Virgin Money launches £400,000 fund to help Glasgow community groups

Virgin Money, the owner of Clydesdale Bank, has launched a new £400,000 Community Anchors’ Fund, in partnership with the HFD Charitable Foundation to help community groups in Glasgow.

Members of the Cranhill Development Trust

The fund has awarded the first ten of up to 30 grants to support community groups whose activities have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

The new Community Anchors’ Fund has been established alongside HFD Charitable Foundation - the charitable arm of Scottish property development and IT business HFD Group.

The grants will support community hubs with a range of costs such as adapting buildings to allow for social distancing, new IT equipment and vital services such as delivering food parcels.

The first ten groups to benefit from the new fund include Cranhill Development Trust (£20,000), Govanhill Baths Community Trust (£15,000), the Community Central Hall in Maryhill (£10,000), Woodlands Community Development Trust (£10,000), Preshal Trust in Govan (£10,000) and Bridgeton Community Learning Campus (£10,000).

Marie Ward, Cranhill Development Trust, said: “Cranhill Development Trust is delighted to receive this funding award. Receiving this money means that we are able to make our building safe and ready for providing much-needed support to our local community. Without it we estimate it would have been into next year before we would have been able to open following Government safety guidelines. As a result of this funding, by September we will be running programmes helping people into work and supporting older adults and families. Many thanks to Virgin Money Foundation and the HFD Charitable Foundation.”

Mark McRitchie, chief executive, Community Central Hall, added: “This investment from the Virgin Money Foundation and HFD Charitable Foundation will enable us to upgrade our IT systems, protect our future, and will make a significant difference to how we as a community-facing charity can work with our diverse local community, especially important in these current times where good IT and comms are vital. As we work with the community providing food and support, help with employment and other services, reliable IT is no longer a luxury but a necessity.”

Tim Cowen, manager at Woodlands Community Development Trust, said: “Support from the Glasgow Community Anchors’ Fund will make a real difference to our charity at this difficult time. Our community building has been closed since March and as a result, we’ve lost rental income that we rely on. The funding will enable us to buy the equipment we need to start safely running community events outdoors whilst we explore ways of re-opening the building. The support will also help us meet the extra cleaning costs of keeping our premises COVID-secure and the IT costs in enabling our staff to continue to work from home. As a result, we will be able to scale up our response to the pandemic and provide additional support to people who are isolated or suffering from anxiety or hardship.”

Nancy Doyle-Hall, executive director of the Virgin Money Foundation, commented: “This is an important step in funding for the Virgin Money Foundation as it expands its reach into Glasgow. It’s clear to us that these organisations not only play a vital role in our communities but have gone above and beyond to support their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic changed all of our lives and the new funding from the Virgin Money Foundation and the HFD Charitable Foundation will help those organisations continue their hard work supporting some of the hardest-hit communities in the city.”

Karene Hill, trustee of the HFD Charitable Foundation, said: “As Scotland begins to emerge from lockdown, charities and community groups will undoubtedly play a crucial role in supporting those most in need. By partnering with the Virgin Money Foundation, we hope to provide a much-needed boost for organisations in Glasgow and the surrounding areas as they adapt to a range of new measures and guidelines in order to continue delivering essential services.”

HFD Group is the developer of 177 Bothwell Street, which is set to become Virgin Money’s new headquarters in Glasgow and will be the city’s largest single office building. An independent Economic Impact Assessment concluded that the development, due to complete next summer, is expected to generate £2.8 billion of gross value added (GVA) to the Scottish economy over 25 years. 

The company’s Charitable Foundation has made a significant contribution towards the Community Anchors’ Fund, as part of its ongoing commitment to support good causes in the local area.

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