The Oban Common Good Fund was set up in 1913 when Miss Janet Sinclair bequeathed her properties in Stafford Street and Dalriach Road to the Oban Town Council “for the Common good of the Burgh of Oban and its inhabitants”.
She specified that “£200 was to be distributed among the “deserving poor” This bequest was to carry out the wishes of her late brother John Sinclair an Oban Merchant who had died in 1910.
The Oban Common Good Fund was held by Oban Town Council until 1975 when it was inherited by Argyll and Bute District Council. At the last reorganisation of local government in 1996, Argyll & Bute Council took over administration of the fund. Members whose wards include any part of the former Burgh act as Trustees of the Fund, and in terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994 when considering Common Good Fund applications they must ‘have regard to the interests of the inhabitants of the area to which the common good related prior to 16th May 1975’ – i.e. in this case Oban.
In 1982 the Common Good properties in Stafford Street were sold. It is the interest from these investments which is available to the Trustees to disburse. The invested capital cannot be spent. The Fund meets on a quarterly basis, and over the past 8 years have dispersed grants totalling nearly £250,000 to a wide variety of local organisations.
The Trustees of the Fund meet to conduct fund business on four occasions per year (February, May, August and November) and the deadline for receipt of applications is 15th January, April, July and October respectively. The Trustees have been strengthened by two members of the community, the Chair of the Community Council and a representative from the local church community.
Each Application is scrutinised on its own merits and a decision reached and recorded.
Argyll and Bute Council now publishes the minutes and decisions of the Fund on its website, and you can access these via the following link minutes and agendas of the Oban Common Good Fund meetings. Minutes of Common Good Fund meetings are also routinely tabled at Area Committee meetings for noting.
The value of the Fund currently stands at just over £1million, and the available income varies with the financial market and rises and falls accordingly.
Visit Argyll and Bute Council link for full details and to apply.
Application forms can be downloaded here!
Source: Oban Common Good Fund