What is it, what does it do and who runs it

The Camborne School of Mines was operated as an educational charity with a Board of Governors whilst it was an independent college from 1893, including the times it was being run under either Cornwall County Council or as a polytechnic. When the education provision was transferred to the University of Exeter in 1993 the charity remained as an independent entity.

The charity was the freeholder of the various properties in Camborne – the Trevenson Campus, Beringer and McWilliam Student residences, the Students Club, the Memorial Rugby Ground and Condurrow Mine. In addition, there were variously endowed Scholarship and Prize Endowment Funds and general investments.

Under English Charity Law these assets could not be transferred to the University as the aims and objectives of the University was much wider than the specific Mining and Minerals Education objects of CSM charity.

Following consultation with the Charity Commission, the residual charity was reconstituted as a financial trust and renamed CAMBORNE SCHOOL OF MINES TRUST. It has also retained its Royal Patronage.

The formal objectives of the Trust are to promote education and research in:
(a) mineral resources disciplines; and
(b) other disciplines, in so far as carried on in conjunction with education or research in mineral resources disciplines.

Although the objectives of the Trust are tightly defined in the Trust Deed it does not contain any geographical or institutional restrictions. This means that the Trust could support any college or other establishment worldwide as long as it meets its defined objectives.

However, in practice, since 1993 the Trust has awarded grants exclusively to CSM as part of The University of Exeter, its students and staff which when added together with the grants approved for 2020/21 total of £4.2m.

Grants have been made in the following categories:

  • Undergraduate and Post Graduate Scholarships
  • PhD studentships and projects
  • Research Projects and seed corn funding
  • Equipment (Special one-off applications)
  • Funding for Part-Time Academic staff and visiting lecturers
  • Marketing
  • Overseas Travel Grants
  • Annual Prizes (see note below)
  • International Mining Games
  • Student Hardship Fund
  • £500k Grant towards purchase and development of Test Mine Facility
  • Future Employment Trends Study
  • Misc. – CSM Association, CSM Sports Body, Publications etc.

Prizes – Annually, the Trust awards Gold Medals for the best academic performance on both the Mining Engineering and Geology undergraduate courses, three MSc prizes and ten other undergraduate prizes, including the W K Brown £1,000 prize for the Highest Achiever on the BEng Mining Engineering Course. Keith Atkinson memorial prize of £1,000 for the Highest Achiever on the BSc Geology courses

In order to manage the Trust resources, the annual bid from the Head of School is submitted to the January AGM of the Trust and, whenever possible, forms part of a basic three-year rolling programme of support. Special applications are then considered by the local committee of Trustees on a case by case basis.

Any application to the Trust must be submitted through the Head of School and have been endorsed by an academic member of staff.

The availability of Overseas Travel Grants are advertised once a year so that applications can be prioritised. This fund is administered by the Head of School within the guidelines set by the Trust.

The Trust currently has 16 Trustees. The Trust retains the services of Mr Matthew Colwill as Clerk to the Trust.

The Trustees are individuals who give their services voluntarily and serve as trustees as they have a special interest in supporting mining education and often CSM in particular. Trustees can be consulted at any time on matters of policy and advice but bids to the Trust must follow the established route through the Head of School. The Trust is not part of the management of CSM and cannot alter University policy.

Subsequent to the move of CSM from the Trevenson campus to Tremough, the Trust was able to dispose of all the Camborne properties (except the Memorial Rugby Ground which is leased to Camborne RFC Youth Section) and all the assets converted to cash. London based 7IM act as the Trust’s Investment Managers with the portfolio currently standing at approx. £5m.

Of this sum, the Permanent Endowment element of £3m must be protected and cannot be spent by Trustees. The free reserves of £2m, which has come from donations and accumulated surpluses, plus the annual income on all the funds, form the base from which Trustees award grants.

The Trust is registered under the UK Gift Aid scheme whereby UK taxpayers can obtain tax relief on donations to the Trust and the Trust can then claim 25% tax back from HMRC. Any donations made to the Trust can be designated to a specific fund (e.g. Scholarship, Test Mine) or to general unrestricted funds.

Currently, there are various initiatives under discussion within the Trust to support mining and minerals related education. For example, to support alternative routes to entry to CSM courses through suitable providers of Foundation, Intermediate or HND type courses, to promote mining and minerals careers at post-16 education levels in conjunction with other STEM initiatives. The Trust commissioned a study on future employment trends in the minerals industry will be available in November 2015 and will be used to set the framework of the medium-term activities of the Trust.

NameNominating Body
Prof Martin SiegertUniversity of ExeterDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Cornwall)
Mr N BullCo-OptedRetired Chartered Accountant
Mr NR ClarkeCo-OptedChairman of Central Asia Metals PLC
CSM Graduate
Mr Nick EastwoodCornish Institute of EngineersCSM Graduate
Ms Amie FultonUniversity of Exeter
Mr T HendersonCo-OptedMining Consultant
CSM Graduate
Prof. D HoskenUniversity of Exeter
Cllr. L JenkinCornwall Council
Prof. D ManningGeological SocietyProf. Newcastle University
Prof. RJ PineRoyal Academy of EngineeringRetired ex-Head of School CSM
Mrs J Taylor MBECo-OptedRetired ex UoE
Mr P SheppardCo-OptedGM Drillserve Ltd
CSM Graduate
Prof. F WallCo-OptedUoE Professor
Dr PH Whitbread-AbrutatChairConsultant Future Terrains
CSM Graduate
Dr Phil NewallIOM3Director & Regional Director at Wardell Armstrong International

The full accounts and annual report of the Trust can be accessed on the Charity Commission website by entering either ‘Camborne School of Mines Trust’ or its Charity registration number 306588.

The document ‘Camborne School of Mines Trust & Camborne RFC welcomes a unique forward-looking proposal for the CSM Memorial Ground’ dated 8th November 2023 can be downloaded from this link.

The Joint Statement on relocating the CSM Memorial Rugby Ground from Penponds to Camborne RFC can be downloaded from this link.

Contact can be made with the Trust through Mr Matthew Colwill e-mail mcolwill2@yahoo.co.uk