Kate Christie, Senior Business Development Officer at Lintel Trust

A TIE-UP with the LHC Group and one of the country’s most respected charities is set to trigger further support to help to improve the lives of thousands of people in Scotland’s communities.

Lintel Trust – which has operated for more than 40 years, mainly to deliver vital projects in Scotland’s social housing sector – is to be transferred into the LHC Group, the leading provider of free-to-use framework agreements used by local authorities.

The move will fundamentally allow Lintel Trust to continue to drive forward support for Scottish communities through its partnership with the framework supplier Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA), which is part of the LHC Group.

For the past four years, the charity has managed SPA’s innovative Community Benefit Fund – helping it benefit dozens of projects in Scotland, including vital Covid-19 relief schemes to help vulnerable people over the past 12 months.

SPA Director Clive Feeney said the Fund is dedicated to improving and promoting social value in communities throughout the country.

He said: “This is a major coupe for SPA, in that we can now dramatically increase our social value impact with our partners and their communities throughout Scotland.

“The inclusion of Lintel Trust into the LHC group provides a strong base for our collective ambitions to drive our social value impact throughout the UK, whilst allowing Lintel to continue its valuable work across Scotland.

“The partnership represents a unique opportunity to contribute in a significant way to the lives of those most in need.”

Wendy Farmer, Chair of Lintel Trust Board of Trustees, said: “Joining SPA marks the start of a new era for Lintel Trust. As Trustees we are all really excited about this new phase in our 41 year history and we look forward to the opportunity to make an even greater difference to the wide range of community projects we support throughout Scotland.”

Kate Christie, Senior Business Development Officer at Lintel Trust, added:  “We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with SPA for the last four years and we are looking forward to helping SPA meet their goal of investing more in Scottish communities.

“Lintel Trust has been part of the Scottish Housing Sector for 41 years and has supported many great projects. However, during today’s uncertain and challenging times, we feel incredibly fortunate to be joining an organisation with similar aspirations – to improve more lives in Scotland.”

Previously known as The Scottish Housing Associations Charitable Trust, Lintel Trust provides fund management services, the management of grant applications and the delivery of community benefit and social value projects on behalf of the Scottish social housing sector.

The Trust’s current board have agreed to remain in post to support the transfer and its integration into the LHC group.

Although it will remain autonomous and independent, the charity will be able to share and benefit from SPA’s resources and services.

As a not-for-profit organisation, surplus generated by SPA is re-distributed into SPA’s Community Benefit Fund and Partner rebate scheme. SPA’s 14-strong Executive Board members (made up of local authorities and registered social landlords) are eligible to apply for a portion of the fund each year to use for projects in their local community.

In its last financial year (2019-20), £130,000 was distributed to 15 projects across Scotland and benefitted nearly 19,000 people directly – with another £94,000 being achieved in match funding. In the four years since SPA and Lintel Trust have worked in partnership over £475,000 has been distributed across 51 projects across Scotland.

And in recognition of the impact of the pandemic, an agreement was reached to repurpose the Fund to ensure it supported and applied greater flexibility towards Covid-19 relief projects, especially those centred on social isolation.

Projects undertaken through SPA, which partners with bodies such as Local Authorities, housing associations, universities and emergency services on procurement frameworks, totaled £237.8million in 2019-20 – up nearly 50% on the previous year. SPA also achieved a milestone in the last year by signing up its 100th registered partner.

SPA, which operates from a head office in Livingston, has a team of dedicated experts who are firmly focused on championing best practice and ensuring partners can benefit from access to specialist procurement solutions that deliver social value in their communities.