A 60th birthday present – £100,000 to enjoy the mountains

The Scottish Mountaineering Trust marks a special birthday next year – and it’s giving away a present.

For its diamond birthday next year, the Scottish Mountaineering Trust is offering a ‘Diamond Grant’ of up to £100,000, to a project that helps more people to experience and enjoy the mountains, especially in Scotland.

The Trust was set up in 1962 to support deserving mountain projects, and over the years has contributed £1.6 million to a very wide range of schemes.

A student training weekend – a mountain rescue base – a mountain film festival – a club hut – a new bridge – all these and many more have been helped, through grants ranging from a few hundred pounds to around £10,000.

This kind of grant-giving will continue. But over and above that, the Diamond Grant will add a new dimension to the Trust’s work.

Chairman Simon Richardson explained: ‘We want the Diamond award to be not just a grant, but also a legacy, that will provide enduring benefits to the mountaineering community. We’re hoping to hear from projects that are really distinctive, that break fresh ground.

‘We’re doing our best to attract a wide range of applicants. As well as the grass-roots of Scottish mountaineering, we are reaching out to other groups whose work might be helped, even transformed.

‘We believe the Diamond Grant is the biggest single grant ever made by a charity to Scottish mountaineering and we’re looking for something really special. We’re open to all ideas.’

As with its normal grants, the SMT does expect Diamond Grant applicants to have a degree of commitment and resources to call on, whether that’s in skills, experience, manpower or existing funding.

Those interested in applying for the grant can find detailed guidance online now at thesmt.org.uk, and also contact details for an informal discussion of their plans.

The Trust hopes to make a single award of up to £100,000, but if no scheme on that scale is approved it may decide to help several smaller projects, each with a minimum need for £20,000.

As a charity, the Trust is committed to supporting projects that have a clear public benefit, and that help more people enjoy the world of mountains. So, whether a project concerns a hut, a book, a hilltrack, a crag or an exhibition, what matters is that the mountaineering community will be richer for it happening.