About Us

The Trust is set up in memory of Johnny Noble, Chairman and co-founder of Loch Fyne Oysters who died in 2002. Johnny was a well-spring of innovative ideas and encouraged others with realistic enthusiasm. He was fond of saying that stout oaks grew from small acorns. The idea of this fund is to assist promising acorns. They may be start up ventures, they may be existing organisations needing funds or expertise to develop. The overriding aim is to promote rural regeneration.

The demise of traditional agriculture, forestry, fishing etc in the Highlands has contributed to unemployment and to fragile, often demoralised, rural communities. We restrict our area of benefit to Argyll, where there is an ongoing need to generate small scale business and enterprise. Bred over many centuries there has all too often been a negative attitude, an expectation of lack of success. The imagination, vision and tenacity of Johnny and his partner, Andy Lane, ensured that Loch Fyne Oysters bucked this trend. The company was registered in 1978 with capital of £100. It now has a turnover of £13m, employs well over a hundred people at Cairndow and provides business for its many suppliers. Its sister company Loch Fyne Restaurants (founded 1997) now has some 50 branches in England.

The purpose of the Trust is to promote rural regeneration – which includes the alleviation of poverty in the Argyll and Islands area - by providing financial or other assistance to new or existing businesses where this can be demonstrated to provide employment and training opportunities. Businesses that provide a new or innovative service are especially welcome.

Applicants must be based in the current Argyll and the Islands Enterprise area - as displayed above