Here We Are is happy to act as its central office.
The Trust was set up in 2004 in memory of Johnny Noble, Chairman and co-founder of Loch Fyne Oysters who died in 2002. Johnny was a well-spring of innovative ideas and encouraged others with realistic enthusiasm. He was fond of saying that stout oaks grew from small acorns. The idea of this fund is to assist promising acorns. They may be start-up ventures or existing organisations needing funds or expertise to develop. The overriding aim is to promote rural regeneration.
The demise of traditional agriculture, forestry, fishing etc in the Highlands has contributed to unemployment and to fragile, often demoralised, rural communities. We restrict our area of benefit to Argyll, where there is an ongoing need to generate small scale business and enterprise. Bred over many centuries there has all too often been a negative attitude, an expectation of lack of success. The imagination, vision and tenacity of Johnny and his partner, Andy Lane, ensured that Loch Fyne Oysters bucked this trend.
It has been supported by generous donations from funders; now as long as loans are repaid timely it is relatively self-supporting, though dependent on some top-up funding. Now in its 17th year of operation it has loaned out some three quarters of a million pounds and has supported nearly a hundred businesses from riding holidays to patisseries to ceilidh bands.
More information and how to apply can be found on www.sjnobletrust.com