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.

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

Examples of grants in recent years are

  • The book The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris for the Cowgate Under-5s Centre.
  • Books worth £11 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.
  • £300 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
  • £200 to the City Council towards the cost of the Teen Titles reception for authors and student reviewers
  • £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.
  • £100 to the 1 o’Clock Gun & Time-Ball Association for prizes in the Greyfriars Bobby art competition.
  • £250 to the Scottish Storytelling Centre for training in storytelling for people with disabilities.
  • £250 to the Royal Mile Primary School towards course fees at an outdoor education centre.
  • £300 to the Scottish Poetry Library towards creating a reading and play area.
  • £350 to the Museum of Edinburgh for furniture and materials for the school and family activity area.
  • £250 to the Museum of Childhood towards reproduction costumes
  • £625 to the Cockburn Conservation Trust towards the Riddle’s Court options appraisal.
  • £375 to the Canongate Youth Project towards a fridge/freezer for the youth coffee bar.
  • £350 to ‘Edinburgh CloseUp’ towards the costs of the exhibition in Advocate’s Close held during the 2008 Festival Fringe.
  • £500 to the Royal Mile Primary School for new furniture and equipment for the school library.
  • £250 to the Cowgate Under-5s Centre towards the rebuilding of the playhouse.
  • £250 to the Edinburgh City Youth Café towards the provision of Internet access.
  • £500 to Jim Johnson and Lou Rosenberg towards the publication of ‘Renewing Old Edinburgh’, a study of the history of urban renewal and slum clearance in the Old Town of Edinburgh.
  • £750 to the Scottish Story Telling Centre towards the creation of the Old Town Stories mural by Julie Lacome.
  • £250 to High School Yards Nursery School for garden tools and plants.
  • £250 to Grassmarket Nursery School for table and chairs for the children’s play area.

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
2 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SU
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.