The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the charitable organisation behind Scotland’s favourite sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, has launched its 2023 Community Fund and is now accepting applications from registered charities in the Highland Perthshire area.
The Fund was set up by The Enchanted Forest Community Trust in 2015 to redistribute the proceeds from the annual event to the local community in Pitlochry and the wider Highland Perthshire area. Since that time The Enchanted Forest Community Trust has reinvested over £270,000 back into the region, making a lasting positive impact by benefitting more than 120 local community groups, projects, and charities.
This year the fund is open to registered charities only, who can apply for up to £10,000 from the fund to finance projects located within Highland Perthshire, via an application form available on The Enchanted Forest website. The Enchanted Forest Community Trust will especially welcome applications for projects that are focused on helping people affected by the cost-of-living crisis.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre received £5,000 from the fund during the pandemic. Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director at Pitlochry Festival Theatre, commented: “The Enchanted Forest Community Fund enabled Pitlochry Festival Theatre to reach even more people at the height of the pandemic, through the delivery of online and outdoor participation activities. It also provided us with the opportunity to offer even more work to freelance writers to pen new forest themed stories for families to entertain them at home.”
The Birks Cinema Trust in Aberfeldy was also given £5,000 from the fund during the early stages of the pandemic. Fiona MacEwan, Programme and Community Development Manager at The Birks Cinema Trust, said: “The financial help received from The Enchanted Forest Community Fund, along with other funders, helped us to move many of our community activities online. We were also able to research, develop and deliver three very successful Drive-In cinema events and research, develop and stream three musical events. These activities were vital for our community at a time when we were locked down and the usual community gatherings were unable to happen.”
Kate Howie, Chair of Pitlochry in Bloom, benefitted from £500 from the fund in 2022 to continue the group’s valuable work in keeping Pitlochry looking its best all year round through its summer floral displays, hanging baskets, feature beds and spring and summer bulb planting. She said: “Without the funding received from The Enchanted Forest Community Fund, simply put, Pitlochry would be in a much sorrier state. In Pitlochry we pride ourselves on being able to offer a fabulous welcome to visitors through our colourful and vibrant floral displays. Last year, thanks to the fund we were able to erect over 120 hanging baskets around the town. The fund has also helped to facilitate litter picking and path clearing, which all contributes to Pitlochry looking its best all year round. The fund has directly contributed towards our work being recognised nationally. Pitlochry in Bloom received a certificate of recognition for best small town in the Beautiful Scotland awards 2022. Naturally, we were thrilled and incredibly grateful.”
Nela Popovic, Executive Director of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said: “The Enchanted Forest would not continue to be the success that is it year on year without the support of the local Highland Perthshire community, who continue to believe in the event and the recognise the importance of it to the region. The Enchanted Forest Community Fund aims to be a force for good, creating a lasting positive impact within the community in which the event has called its home for the last twenty years. Essentially, it’s our way of saying a big thank you to those who have so graciously supported the event from day one.”
Successful applicants will be asked to provide a report to The Enchanted Forest Community Trust on how they have used the money in relation to their request.
To download an application form, please visit: www.enchantedforest.org.uk. Completed application forms should be returned no later than 31 March 2023.