Chester Municipal Charities is a charitable trust which offers financial support
to various organisations and individuals in the Chester area.
The three main sections which make up Chester Municipal Charities are the Almshouse
subcommittee, which provides housing for local poor persons of good character, and
the Relief in Need subcommittee and the Education subcommittee, which are both grant
The charity’s almshouses are located at Bluecoat Square, off Upper Northgate Street
in Chester, (at the back of the old Bluecoat School). The charity has fifteen almshouses,
and the construction of a sixteenth almshouse is currently underway. The charity
deed states that in order to qualify for residence, Almspeople must be 'poor persons
of good character'. Any vacancy that may arise in the almshouses is advertised in
the local papers, and prospective Almspeople must produce sufficient testimonials
and other evidence of their qualification for appointment, and be willing to attend
an interview with the trustees. If no almshouses are currently available, it is still
be possible for potential applicants to contact the charity office and asked to be
placed on a waiting list, in order for them to be automatically considered for residency,
should a vacancy arise in future.
The Education subcommittee provides grants to individual young people under the
age of 25 years who are attending or have attended a school in Chester and who are
Chester residents, in order to help with their education. Grants may come in the
form of bursaries/grants paid directly to schools/colleges/universities, or in help
to meet the cost of travel expenses or the purchase of equipment etc.
Grants may also be awarded to educational institutions, or to organisations which
seek to promote the education, training, social and civic development of people under
the age of twenty five who are from the Chester area.
Relief in Need Grants
Funding from the Relief in Need subcommittee is available to all bona fide residents
of Chester, for the purpose of relieving, either generally or individually, persons
who are in conditions of 'need, hardship or distress'. Grants of money towards general
living expenses are occasionally awarded, but it is more usual for the trustees to
fund the purchase of specific items, e.g. white goods, furniture, fees for adult
education courses etc.
The Relief in Need Charity may also award funding to other charities, institutions,
and organisations which also provide goods or services to local people in need.
Individual applications to both the Relief in Need and Education subcommittees are
considered on a case by case basis by the trustees, following the submission of an
application form and a covering letter, detailing the applicant’s circumstances and
needs. Awards are granted according to the applicant's level of need, usually following
a visit to the applicant by one of the charity trustees.
Applications from other local charities and organisations should be submitted as
a written proposal, detailing the objectives of the organisation, an overview of
the people using that organisation (numbers and age range of users, and where they
tend to come from, as well as any specific needs), the amount of funding required,
and how the grant will be used. Once a proposal is received, a small subcommittee
of usually two or three trustees will visit the organisation in order to discuss
their proposal in detail. This subcommittee will then submit a recommendation for
funding to the main board of trustees, who will make a decision accordingly.