MacRobert Trust: Large Grants

The MacRobert Trust

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Grant amount: More than £50,000

Anticipated deadline: May 31, 2019

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: United Kingdom

Location of residency: United Kingdom

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Every year, The MacRobert Trust conducts a programme of charitable donations, grants and awards using income from our financial investments, and surplus income generated by the estate and its activities. Overall, this amounts to over £1 million a year.

Donations are restricted to organisations that are recognised as charitable by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), the Charity Commission for England and Wales or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

Large grants (£50,000+) are predominantly set aside for Trustees, should they wish to award a larger sum to make a difference in one or two specific areas or projects. 

Please note that these awards will be relatively rare and will only be considered once a year, at the autumn Trustees meeting.

Themes & Sub-themes

The themes and sub-themes define the scope of The Trust’s charitable work under its Charitable Donations Policy. The themes are listed below. Full details of sub-themes are available here. Trustees reserve the right to make changes to the themes and sub-themes and to make judgements on applications which do not qualify for support.

Services and Sea

Support to the Services & Sea encompasses charitable donations and grants given in support of the armed forces of the United Kingdom and the mercantile marine. A particular focus of activity is the direct provision of accommodation and leisure facilities at Douneside House for serving and retired officer personnel of the armed forces. The full rules on the use of Douneside and eligibility criteria agreed by Trustees are defined in a separate policy paper. Other charitable support is given to the single-Service charities and other charitable organisations providing training, welfare, rehabilitation and medical treatment for serving and retired members of the armed forces community. The Trust will also support organisations working on the rehabilitation of ex-Service offenders. Support to the civilian forces and mercantile marine encompasses similar purposes where, in the view of the Trustees, they are relevant to those organisations.

Education and Training

Support to Education and Training encompasses charitable donations and grants given in support of pupils at independent Scottish secondary schools whose families encounter difficulties with paying fees as a result of unexpected circumstances. Support is also provided to universities, colleges and other centres providing academic and practical training provided the institutions concerned are charitable. In each instance, the case for support is to be endorsed by the Principal.

Children and Youth

Support to children and youth encompasses donations and grants given to charitable organisations assisting young people to strive for self-improvement and to work for the benefit of the wider community. Support will also be given to charities dealing with the health, welfare and wellbeing of young people, particularly where those charities work with issues surrounding addiction to alcohol and substance misuse, crime, homelessness and disadvantage and disability of any sort. Support will also be given to charities working with young people acting as carers and to charities working with ex-offenders and on initiatives designed to prevent re-offending.

Science, Engineering and Technology

Support to Science, Engineering and Technology encompasses The Trust’s direct involvement with the prestigious MacRobert Award, the UK’s premier award for engineering innovation which is now administered and presented by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Indirect support is provided through donations and grants awarded to charitable organisations involved in scientific research; the teaching, study and practice of science, engineering and technology; and the encouragement of youth into engineering as a profession.

Agriculture and Horticulture

Support to agriculture and horticulture encompasses direct charitable support given through the provision of The MacRobert Trust’s own Scottish Farming Scholarship Award5 , plus direct charitable support given through The MacRobert Trust’s indigenous Horticulture Training scheme using the grounds of Douneside House and other designated training garden sites on the estate. Indirect support is funded via donations and grants awarded to charitable organisations working to promote the training, health and wellbeing of persons involved in agriculture and horticulture and undertaking research aimed at improving sustainability and the improvements of the livelihoods of those involved. From time-to time capital grants may be given for facilities and activities conducted by charitable organisations such as the Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland and other charities involved in agriculture and horticulture

Tarland and the Local Area

Charitable support to Tarland and the local area will be achieved through activity which advances environmental protection and improvement, improves public access to the countryside and improves health and participation in sport through the provision of recreational facilities and activities at the Douneside House Leisure Centre and other local facilities. Indirect charitable support will be provided to organisations which are involved with the advancement of education, citizenship and community development, the improvement of countryside access and the advancement of the public’s participation in sport and environmental protection and improvement. Indirect charitable support is also provided to local youth movement units, schools, clubs and societies, provided the same are charitable.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Must be a registered charity in Scotland, England and Wales, or Northern Ireland.


  • Preference is given to organisations based in Scotland.


  • Children and Youth: In November 2013, Trustees agreed to provide multi-year funding towards Inspiring Scotland’s 14:19 Fund to support Scottish young people aged 14-19 make a successful transition into adulthood by reducing the number not in employment, education or training (NEET). Until further notice, therefore, all charities working with young people designated as NEET in Scotland and Scottish charities already receiving grant support through the 14:19 Fund, should not apply to The MacRobert Trust for funding support.

  • As a broad guide, applications are not accepted from:

    • Organisations based outside the United Kingdom

    • Beneficiaries resident outside the United Kingdom

    • Individuals, except through The Trust’s own training schemes

    • General or mailshot appeals

    • Political organisations

    • Religious organisations

    • Retrospective applications

    • Student bodies as opposed to universities

    • Departments within a university unless the appeal gains the support of, and is channeled through, the Principal

    • Expeditions, except through the auspices of recognized bodies

    • Community and village halls other than those in the local area

    • Pre-school groups, after-school clubs or school PTA’s other than those in the local area

    • Organisations with multiple branches should only apply through their headquarters other than those in the local area