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Edinburgh Bakers' Widows' Fund Act 2018

Summary of and Background to the Act

4.The Incorporation of Bakers of the City of Edinburgh (“the Incorporation”) is one of the ancient trade incorporations or guilds that were set up in medieval times to regulate trade in many of the cities in northern Europe. It was granted a Seal of Cause on 20 March 1522, to replace an earlier Seal lost “in time of trouble”. Under the terms of the Seal of Cause, members of the Incorporation controlled admission to the craft of baking and the supply of bread within the City of Edinburgh, until the Burgh Trading Act 1846 (9 & 10 Vct. C 17) abolished the exclusive trading privileges of the Incorporations.

5.The Incorporation established a scheme on 5 October 1803 to provide a fund for annuities to the widows, and in certain circumstances to the children, of members of the Incorporation. Monies were raised from the Incorporation and members of the Incorporation also made personal contributions to the scheme. The operation of the scheme was then authorised and regulated by an Act of Parliament from 1813 entitled “an Act for Providing a Fund for Annuities for Widows of Members of the Incorporation of Bakers of the City of Edinburgh” (“the 1813 Act”). The name of the scheme as set out by the 1813 Act is the Widows’ Fund for the Incorporation of Bakers within the City of Edinburgh. The 1813 Act also authorised the appointment of Trustees from members of the Incorporation to administer the Fund.

6.The Incorporation has struggled to attract new members and there have been no new contributors to the Fund for many years. The last annuity paid by the Fund was in 1997 and there were (at the time the Bill for this Act was introduced) only two wives of contributing members to the Fund who could qualify in future for annuities. These two individuals are potential beneficiaries of the Fund. Having taken actuarial advice and consulted with these wives, the Trustees have set aside funds to be paid to these persons before the dissolution of the Fund. These payments would be in lieu of annuities that they might have otherwise received in the future from the Fund, as widows, if the Fund was not dissolved.

7.Net of the capital set aside, the Fund has an investment value as at 5 January 2017 of around £355,000 producing around £6,300 gross annual income. The Trustees consider that these funds could be put to more effective use and that in its current guise the Fund is no longer fit for purpose and should be dissolved.

8.The Trustees wish to use the monies in the Fund in a responsible manner for charitable purposes which tie in with the Laws and Regulations of the Incorporation to the benefit of the public. The Trustees have created a new charitable trust as a repository for the Fund’s net assets: The Incorporation of Bakers of Edinburgh Charitable Trust (Registered Scottish Charity Number SC047164). The purposes of the charitable trust are broadly as follows: the encouragement and support of training and education in baking trade-related careers, the provision of training opportunities in baking, encouraging discussions on baking and baking standards and the promotion of an appreciation of local baking and the history of baking.

9.The purpose of this Act is to:

  • allow the Trustees to make capital payments to the wives of contributing members in lieu of future annuity payments that they might otherwise have been paid under the 1813 Act should they be widowed;

  • transfer the remaining property, rights, interests and liabilities of the Fund to The Incorporation of Bakers of Edinburgh Charitable Trust (Registered Scottish Charity Number SC047164); and

  • dissolve the Fund and repeal the 1813 Act.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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