Heritage trust to be struck off the Scottish charity register

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator says Largo Trust provides no public benefit

A Fife charity set up to restore a historical mansion will be removed from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator’s register because it does not provide any public benefit.

The Largo Trust was registered as a charity in June 2008 with the objectives of advancing heritage and education by buying and restoring Largo House and estate, which has been derelict for almost 60 years.

However, in October the OSCR began receiving complaints from creditors of the charity that had not been paid. Local press reports claimed the creditors included East Fife Football Club, which signed a £50,000 sponsorship deal with the charity in 2007.

The OSCR inquiry discovered that the charity had failed to acquire Largo House or a historical tower in its grounds. It also found that the charity had only one trustee, for whom it had no contact details. The charity’s constitution states it must have at least five trustees to be quorum.

Early in 2009 the OSCR also learned that the charity’s contact address was no longer correct. The regulator’s contact at the charity, clerk of the trust David Valentine, refused to provide another address. The charity’s bank closed its account in February.

The OSCR concluded that the Largo Trust should be removed from the charity register because it did not provide public benefit and there was no reasonable prospect it would do so.

Were the Largo Trust to continue to enjoy charitable status, there would be a strong possibility of further adverse publicity resulting in damage to the reputation of the charitable sector, the report adds.

Third Sector was unable to contact the Largo Trust for comment.

 

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