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Friends of Blencathra

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July Update - Progress of the failed bid announced 12th Jan 2017

The Trustees applied to the Charity Commission in May with a request for the Commission to consider and approve the following Charities as beneficiaries to the disclaimed and residual funds. The Trustees to determine the percentage of the funds to be allocated following further discussions with the Charities who are finally approved.
The Commission have now proposed a draft scheme to the Trustees as prescribed in the Charities Act.

The charities selected by the Trustees were:-
a) Keswick Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT) (Charity No. 1165345)
b) Fix the Fells in partnership with the National Trust (Charity No. 205846)
c) Friends of the Lake District (Charity No. 1100759)
d) Cumbria Wildlife Trust (Charity No. 218711)
e) The Mountain Heritage Trust (Charity No. 1083219)

These are all based around Blencathra or undertake projects on the Mountain. They are all classified as ENVIRONMENT / CONSERVATION / HERITAGE (except for KMRT) and are considered by the Trustees as being suitable for application of the disclaimed or residual funds.

It should be noted that Keswick Mountain Rescue are not classified in the same category as FoB Ltd and previously both the Commission and our Solicitors have indicated that they may not be accepted as 'similar' under the terms of the Charities Act. " 1.3 If an appeal fails, the funds can be used for other charitable purposes if the Commission makes a Scheme. A Scheme is a legal document that alters the purpose for which the funds can be applied. The new purposes must be similar to (‘cy-près’) the purposes for which the funds were originally raised."

The Trustees made a strong case to the Commission for Keswick Mountain Rescue to be included in the list of similar charities due to our belief that they are an integral part of the environmental and conservation management of Blencathra and facilitate recreational activities as described in our 'objects'. This was accepted by the Commission.

The scheme drafted by the Commission included all of the listed charities but indicated that the funds should be applied equally between them.

The Trustees of FoB Ltd are mindful to accept this scheme in its entirety as it satisfies both the requests made by donors for the application of funds and removes any issues that would invariably result from further discussions with regard to the allocation of funds. This will allow the Trustees to finalise the allocation of disclaimed funds in a significantly more timely manner.

The Trustees will respond to the Commission by the end of the month but will consider any comments you may have with regard to their decision. A copy of the draft Cy-Pres scheme can be found in the files section of the Facebook page.


Update 14th May 2017:- The process of dealing with claims and disclaims for donations made following the 'failed bid' announcement has progressed well with just the odd exception. We have now verified and accounted for two thirds of the donations not including the 'unofficial' disclaims noted on this site and we should be able to resolve the outstanding issues in the near future.

If you have made a claim but have not had a response please contact us at info@friendsofblencathra.org.uk.

The initial claim period has now expired and the repayment process has been put on hold until the completion of the cy-pres application, to allocate disclaimed funds to other 'similar' charities, is agreed with the Charity Commission. This is likely to take several weeks. We have suggested several charities to the Commission which the Trustees believe will stand the test of cy-pres. We anticipate that more than one charity will be selected to receive the disclaimed and residual funds and that we will be able to consult further on where funds should be re-allocated.

The Trustees do not plan to meet again until after the application is agreed by the Commission.
Once the scheme is agreed, you will still be able to claim, or disclaim, the return of your donation (less expenses), but only if claims are received within 6 months from the date of any Scheme made by the Commission.

We will publish further details of which local charities were selected as soon as we have them confirmed.

Dave Wheeler
On behalf of Friends of Blencathra Ltd

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