Trust plans to close and spend £50m assets to mark 50th anniversary

21 Jul 2023 News

Albert Hunt Trust logo

Albert Hunt Trust

The Albert Hunt Trust has announced its plan to close and distribute its around £50m-worth of assets over the next six years.

Founded in 1979, the foundation said it would spend the remainder of its resources by 2029 and mark its 50th anniversary by closing.

In a statement, the trustees said they would continue with their current grantmaking strategy in the short term “whilst developing a strategy for the phased final distribution”.

It is the second foundation to announce plans to spend all its assets and close in recent weeks after Lankelly Chase pledged to redistribute over £100m.

‘Stark increase in the dependence being placed upon civil society’

The trustees’ statement said the trust had distributed £40m of grants since it was founded, to causes including hospice care, winter night shelters for the homeless, and individuals facing social deprivation.

It had kept a “steadfast commitment” to providing unrestricted core funding “with little or no reporting required”, the statement said, “thus entrusting the organisations supported to continue to deliver their objectives”.

“With the unprecedented recent effects on society, through the pandemic and current cost-of-living crisis, there is a stark increase in the dependence being placed upon civil society as a source of intervention,” it said.

“This has consequently caused the trustees to question ‘why does the trust exist?’ and ‘why does the trust need to exist forever?’.

“With the acknowledgment that there is much immediate need for financial support, the trustees have decided to act now by concentrating on the spending of the trust’s remaining resources within a specific timeframe seeing the Albert Hunt Trust mark its 50th anniversary in January 2029 by closing.”

Breda McGuire, the foundation’s chair, said: ‘’By adopting a spend down strategy this will focus the trustees to utilise the resources of the trust in a targeted way to achieve the trust’s objectives at a time of unparalleled need.’’

The Albert Hunt Trust became a charitable incorporated organisation in 2018 and the £63.6m assets of its previous organisation were transferred to it.

It made £6.15m-worth of grants in the year to April 2022, at which date it had investments worth £52.4m.

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