Our History

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

The Robertson Trust was established in 1961 by the Robertson sisters Elspeth, Agnes and Ethel who donated the shares in their businesses, founded and developed by their grandfather and father, to the Trust for charitable purposes.

The origins of these businesses, based in Glasgow, stretch back to the 1850’s when William (W.A.) Robertson began business in the city.

The family business, now operating as the global company Edrington, is one of Scotland’s largest private companies and owns the well known whisky brands, The Macallan, Highland Park, The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and Brugal.

When the sisters established the Trust, their purpose was to ensure that the family businesses remained active and independent, and to continue and extend the past support they had given to charities. They were among the first Trustees, serving for a combined total of 71 years, ensuring that the Trust operated along the principles, which they, their father and grandfather had employed in the family business, namely: honesty, integrity and willingness to help people in trouble or need.

Their benevolence and business acumen ensured that profits from the successful Robertson companies would always help people and communities in Scotland, just as they had done since their grandfather’s day.