Major Capital Guidance

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 following guidelines apply to capital awards in excess of £250,000.  These are considered by our Giving Committee at four meetings each year in March, June, September and December.  Details of the application closing dates and Giving Committee meeting dates can be found here.

Our Major Capital Awards programme is open to registered charities for work which takes place in Scotland.

Please note that we are unable to consider applications from the following types of organisations:

  • Housing Associations
  • ALEOs
  • Charities which seek funding for onward distribution to third parties
  • Umbrella groups which do not provide direct services
  • Community Interest Companies

Applications for Major Capital Awards must fit with at least one of the Trust’s funding strands:  Care and Wellbeing, Strengthening Communities and Realising Potential, as detailed in our Giving Strategy.

We will prioritise work which aims to reduce inequality by responding to identified needs and disadvantage, and welcome applications for innovative approaches and activities which address the issues described within the Giving Strategy. We consider a number of key criteria when reviewing applications including, for example, evidence of financial need and of good governance. For more information on what we mean by this, please refer to our FAQs.

Major Capital Awards are capital grants in excess of £250,000. Capital costs may relate to:

  • new builds
  • upgrading buildings where the applicant organisation either owns or holds a long-term lease (usually 10 years or more) on the building
  • refurbishment costs
  • equipment

There are no fixed calculations applied to determine the level of any approved funding. Instead a number of key factors will be considered, including:

  • how the project will be used to address inequalities and improve outcomes for individuals and communities facing disadvantage
  • how the need for the proposed project has been identified and to what extent it is meeting a gap or complementing existing service provision in the area
  • overall project costs
  • the sustainability of the project

We cannot consider capital requests for the standalone purchase of buildings or land but will consider the costs associated with these elements of your project when assessing your application. As a general rule for any capital request, we therefore expect you to have around 30% to 40% of the total project costs secured before you apply. We cannot consider ‘in-kind’ costs as match funding.

We may consider requests for revenue funding as part of your Major Capital application, for example, a contribution towards the salary of a key post holder responsible for the delivery of services in the new facility.

We are also happy to consider requests for Major Capital Awards from organisations already in receipt of revenue funding. However, capital requests are limited to one award within any 12 month period. Major capital awards are unlikely to exceed £500,000.

Successful applicants should:

  • Demonstrate how the proposed project will have significant regional or national impact
  • Describe how it may be considered as a centre or service of excellence in terms of the activities it will deliver
  • Have a track record of delivering services or activities which are closely aligned to the funding themes and strands described within the Trust’s Giving Strategy
  • Provide us with significant learning from the funded project

Types of activities which we do not fund:

  • Projects which incorporate the promotion of political or religious beliefs
  • Work which takes place outside Scotland
  • Capital costs of Memorials/Statues/Universities/Colleges
  • The standalone purchase costs of buildings and/or land
  • Capital work on buildings not owned by the applicant or on which the applicant does not have a long term lease
  • Any retrospective costs already incurred by the applicant
  • Work which does not address one of our funding themes

This is a two stage process.   If you wish to apply to the Trust for a Major Capital Award, please call a member of the Giving Team to discuss in the first instance. You may then be asked to send us a brief outline of your project (no more than one sheet of A4), which should:

  • Describe the nature of your current services and activities
  • Provide a short overview of the proposed capital project, including Income and Expenditure budget
  • Summarise how the project will have regional and/or national significance for those individuals and communities who will use the facility.

If we feel that you are eligible you will then be asked to complete our online Major Capital Award form.  As part this we will require relevant supporting documents including:

  • A copy of your most recent Independently examined or audited account 
  • A completed budget sheet that provides details of expenditure, funding secured and potential match funding sources.
  • Any site plans, architectural drawings, or equipment specification.
  • External financial quotations
  • Business Plan/financial projection
  • Any feasibility studies

Please note, failure to provide the required information as part of your application may delay our ability to provide a funding decision.

Once you have submitted your online application form, we will send you an acknowledgement email providing the Giving Committee Meeting date at which your application will be considered.  Our Giving Committee considers requests at meetings four times a year in March, June, September and December – dates are available here.  During the assessment of your application we may contact you if we require additional information or clarification, or should we wish to meet with you to discuss your request in more detail. All correspondence relating to your application is sent via email and it is therefore important that the email addresses you provide at the point of application are correct and that you let us know if there are any changes to these. We aim to advise you of the Trust’s decision within 7-10 working days of the Giving Committee meeting.

If you have any queries relating to the above or would like to provide information on any changes or updates to a submitted application please contact the Giving Team on

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