Balnacraig School: liquidation of one of Scotland’s oldest charities

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ONE OF Scotland’s oldest charities that has provided life-saving care to vulnerable children and young people for almost 180 years has appointed a liquidator.

The Balnacraig School has been operating in Perth since 1843 and has supported nearly 2,000 young people from across Scotland.

The school is a residential facility for children and young people who are unable to attend mainstream education due to social, emotional and behavioral difficulties.

He previously said a lack of referrals led to a decision to stop his care services in December.

Four of the 28 employees with a mix of care, education, finance, administration and maintenance roles will be laid off immediately. The rest of the staff will be retained until their services are no longer required.

Now, the charity has appointed Shona Campbell at Henderson Loggie as interim liquidator.

David Law, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Balnacraig School, said: “It is with great sadness and regret that we have made the decision to seek liquidation.

“The key factor that determined the decision to stop providing care was a lack of referrals, which suggested that there was no longer a need for the type of service we provide. Our hope, however, was that we could continue as a youth charity, and our ability to continue was tied to the sale of the properties in Fairmount Terrace.

“Unfortunately, these sales failed and we had no choice, given that we no longer receive referrals, but to request liquidation.

Fortunately, our plans for our young people to move on are well advanced and the decision to seek liquidation will have no effect on those plans, but unfortunately the staff will be directly affected.

“We have appreciated the support and guidance provided by Shona Campbell in formulating a clear strategy that has ensured that the needs of the youth in our care and our employees remain of the utmost importance. ”

Prior to its closure, it offered 52-week internships for young people with what he described as a “variety of long-term obstacles in their lives due to many contextual factors” in Perth and at homes across the city. as well as in Blairgowrie and Errol.

Emergency investments were also available for an amount of up to a sum of money in a secure home in Pitlochry.

She put her main building up for sale in November 2019 after more than 70 years of use to fund what she called a more modern model of care.

The B-rated property originally cost the trustees just £ 5,000 and although no price was listed at the time, it was understood by then that the sale of the main Fairmount Terrace building would free up some capital to enable the school to purchase several small properties, in addition to those they already owned.

Balnacraig was established in Perth following the Industrial Revolution of 1843 to help abandoned and homeless girls due to poverty and overcrowding in towns and villages.

It has its roots in Scotland’s first industrial boarding school, the Perth Ladies House of Refuge, which was formed in 1843.

The mergers with the Fechney Industrial School for Boys and the Wellshill School allowed a new trust to purchase the mansion in 1948.

Since 1950 it has operated out of a large, listed stately mansion at Fairmount Terrace in Perth, which went up for sale in 2019 with the aim of opening more homes suitable for small group living better able to cater for needs. needs of young people using its services. .

Shona Campbell, Corporate Turnaround and Insolvency Associate at Henderson Loggie, said: “Efforts have been made by the Balnacraig School leadership team to adapt its services to meet the changing needs of the young people it has. was created to support. It has been a privilege to work with trustees to formulate a strategy that enables the charity to meet its obligations.

“Arrangements have been made to ensure continuity of care and we will work with the appropriate authorities to ensure a smooth transition. We are very grateful to the staff for their continued support, and we will work with them to ensure they receive their employment rights from the government. ”


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