Settlement allows Diana Fund to pay loan back to bank

A £4m Natwest/RBS bank loan that helped to save dozens of charity projects funded by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund earlier this year was paid back this week.

The fund's trustees froze £10m of grants in July 2003 to keep its reserves intact in case they were needed to pay damages to Franklin Mint in its lawsuit. The fund was forced to secure replacement funding to fulfil its ongoing grants commitments.

Several trusts and foundations stepped in to save 127 projects, but by April this year these avenues had been exhausted. Chief executive Andrew Purkis said: "Without the loan we would have been at our wits' end. I'm not optimistic that we would have been able to get anything like £4m from elsewhere, so dozens of projects would have come to an untimely end."

See Grants, p6, & Newsmaker, p14.

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