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Branch Property Trusts

Find out more about our developments with Branch Property Trusts

Branch Property Trusts (BPTs) are properties, or money from the sale of properties, used for charitable purposes to provide help and support to the Armed Forces community. BPTs are separate charities and the Legion is their trustee.

The charitable purposes are restricted – they must be achieved only in the town or village where the property is located.

The BPT, Property and Finance teams are responsible for ensuring that BPTs are managed in compliance with charity and other law, reporting to a Committee of the Trustees.

Branches and members

To ensure compliance with law, it has been necessary to make some changes to the historic arrangements with branches on how the properties and funds are managed. In most cases, the restricted charitable purposes of the BPTs no longer provide an effective way of reaching the beneficiaries that require our help.

The BPT team has been working hard over the last few years to remove the restrictions so that funds from the sale of properties can be spent more widely by the Legion on improving the lives of our beneficiaries. By the end of 2016, we had released nearly £50million – to put that in context, that’s about the same amount that is raised by the Poppy Appeal each year!

Many branches have long and deep-rooted connections to BPTs and some of our work is bringing these relationships to an end. While this is understandably challenging for many Branches and members, we are trying to do this in a fair and inclusive way, explaining to all involved why it is necessary and in the interests of our beneficiaries.

Policies

To deliver the required changes, we have needed the support of the affected branches and members, for which we are extremely grateful. We have put some financial support in place to ensure that these branches are not unfairly disadvantaged and that no valuable branch activities are put at risk.

Success stories

  • Ashby de la Zouch branch received financial support to pay for a secure storage facility for branch materials and records after their BPT was sold
  • BPT funds have been used for building repairs, such as substantial renovations to the Feltwell BPT and essential improvements to the Witham BPT
  • Shaftsbury and Chesterfield branches have produced long term investment plans for modernising their BPT buildings which have been approved with funds made available

Released BPT funds have also contributed towards the Galanos House care home extension of a 30-bed specialist dementia wing. This makes it the fourth of the Legion’s six care homes to offer specialist dementia care.

These are just a few examples of how we can work together with branches that are, or have been, connected to BPTs so that we can help our beneficiaries, either by continuing the great work branches do for beneficiaries in their local community or using released BPT funds for the benefit of our beneficiaries elsewhere.

The work to sort out of all the remaining BPT issues continues.

View the financial support policies below. We've also put together some general guidance about BPTs for branches. If you have any further questions, please speak to your Membership Support Office or email us at bpt@britishlegion.org.uk.