1920s

Following the rapid growth of the family whisky business, the 1920’s was a period of significant investment for A K Bell and the dawn of his philanthropic efforts. In 1922, A K purchased Gannochy and Muirhall farmland, marking the birth of the of the Gannochy Trust Estate. Three years later, he started on the construction of the Gannochy Housing Estate, which was finally completed in 1931.

In 1924, A K Bell purchases Kincarrathie House and grounds which remained his family home until his death in 1942. 1924 also marked the start of the construction of the iconic Doo’cot Cricket Pavilion which was completed the following year. This was a labour of love for A K who’s passion for cricket lasted a lifetime.

1920s

1920s

1930s

The 1930s was a landmark decade for the Trust. 1931 marked the completion of the Gannochy Housing Estate. The development was officially opened at a ceremony at Kincarrathie House in April 1932. The estate was later visited by the Secretary of State for Scotland Neville Chamberlain, who famously described it as ‘unique in character and certainly the best I have seen.’

In 1934, Australian cricket legend Donald Bradman visited A K Bell at Kincarrathie House while convalescing from a serious illness. The two were said to have a warm relationship born out of their mutual love of cricket. Three years later in 1937, The Gannochy Trust was founded, with A K Bell setting out the Deeds of Trust and his vision for philanthropic investment in Perth and Kinross. That same year, the Quarrymill Woodland Park (formerly known as Scone Den) was donated to the Trust by A K Bell.

1930s

1930s

1940s

On 26th April 1942, A K Bell passes, away leaving a shining legacy which lasts to this day. The year before, on 19th August 1941, A K set up the Special Fund to improve Perth City water supply and sewage system. From 1939, the Trust focused on supporting war effort, which included donations to the YMCA War Service Fund for a mobile library for troops posted in isolated areas. Other wartime investments included funds for the Soldier’s Social Care Centre, the military canteen at Perth Train station and the Prisoners of War Parcels Fund.

1940s

1940s

1950s

With the advent of the television, in 1952, the Trust allowed tenants to erect aerials, just in time for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953. The final instalment of Estate Duty was paid in 1954, freeing the Trust of a heavy financial burden and allowing it to focus on its philanthropic work. In August 1958, the Trust was given access to the accumulation of the Special Fund, paving the way for the construction of the Sleepless Inch Sewage Works, completed two decades later. In 1959, following the death of Camilla Bell, The Kincarrathie House and grounds pass to the Trust.

1950s

1950s

1960s

In 1960, Kincarrathie House was converted into a ‘home for aged persons’, a role that it has continued to this day. Later that year, the Kincarrathie Trust was formed to provide general management and funding for the home. 1967 was a landmark year with the Court of Session in Perth approving the Gannochy Trust’s scope to extend across the whole of Scotland. This was quickly followed by a series of Scotland wide grants including Dr Barnardo’s in Edinburgh, the Dundee Salvation Army and the Children’s Holiday Homes in Glasgow. The Trust also embarked on one of its most iconic capital projects that year with the construction of the famous Bell’s Sports Centre, which was completed in 1968. At the time, Bell’s was the largest domed building in the UK.

1960s

1960s

1970s

In 1971, land at Lower Bellwood was cleared to convert it into a recreational area, a project which was finally completed in 1993. In 1974, the Trust found a new home when it’s HQ was moved from Bell’s headquarters in Victoria Street Perth, to Kincarrathie House Drive.  The 1970’s also saw the first phase of expansions at the Gannochy Housing Estate when in 1976, 23 new pensioners houses were built on Gannochy Avenue. This was following a phase of housing improvements throughout the estate, including the installation of central heating.

1970s

1970s

1980s

The mid to late 1980’s was dominated by further extensions to the Gannochy Housing Estate. This included six new single occupancy terraced houses on Gannochy Terrace completed in 1986, followed by 11 pensioners houses on Gannochy Walk, finished in 1989. Additional modifications were made to the existing housing stock in the 80’s, including  the installation of double glazing and off-road parking. Quarrymill Woodland Park also benefitted from a series of upgrades throughout the decade, including improvements to its woodlands and paths, and a new parking area and facilities for the disabled. The new look park was finally opened in 1988. Later that year, the Perth Leisure Pool was opened, after receiving £1.7 million from the Trust.

1980s

1980s

1990s

At the turn of the decade, the Trust continued to expand the estate with the purchase of Upper Muirhall Farm. The A K Bell Library in Perth, which received significant funding from the Trust, opened its doors in 1994. The third major housing expansion was completed in 1996, when 21 pensioners houses were built at Kinmond Court. Two years later, the Gannochy Trust moved its HQ for a second time after a purpose build office was constructed on Pitcullen Crescent.

1990s

1990s

2000s

The turn of a new millennium marked a period of expansion and major capital investment for the Trust. Perhaps the Trust’s most ambitious capital project was the construction of the Perth Concert Hall which began in 2003 and was officially opened in September 2005.  In 2008, the Trust’s longest serving trustee Russell Leather, retired as chairman, a post he took up in 1991. Mr Leather was a trustee for 40 years.

2000s

2000s

2010s

The 2010’s was a time of modernisation for the Gannochy Trust, as the organisation clarifies its strategic goals in a 21st century context. This includes the creation of a new funding strategy running between 2019 and 2022, which focuses investment on improving the quality of life for the local community in Perth and Kinross, as well as developing and inspiring young people. In 2012, Perth Doo’cot Cricket Club (PDCC) make Doo’cot cricket pavilion and grounds their official home. The PDCC represent an amalgamation of several local cricket clubs.

The 2010’s see the Trust continue to support local community projects. In 2018, seven Young Placechangers supported by Greenspace Scotland embark on a project to revamp the Curly, funded by the Gannochy Trust. In 2018, the Gannochy Trust partner with Perth and Kinross Council to set up the Strategic Youth Work Partnership. From April 2019, the partnership will invest more than £900,000 over a three-year period in local youth work agencies across five localities.

2010s

2010s

2020s

The beginning of the new decade saw the completion of the fifth expansion to the Gannochy Housing Estate, consisting of 48 two and three bed bungalows and houses. The new estate will be opened by John Swinney MSP at a ceremony in June 2020. The latest expansion has been designed to improve health, accessibility and connectiveness for tenants.

On 30th April, The Trust’s Chief Executive Carol Downie will retire after seven years of service, during which time she transformed many aspects of the organisation.  She will be succeeded by Joanna McCreadie.

2020s

2020s