The Brownlee Old Town Trust

In 1994 the OTA was bequeathed part of the estate of one of its members, Mrs Sybil Brownlee. Rather than subsume the money into general funds, the OTA set up The Brownlee Old Town Trust. The fund has subsequently been augmented by residual monies following the winding up of Old Town and Southside Charitable Trust and St Ann’s Community Centre.

The Brownlee Old Town Trust gives grants to organisations or individuals for projects within or connected to the Old Town of Edinburgh of a social, educational or artistic nature, involving or of benefit to young people.

Examples of grants in recent years are

  • £300 to support free or reduced tickets at the Scottish Storytelling Centre Christmas panto
  • £300 for furniture and books for the children's area of the City Art Centre, Writers' Museum, Museum of Childhood, Museum of Edinburgh and People's Story (with additional £1,000 from the OTA)
  • £515 to Edinburgh Central Library for musical instruments and related materials for the children’s music library
  • £400 to the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust towards the cost of screening of The Ballad of a Great Disordered Heart as part of SHBT’s lecture series on The Tron Kirk (with additional £200 from the OTA)
  • £100 for a selection of toy musical instruments for the Cowgate Under-5s Centre
  • £300 for drawing boards and other art materials for the Children's Art Club run by Edinburgh Central Library
  • £100 to the City Council towards the cost of the Teen Titles reception for authors and student reviewers,
  • £430 to the Museum of Childhood for costumes, bookends, My Grannie Caught a Flea: a book of songs collected by Ewan McVicar, and bean bags.
  • The book The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris for the Cowgate Under-5s Centre.
  • Books worth £12 to The Cowgate Under-5s Centre for a street games initiative.
  • £297 for books, book-bags and puppets for the children's corner of the Scottish Poetry Library (supported by the Old Town Association).
  • £322 for a children's library for the Edinburgh City Youth Café.
  • £50 to the Friends of Canongate Kirkyard towards printing information leaflets.
  • £300-worth of Lego to the Children's Section of Edinburgh Central Library (supported by the Old Town Association).
  • £300 to the Scottish Poetry Library for the cost of one of a series of poetry workshops for schoolchildren to be held in Gladstone's Land and Riddle's Court
  • £300 to Edinburgh World Heritage towards the cost of creating a story-telling garden at Trinity Apse
  • £250 to Justine Gordon-Smith towards the costs of her PhD project to create a documentary film about the lives of those living on the Royal Mile
  • £300 towards the production costs of Exploring Routes into History leaflet
  • £300 to the City’s Museum Collections Centre towards the restoration of the dragon brackets of Wardrop’s Court.
  • £300 to Jean Bareham of Greenyonder Tours towards the production costs of her book Hidden Gardens of the Royal Mile.
  • £100 (supported by the Old Town Association) to send a class from the Royal Mile Primary School to a Science and Literature event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
  • £150 (supported by the Old Town Association) to Edinburgh World Heritage and the Scottish Storytelling Centre for training of senior schoolchildren to be to be volunteer guides for the World Heritage Site.

The Brownlee Trust also manages the Mary Whitfield Fund which pays for the Mary Whitfield Citizenship Prizes awarded by the Royal Mile Primary School.

Applications for grant aid

Applications should be made to the Trust by email or by letter. Applicants should give a summary of the project, its objectives, beneficiaries, timetable, cost, and other sources of funding.


The Brownlee Old Town Trust
c/o The Cockburn Association, Trunk's Close, 55 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR
or by email: Contact The Brownlee Trust

The Brownlee Old Town Trust is a Scottish Charity, Number SC009217  Read our most recent annual report and accounts.