Bridge House Trust comes to rescue of Diana fund groups

Some of the charities affected by the legal crisis that threatens to engulf the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund have been given a lifeline by London's largest grant-making trust.

The Bridge House Trust has earmarked £750,000 to bail out 10 charities in the capital whose grants have been frozen because of the charity's legal dispute with Franklin Mint.

The US firm, which produces Diana merchandise, is suing the charity for malicious prosecution. The threat of a multi-million pound legal bill prompted trustees to suspend payments to organisations this month.

The company has written to the fund offering to put a cap on any damages claim at £10 million, therefore enabling the fund to unfreeze all grants.

Franklin Mint say it is an outrage the money has not now been released but lawyers at the memorial fund claim the letter is "flawed" and are seeking further assurances.

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