbers).

Applicants should provide their charity registration number and recent accounts if these are not held on the Charity Commission website. Where the applicant is asking a registered charity to hold the grant on its behalf, details of that charity must be provided and also recent accounts or financial statements for the group itself.

The trustees meet in March, June, September and December. Applications will generally be considered at the next scheduled trustee meeting provided they are received by the 15th of the preceding month. However applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible to ensure they are considered at the next available trustees’ meeting.

All applicants to the 1989 Willan Charitable Trust are contacted with the outcome of their application. If you do not hear from us within three months from the date of your application please contact us for advice. Currently payment is by cheque.

Applications should be submitted in an envelope marked “1989 Willan Charitable Trust” to:

Community Foundation
Philanthropy House
Woodbine Road
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel: 0191 222 0945


Please note: The above guidelines are for the guidance of those seeking support from the 1989 Willan Charitable Trust only. The trustees may make grants outside of the stated parameters where they consider there is a compelling case to do so.

Updated: Dec 2015

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