Scottish Community Foundation to manage £15M JESSICA (Scotland) Trust

The Scottish Community Foundation has been appointed by the Big Lottery Fund to set up and run the £15 million JESSICA (Scotland) Trust.

JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) funding is targeted at geographic neighbourhoods of greatest disadvantage and will benefit up to 13 designated local authority areas in Scotland.

The Foundation has been appointed by Big Lottery to set up the Trust and create a new independent body governed by a board of trustees, who will take the key investment decisions on its funds as well as being responsible for the trust’s governance. The Foundation will also develop a business plan and a funding framework to determine how the trust’s funds will be invested in appropriate organisations and projects. Subject to the business plan being approved by the Big lottery Fund, it’s anticipated that the JESSICA (Scotland) Trust will be up and running by the end of 2011. £15m will be distributed as both grants and loans over a ten-year period.

The BIG Lottery Fund is establishing the trust to build on the European Investment Bank’s Scotland JESSICA Fund by investing in complementary projects that create opportunities for local people and community-led organisations to develop locally controlled assets and enterprises.

Between March and July, we’ll be working with other organisations and experts in regeneration to prepare for the Trust’s launch. We expect to work closely with the organisation that will be appointed by the European Investment Bank to manage its Scotland Jessica Fund to make sure the two funds maximise opportunities for co-investment in sustainable regeneration projects. We’ll also be working with the Scottish Community Alliance to explore how the resources and expertise of its member organisations can be channelled into JESSICA communities to add value to the financial investment from the trust.

The Foundation was selected in a competitive process from seven bidders to undertake this work. BIG is keen to ensure change and development are strongly shaped by the communities concerned and that local people have a genuine say in developing their communities. The Foundation brings its track record in delivering the Big Lottery Fair Share Trust in Scotland and in supporting communities in receipt of community benefit payments from energy developers, as well as its experience of managing endowed funds on behalf of a range of clients to the task of setting up the Jessica Trust.

Read more about JESSICA on the Big Lottery website.

As a Scottish Community Foundation Grants Committee member I’m really pleased they’ve been selected to manage this trust.