Mount Stuart Trust Appoints Bute Based Trustees

05th February 2024

Mount Stuart Trust Appoints Bute Based Trustees

Mount Stuart Trust has appointed Julie Christie, Scotland Co-ordinator for the Environmental Funders Network, and John Dickson, previously Chairman of the Argyll Regional Board for the National Farmers Union, Scotland, as its new Bute based trustees.

Mount Stuart Trust launched an open call for applicants in Autumn 2023 following the retirement of Peter Timms from the board. This role was open to anyone resident on the Isle of Bute.

The Trust received a strong response from the local community, with impressive submissions from a diverse range of sectors and backgrounds. Due to the high standard of applications the selection panel chose to appoint two new trustees. Following interviews in January, Julie and John were invited to join the board from February 2024.

In 2022 the Trust conducted an extensive Community Engagement survey with respondents highlighting the importance of a Bute based trustee to bring local knowledge and represent the interests of the community on the board. The Mount Stuart Trust undertakes extensive community engagement and the delivery of the Community Engagement Plan will be a significant aspect of the new trustees remit.

Julie Christie has several years of fundraising and grant application experience. In 2017 she won the Institute of Fundraising's Scottish Excellence Award for contributions to fundraising in Scotland. Her role with Environmental Funders Network gives her insight into the sustainability sector and ways in which the Trust can improve its own sustainability efforts. Julie has previous and current experience as a board member for several organisations which gives her a solid understanding of good governance and will enable her to support the work of the Mount Stuart Trust.

John Dickson has decades of experience in the agricultural sector and a long-standing relationship with the Mount Stuart Trust as a tenant farmer, now retired. John was Bute’s representative on the Argyll Regional Board of the NFUS for many years and in 2016 was elected chairman. John is well respected on the island and serves on the board of the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association and was previously President of Bute Agricultural Society. John’s agricultural experience, his experience of good governance and proactive engagement with the island community will be invaluable to Mount Stuart Trust.

The board of the Mount Stuart Trust is led by chair, Sophie Crichton Stuart, and is made up of professionals with expertise in art, heritage, finance, horticulture, agriculture and rural affairs. The board works closely with the senior leadership team at Mount Stuart Trust to ensure it achieves its strategic aims, exemplifies best practice in charity governance and continues to maintain the house, grounds, gardens, land and buildings under its care to a high standard.

Chair of the Mount Stuart Trust, Sophie Crichton Stuart, said: "On behalf of Mount Stuart Trust, we are delighted to welcome Julie Christie and John Dickson to the board. We very much look forward to working with them; their respective skills in board governance, sustainability and rural affairs will bring further valued expertise to the Trust. Community engagement is core to the Trust’s aims, and we are pleased that Julie and John consider this at the heart of their benefit to the Trust."

Of her appointment, Julie Christie commented: "I'm thrilled to be appointed, together with John, and eager to get to work on ensuring a sustainable future, for the Mount Stuart Trust and our wider community."

John Dickson added: “I’m delighted to join the board of the Mount Stuart Trust and take on this new challenge. In particular I will be looking to build on and strengthen the relationship between the Trust and the community.”