A multi-millionaire's charitable foundation for vulnerable young people is not accepting new funding applications.
The Edinburgh-based Laidlaw Youth Trust, the main funding body of Tory peer Lord Laidlaw, supports 67 existing projects and has helped a number of others. In a letter to project organisers, the trust advised that it would not be accepting any more applications "in the foreseeable future", although it will honour existing commitments.
The trust, formerly the Laidlaw Youth Project, will now adopt a "more targeted approach". Chief executive Maureen McGinn said that this could involve a single venture or a theme uniting several projects, such as increasing educational opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
She said it was common for grant-awarding bodies to evolve as they worked out the most effective ways to achieve their aims. The trust's future priorities would become clearer after a board meeting on Thursday, she added.
Lord Laidlaw has previously said he would give much of his fortune away to charity. The chief executive could not comment on whether the global economic crisis had affected him or influenced the change in priorities, although she stressed it had been on the cards for some time.
Last week, The TESS reported that Sir Tom Hunter's charitable foundation had withdrawn Pounds 100,000 earmarked for six Glasgow secondaries. The foundation gave Pounds 200,000 for the first two years of projects to help pupils into education, employment or training, but pulled final-year funding after expressing concerns about sustainability.