John Rainey has 50 years of experience in Finance, HR, Project Management, and System Development and Implementation. He has held senior positions in Manufacturing, Logistics and Distribution, Sales and Services, Management Consulting and Pharmaceuticals in the UK, Geneva and in the USA. Most recently, he set up his own consultancy company focusing on Change Management.
John served on the Board of Management of the former Ayr College for eight years and was a member of the Ayrshire Partnership Board which managed the merger leading to the creation of Ayrshire College. He is now Chair of the Ayrshire College Foundation. We spoke to John about the Foundation.
Why did you get involved with the project?
I was happy to get involved in the setting up of Ayrshire College Foundation as I’m all for making sure that these kind of projects are given help to get off the ground.
Why was the Ayrshire College foundation set up?
The main reason was to invest in education projects. We want to advance education by providing financial support for projects and activities carried out and supported by Ayrshire College.
What types of project have you funded?
The Foundation made a grant of approximately £3 million to Ayrshire College in 2015 to support the upgrade of Student Services facilities on the Ayr and Kilwinning campuses.
Who can apply for funding?
Anyone can apply as long as they want to promote an educational project within Ayrshire. We will consider any application as long as it is in line with the objectives of the Ayrshire College Foundation.
What kind of projects would be likely to be approved?
There’s a very broad spectrum of projects that could be funded by the Foundation.
A project that we recently approved is Mission Discovery, where school and college students will work with astronaut trainers, rocket scientists and NASA leaders for a week. Mission Discovery is proven to enhance students’ scientific and technological skillsets, while developing innovation and team work. The three Ayrshire local authorities are working with Ayrshire College on this project.
Applications for funding need to fit the criteria of being in Ayrshire and supporting education and training.
If someone has a great idea what process should they follow?
They should submit an application form. If successful, this will be followed up with a face to face interview and a presentation to Foundation trustees.
How long does the process normally take?
Trustees meet every quarter to consider new applications and review progress of funded projects. The process for receiving an application and reaching a decision normally takes between three to six months.
What does it involve?
It’s important that the application has been thoroughly prepared and researched, and includes details such as how much funding is required and the timescales involved. We recommend that applications are submitted at least four months prior to the planned project start date.
Once a project is approved how will it be monitored and evaluated?
During the twelve months after a project is approved, we will be looking for progress reports to let us know to what extent the project’s goals have been achieved and what lessons have been learned.
How do I find out more?
More details about the Ayrshire College Foundation and how to apply for funding are available on our website www.ayrshirecollegefoundation.com.