Common Good Funds

Common Good Funds in Scotland date from the late 15th century and they have been identified as all "property of a Royal Burgh not acquired under statutory powers or held under specified trusts". Today they can be seen as resources which have been donated by either individuals or organisations, and are now used for the "public good" within a specified area.

In 1995 with the Dissolution of the District councils, Argyll and Bute Council took over the administration of the Common good funds falling within it's geographical area.  The Common Good Funds do not belong to the Council, however, administrative support is provided by the Council, and the elected Councillors for the area are currently the members of the Common Good Fund.  Legally, the Members of the fund are in a similar position to Trustees.

Members of the Common Good Funds are not paid.

Argyll and Bute Council is responsible for the administration of 4 active Common Good Funds;

We also administer the Kintyre Youth Fund, which provides grants for youth projects in the Kintyre area:

The Council looks after each of the separate Common Good Funds. The funds can include land and buildings as well as cash.  Each fund has a distribution policy.

When considering applications for grants, each application is, and must be, considered on its own merits.

Whilst custom and practice have in effect established certain principles in each case and particularly  in unusual cases, the Members of the Fund  must consider whether or not it is a " reasonable judgement" for them to consider making an award from the relevant Common Good Fund.

Using a "reasonable judgement" for the "benefit of the Community" could for example include expenditure on:-

  • Maintenance of public parks where they form part of the Common Good
  • Donations to local philanthropic institutions
  • Erection of memorial or ornamental statues and meeting the costs of maintenance
  • Street decorations within the fund area.
  • Applications from individuals or groups where the granting of the application would provide a good to the community at large 
  • The reserve generated from the Funds can in part be used to maintain common good land and buildings held as assets

What Activities May be Eligible For Funding

The activities below are examples of what could be considered for common good funding:-

  • School/youth exchanges within the area
  • Voluntary work overseas
  • Attendance at summer schools/events
  • Excursions/Parties (up to 2 per year per group)
  • Visits by and from School/Youth/Sport/Music groups

What  activities are not eligible

The following activities will not normally be considered:-

  • Assistance with College fees
  • Charity based sponsored walk/cycle/canoe etc...
  • Town twinning activities 
  • Organisations with religious/political associations where there are restrictions on usage or availability 
  • Core funding of the Voluntary sector
  • Assistance with rental of premises

The following additional general recommendations are also applicable:-

  • Common Good Funds normally limit expenditure to their available income in any one year -  some Common Good Funds have no funding available
  • Group applicants will be required if necessary to submit financial information
  • Successful applicants will be requested to provide reasonable feedback on the outcome of the award

Contact Details

Completed forms can be submitted to commongoodfunds@argyll-bute.gov.uk

For further information please contact the Area Governance Team:-

Bute and Cowal
Andrea Moir, Senior Area Committee Assistant, Governance and Law, Argyll and Bute Council, 22 Hill Street, Dunoon PA23 7AP.

Oban Lorn and the Isles
Andrea Moir, Senior Area Committee Assistant, Governance and Law, Argyll and Bute Council, 22 Hill Street, Dunoon PA23 7AP.

Mid Argyll Kintyre And Islay
Danielle Finlay, Senior Area Committee Assistant, Governance and Law, Argyll and Bute Council, Helensburgh Lomond Civic Centre, Helensburgh, G84 7PW