RSABI handed £3m estate in legacy of Aberdeenshire farmer

RSABI chair David Leggat with chief executive Nina Clancy. Mr Leggat said the gift was 'incredibly humbling'
RSABI chair David Leggat with chief executive Nina Clancy. Mr Leggat said the gift was 'incredibly humbling'

A charity supporting people in Scottish agriculture has been left a £3 million estate in the legacy of an Aberdeenshire farmer.

The vast estate was gifted to RSABI by Marykirk farmer Sheila Erskine with the wish to help the farming community.

The charity currently spends around £1m annually on providing a service for hundreds of people who are struggling.

But since the start of the pandemic last year, it has seen a reduction in its annual investment income of around £86,000.

RSABI’s chair David Leggat said the gift was 'incredibly humbling': “We’re all moved by Sheila’s generosity and her choice to help RSABI support people in Scottish agriculture with this legacy.

“This amazing gift not only gives the charity financial security for a number of years, it will also enable us to support more people.

"We’re always looking at ways to improve our services and these funds will help us do even more on this,” he said.

Plans for the legacy funds will be to provide an annual income for the charity 'for many years to come'.

Some funds will also be allocated to the RSABI's Crisis Fund to enable them to ramp up support to the industry in the case of future crises.

The charity's finance manager and company secretary Harry Seran explained more about the positive impact the legacy would have.

“This extremely generous legacy helps secure the future of our support in the medium-term," he said.

“We are lucky to have reserves, which have been crucial in enabling us to expand our services in recent years and to weather difficult times like the pandemic.

“After the turmoil of 2020 we’ve seen a reduction in our annual investment income of around £86,000, with no sign of recovery for the 2021 financial year.

“Dividends from the investment of this legacy will be an important source of income for the charity in the years to come.”