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£165,000 windfall for four great Moray causes


By Alistair Whitfield

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Four great causes in Moray are about to share in a £165,000 windfall thanks to a trust set up way back in 1977.

The huge donation has its origins in a scheme to help people during the year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

At the time Moray succeeded in rising more cash per head of population than any other part of Britain.

Over the years since the Earnhill Trust has made several large donations to local causes.

However, the trustees have decided the time is now right to empty the pot.

Grenville Johnson, a former Lord Lieutenant of Moray, said: "We thought that as everyone is having a pretty dire time at the moment, we'd try to cheer things up a little bit."

Earnhill trustee Grenville Johnston.. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Earnhill trustee Grenville Johnston.. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

Totals of £45,000 and £40,000 are going to the Elgin Sports Community Trust and the Forres Community Football Trust to help build all-weather sports pitches in the two towns.

A further £30,000 is being donated to the Lossiemouth-based charity Outfit Moray which helps young people enjoy the outdoors.

And the final £50,000 will go towards the Leanchoil Trust, which is looking to redevelop the 127-year-old former hospital in Forres.

A fine old building: Leonchoil Hospital on St Leonards Road, Forres ...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
A fine old building: Leonchoil Hospital on St Leonards Road, Forres ...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Grenville said: "An emphasis on youth was something which attracted us to these projects.

"Three of them will specifically help young people to exercise and enjoy themselves when this current unhappy nonsense is all over.

"And even though the redevelopment of Leanchoil is aimed primarily towards looking after veterans and the elderly, we believe it will also benefit many young people to meet and mix with the older generation when that's possible again."

Outfit Moray in operation before the pandemic.
Outfit Moray in operation before the pandemic.

Tony Brown, the CEO of Outfit Moray stated his charity planned to use its share of the money to run outward bound courses for youngsters at risk of disengaging from school.

Thanks to the cash, he estimated his charity would be able to help between 48 and 64 youngsters,

He said: "It's very welcome indeed. This money could make a lot of difference to a lot of lives."

Building work begins in December at Elgin's Lesser Borough Briggs. In the photo are Simon Nesbitt, a committee member at Elgin Sports Community Trust (right) with sub agent Callum Higgins. Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Building work begins in December at Elgin's Lesser Borough Briggs. In the photo are Simon Nesbitt, a committee member at Elgin Sports Community Trust (right) with sub agent Callum Higgins. Picture: Becky Saunderson..

Meanwhile, Dave Allen from the Elgin Sports Community Trust said that knowing the donation would be coming had allowed it commence work on the site at Lesser Borough Briggs.

He added: "Ultimately, we're going to have a full-size pitch which can be used for a number of sports, including football, rugby and American football. In addition, there'll also be two smaller courts for five-a-sides or for sports like netball."


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