Our History

Peter Scott CBE was Chairman of the Provincial Insurance Company when Francis Scott Trust was created by Deed of Trust in 1963 to distribute funds for charitable purposes. During the 1960s Peter Scott and his sister, Dr Joan Trevelyan, endowed the Trust with significant holdings of Provincial Insurance Company shares.

The Trust was named after Peter’s father, Francis C Scott, in recognition of his philanthropic work and established to continue supporting the causes and projects that he had sponsored himself. These included: music and the arts, youth development, local community life and conservation of the natural environment. Paramount amongst these was the formation of the Brathay Hall Trust a residential centre dedicated to “the opening of young people’s minds” on an estate F C Scott purchased in 1939.

Where we started

From the very beginning, the Trust has given grants to a wide range of charitable organisations with an enduring commitment to supporting communities and young people where opportunities are limited.

Until the late 1990’s, the majority of grants were directed to those projects or causes in which the family had a close involvement and which were of benefit to the local community in Kendal, headquarters of the Provincial business (which at its height employed over 2,000 people). The largest such charities were the Brewery Arts Centre, Abbot Hall Museum & Gallery and the Brathay Hall Trust. Broadening the range of beneficiaries was precipitated by a significant policy review undertaken in the late 1980s involving Peter Scott’s son, Alexander.

Since that time, revenue funding to the Brewery, Abbot Hall and Brathay has ceased with all three receiving significant endowment fund contributions by 1999.

At the same time and since, the Trust’s strategic priorities have focussed more exclusively on support of projects working in the fields of youth work and family support in the more geographically focussed area of Cumbria and the Lancaster District.

In the first year of the Trust’s grant-making (1964), 15 grants totalling £6,000 were distributed. For the past ten years, the Trust has awarded over £1m per year and in 2021 began a programme of social investment, supporting a small number of key local organisations to develop and grow, by providing long term repayable finance where the financial payments terms are balanced with social returns, contributing to our charitable priorities.

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