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Applications for grants are only open to Arts in the North West of England and Causes Local to Blackburn, Lancashire.

Grants for Prevention and Relief of Human suffering are on an invitation only basis. If trustees invite an applicaton from an organisation in this category, the following criteria and application process apply. 


The Brian Mercer Trust does not have any preference for any particular type of intervention.  When selecting successful applications our main objective is all about doing the most good in the world, for the money invested.

Please read carefully.  Eligibility crieteria for applications have been significantly modified to increase the proportion of bids that are successful. 

Eligibility for grants

The Brain Mercer Trust is only permitted to issue grants to charities or community interest companies registered in the UK or Ireland.   


The Trust does not issue grants for:

  • individuals

  • medical research projects

  • interventions that discriminate on gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, race, colour or ethnicity

  • UK initiatives for specific local areas other than Blackburn, Lancashire

​​The Trust gives unrestricted funding to several charities. Such funding is at the discretion of trustees and cannot be applied for. 


To avoid duplicating interventions currently funded, the Trust does not accept applications for projects addressing:

  • emergencies/disasters/refugees

  • eyesight

  • malaria

Other than unrestricted grants referred to above, the maximum grant size is a single payment of £15,000, or £10,000 per annum for up to three years. 

The Trust does not consider re-applications from organisations whose bid did not receive funding for a period of 2 years from the original application. 

​​Application Form

In order to:


  • reduce the number of unsuccessful applications

  • simplify the application process

  • reduce applicants' workload

  • facilitate the Brian Mercer Trust's ability to make informed decisions


applications must be made by completing the form at the bottom of this page. 

Simply download the form and fill out the editable blank fields.

Completed forms should be emailed back to

with the subject entered as the name of your organisation followed by "BMT application" e.g. "Prevention of Poverty BMT application"

Applications should be received at least 4 weeks before the next trustee's meeting.

​Dates of forthcoming meetings:

19th July 2023

18th October 2023

Guidance on completing the form


The completed form is limited to three pages. We recognise this is likely to prove a challenge. Ensure your responses are succinct and to the point. Prioritise what is most relevant.

The maximum number of lines for each section must not be exceeded.  Do not type beyond the boxes and do not go beyond three pages. 

Include links to additional information we might find helpful, e.g. to on-line reports, pictures, video or impact assessments.  Additional files may also be sent as attachments, however these should be supplemental to the application form which must give trustees a comprehensive overview of the envisaged project without having to find information from attached files.

A detailed breakdown of costing is not required, though you may attach a document of costings if you wish.  The Trust will meet administration and overheads so long as these are only for the project applied for. 

When considering applications, trustees will pay particular attention to the following features:


  • Evidence of effectiveness and/or means of evaluating the proposed intervention is particularly important, especially for applications under "Prevention and Relief of Human Suffering."


  • Whether the intervention addresses fundamental causes rather than ameliorating symptoms (also particularly important for “Prevention and Relief of Human Suffering applications).


  • Whether the intervention is sustainable without indefinite funding from the Trust.


How we manage applications


Applications will be acknowledged, usually within a few days of receipt.  

All eligible applications will be reviewed individually by trustees before further detailed scrutiny at quarterly meetings.

Applicants may receive a request for clarification or further information at any stage. 

Applicants will be informed of trustee decisions, usually within 48 hours of the meeting. If the application is unsuccessful, reasons fot the decision will be given. 


Download your grant
application form here.
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