A proposal to establish a new charitable trust to boost fundraising support for County Durham’s cultural venues and activities will be considered by councillors next week.
The proposed County Durham Culture Trust (CDCT) would open up access to funds, grants and donations that are not available to Durham County Council.
It would also be able to accept private donations and, unlike the council, could claim gift aid, which can increase the value of a donation by 25 percent.
The proposal will be considered by members of Durham County Council’s cabinet when they meet on Wednesday, January 17.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships (pictured above), said: “Charitable trusts have numerous advantages over local authorities when it comes to fundraising.
“Lots of councils have already established similar structures and in our case, the benefits of doing the same have become clear during our work to develop a fundraising strategy for the new cultural venue on the site of the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Museum and Art Gallery.
“What we’re proposing is to set up a new trust with an initial focus on raising funds to support cultural projects and programmes across the county.
“We also see this as an opportunity for the trust to promote arts, culture and heritage in the county, encourage public participation in these areas, support the sector, and build on the legacy of the City of Culture 2025 bid.”
The proposal comes as County Durham looks to cement its place as “The Culture County” after becoming the first county ever to be shortlisted for UK City of Culture status.
If it is agreed, an application to establish a charitable trust with a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) would be made to the Charity Commission.
If the application is successful, the council would also provide £70,000 to cover the trust’s set up and early operating costs.