Oban Common Good Fund

How to apply for a grant through the Oban Common Good Fund.

Make an Application

Download an Application Form

View an example Application and End of Project Monitoring Form here

Meetings of the Fund are held quarterly (February, May, August and November). Please note the deadlines for receipt of applications are 15th January, April, July and October respectively.

Completed Forms should be returned to: Melissa Stewart, Governance Officer, Legal & Regulatory Support, Kilmory, Lochgilphead, PA31 8RT or electronically to commongoodfunds@argyll-bute.gov.uk

The information you supply on these forms will be used for the purpose for which you have provided it, and appropriate measures are in place to protect your personal data.  A full privacy notice, which provides information about your rights under current data protection legislation and details about what will happen to your personal data can be found here:

Oban Common Good Fund Background History

The Oban Common Good Fund was set up in 1913 when Miss Janet Sinclair bequeathed her properties in Stafford Street and Dalriach Road to the Oban Town Council “for the Common good of the Burgh of Oban and its inhabitants”.

She specified that “£200 was to be distributed among the “deserving poor”  This bequest was to carry out the wishes of her late brother John Sinclair an Oban Merchant who had died in 1910.

The Oban Common Good Fund was held by Oban Town Council until 1975 when it was inherited by Argyll and Bute District Council. At the last reorganisation of local government in 1996, Argyll & Bute Council took over administration of the fund. Members whose wards include any part of the former Burgh act as Trustees of the Fund, and in terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1994 when considering Common Good Fund applications they must ‘have regard to the interests of the inhabitants of the area to which the common good related prior to 16th May 1975’ – for example, in this case Oban.

In 1982 the Common Good properties in Stafford Street were sold. It is the interest from these investments which is available to the Trustees to disburse.  The invested capital cannot be spent. The Fund meets on a quarterly basis, and over the past 8 years have dispersed grants totalling nearly £250,000 to a wide variety of local organisations.                   

Oban Common Good Fund Today

The Trustees of the Fund meet to conduct fund business on four occasions per year (February, May, August and November) and the deadline for receipt of applications is 15th January, April, July and October respectively.  The Trustees have been strengthened by three members of the community, one representative from Oban Community Council and two representatives from the local church community.

Each Application is scrutinised on its own merits and a decision reached and recorded.

Argyll and Bute Council now publishes the minutes and decisions of the Fund on its website, and you can access these via the following link minutes and agendas of the Oban Common Good Fund meetings. Minutes of Common Good Fund meetings are also routinely tabled at Area Committee meetings for noting.

The value of the Fund currently stands at just over £1.5million, and the available income varies with the financial market and rises and falls accordingly.

Governance Arrangements

The monies contained in the Oban Common Good Fund are not council resources, they are assets held in trust for the good of the people of Oban. Like all trust funds this brings with it a number of constraints, terms and conditions which must be strictly adhered to in order for applications to be valid.

Argyll and Bute Council appoint Trustees to the fund from the elected members representing Council wards four and five (Oban, South and the Isles and Oban North and Lorn).  When acting in this capacity Trustees are constrained by the terms and criteria of the Trust, which are outlined below; similarly, applications to the fund must meet the criteria.  As is normal with Trust Funds, the Trustees are free to disburse the interest from the Fund, but are not permitted to spend the Capital itself.

All decisions on applications for assistance are published as part of the minute of the meeting at which the application is considered.

Meetings and Funds

Meetings of the Common Good Fund follow a standard format, with an early item of business being that the trustees are provided with a short financial report from the Common Good Funds Investment company.  This advises them of the current state of the Funds’ investments and the amount of money which is therefore available for disbursement at the meeting.  

This information allows the Trustees to make decisions regarding the applications which are before them, and to ensure that the available funds are equitably distributed between those applicants who meet the criteria of the Fund.

The Minutes of these meetings are available on the Council website -you can read the minutes and agendas of the Oban Common Good Fund meetings here.


The following criteria apply to all applications for financial assistance from the Oban Common Good Fund:-

  1. The Common Good Fund requires to be administered having regard to the interests of the inhabitants of the town of Oban. Accordingly, applications must clearly demonstrate that the purpose of the grant is to provide a service or facility that will meet a local need or directly benefit the residents of Oban. The Members of the Fund must be satisfied that any and all disbursements from the Fund meet this requirement, and their decisions in this regard are full and final.
  2. The Common Good Fund is not an alternative to mainstream Council Grants Schemes and normally applications to the Fund will only be considered once other sources of funding (where applicable) have been applied for and determined.
  3. Subject to 1 and 2 above, applications will be considered from individuals and properly constituted voluntary or charitable organisations for funding towards ‘one-off’ projects. Applications for routine operational costs / core funding will not normally be considered although small scale support funding for community organisations may be considered where extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated.  Regular applications from organisations will only be considered where such applications form part of a defined development plan or growing project.
  4. Applications will only be considered if they include a copy of the most recent audited or approved accounts of the organisation. Accounts can only be approved by someone independent of the applicant organisation. This person’s name and address must be supplied.
  5. Applications will not normally be accepted in respect of projects on which work has already started, or in aid of expenditure towards which applicants have already made a commitment or paid.
  6. Applications relating to a wider area than that covered by the Fund will not normally be considered unless the applicant can specify, to the satisfaction of the Fund Members, how any grant will meet a local need or directly benefit residents of Oban.
  7. Applicants must enclose, along with the completed application form, the following information (where applicable):
  • A copy of the most recent audited or approved accounts
  • Contractor’s estimates
  • A copy of the organisation’s constitution
  • Any planning or other consents (which must have been already obtained)

All successful applicants will be required to complete an End Of Project Monitoring Form to ensure that any monies awarded are used appropriately, in accordance with the Fund criteria and giving a level of information which enables trustees to be satisfied that this has happened. The submitted information must outline the amount of funding, any match funding, project details and outcomes, including the number and breakdown of people who benefitted from the award.

We would expect those who benefit from the Oban Common Good Fund to acknowledge this support in any publicity or event material.

In the last year beneficiaries of Funding were:

  • Oban Bowling Club
  • Oban Pride
  • Argyllshire Gathering Trust
  • Bid4Oban
  • Family Mediation Argyll & Bute
  • MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust
  • Oban High School Pipe Band
  • Oban Mountain Rescue
  • Highlands & Islands Music & Dance Festival
  • Lorn & Oban Healthy Options
  • Oban War Memorial Centenary Group
  • Soroba Community Enterprise Ltd
  • Adventure Oban
  • Developing Potential
  • Oban Lifesaving Club

Find out about contributing to Oban Common Good Fund >

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