What Do We Support:


The original financiers of the foundation had a keen interest in our heritage, specifying that one of the foundations aims was “the preservation and beautification of historic properties”. The foundation continues to support the built environment and will support our literary and artistic heritage as well as architectural.

The Built Environment

The phrase “built environment” refers to the manmade surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging from the large-scale civic surroundings to the personal places. As well as the substantial donations to the National Trust for Scotland and the Scottish Civic Trust in Barcapel’s history the trustees continue to support smaller, but no less important projects.

Cultural Heritage

It is more important than ever to support our literary heritage in an increasingly digital age. As well as acknowledging the importance of literary figures, for example Robert Burns in a Scottish context, the foundation recognises that all forms of historical literature from poetry to prose and plays is vital in influencing and educating future generations, and as such need to be preserved and promoted. Barcapel’s annual funding of a scholarship for the Royal Scottish Academy for Music and Drama reflects this interest.

Barcapel also supports the preservation of our artistic heritage, not only by donating to established galleries and other organisations which display the arts of a previous age, but also to more contemporary artistic endeavours with a view to ensuring their longevity. An example is our enthusiastic support for the Little Sparta Trust, a unique display of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s greatest work of art.

Case Study – Heritage

  • The Willow Tea Rooms Trust was established in 2014 as a charity with the aim of acquiring Miss Cranston’s Tea Rooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. The building is now in ownership of the Trust.

    The formal objective is to restore the building to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1903 design whilst ensuring its preservation for subsequent generations. The historic building and its interiors were under threat, but it reopened as ‘Mackintosh at the Willow’ in June 2018. Mackintosh at the Willow will operate as a social enterprise, creating new employment, volunteer, work experience, training and development opportunities.

    A partnership with Dumfries House and The Prince’s Trust provides training and employment opportunities for front of house and kitchen staff within the re-opened social enterprise.

    Barcapel awarded a £25,000 grant to be used towards the education, learning and engagement costs of the project including outreach programmes with local schools and community groups.

    The trustees decision was based on:

    • The historical importance of the Tea Rooms as part of Scotland and Glasgow’s heritage.
    • The Tea Rooms can be a catalyst for the regeneration of this part of Glasgow
    • The increased impact of the partnership with the Prince’s Trust