Ardbeg Distillery’s All Islay Fund boosts 28 local community projects in the first year

January 11, 2024

-- More organisations are invited to apply for the next allocation from the £1million fund --

The successful first year of The Ardbeg All Islay Fund has seen £200K shared between environmental and community projects on the island.

The fund was set up in 2022 with a £1million donation by the distillery, following the record-breaking sale of Ardbeg Islay single malt Scotch whisky’s Cask No.3 to a private collector for £16million. Partnering with South Islay Development (SID), a local development organisation, the fund invited sustainability projects and organisations such as sports and cultural groups to apply for support. A total of £200,000 has been allocated per year, for the next five years.

In 2023, the first year, 28 organisations that applied for support were granted funding. Three of these organisations were:

Islay Karate Club – used their £4,444 funding to buy new suits and sparring equipment and to bring Black Belts over from Glasgow to offer training and grading to Islay club members.

Islay Book Festival – used their funding to make the 2023 festival more inclusive and affordable, with a diverse programme featuring special guests, live performances and free events.

Bowmore Lunch Club – were able to provide transport and volunteers for a summer of social activities, including bingo, sing-songs, birthday celebrations and visits to other seniors groups.

Now, The Ardbeg All Islay Fund is inviting similar groups and organisations to apply for the next allocation of £200K. Applications will be open between January and March 2024. Each application will be considered by a panel made up of two SID directors, five members of the local community and a representative from The Glenmorangie Company (owners of Ardbeg Distillery), with funding awarded from spring 2024 onwards.

The Ardbeg All Islay Fund is committed to supporting local groups and projects based on Islay, whose activities meet some of the following criteria: supporting active lives; building community resilience; enhancing the environment.

Caspar MacRae, CEO of the Glenmorangie Company, said: “We’re delighted to see so many members of the Islay community enjoying the benefits of The Ardbeg All Islay Fund in its first year. It’s great that it’s already making a real difference to life on the island.”

Pat McGrann, SID Chair, said: “There is no shortage of creativity, imagination and community spirit on Islay, so it’s wonderful to see people embracing the opportunities presented by The Ardbeg All Islay Fund. I hope other groups and organisations will feel inspired to get their applications in for 2024 and see how together with the help of the fund they can help our community to flourish even more.”

Charlène Busalli, Chair of Islay Book Festival, commented: “The aim of the Islay Book Festival is to be as inclusive as we can, by keeping our events affordable and catering for every age group and all reading tastes. In 2023, thanks to this funding, we were able to widen our programme and make the event as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. If any of my fellow Islanders are seeking support for their community initiative, I heartily recommend applying to The Ardbeg All Islay Fund!”

South Islay Development Logo
​​South Islay Development is a registered charity (SC042384)
and company limited by guarantee (SC400320) registered in Scotland.

Registered Address:
The Ramsay Hall, Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Argyll, PA42 7BY.
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