Bungay Town Trust was formed as a registered charity in 1910 when Local Government was being installed throughout the country. Bungay was fortunate in having a Town Purse which had built up over the years from legacies of land, buildings and monies bequeathed by residents, and the administrators of this fund did not want it absorbed into the coffers of the Urban District Council about to be set up. By making it a registered charity, this pot of Town Money would remain free from political and national influences and be effectively ring-fenced for the sole use of Bungay.
Because the Trust is not under the same restrictions as the Council, it can make grants to individuals or other deserving causes and thereby fulfill its role as a true charity.
The Town Trust, or Purse, is believed to date back to medieval times and has always been headed by the Town Reeve and his committee of feoffees. This committee now has Council members within it (as decreed by the Charity Commissioners for democractic reasons) and the income from the Town Trust's varied assets is used for the good of the town and its inhabitants.
Although the origins of the Town Trust are ancient, it now prides itself on being in the 21st century with a constant revue of its investments, a plan in place for the modernisation of its almshouses, an ongoing application for environmental stewardship of its lands and an ever watchful eye on its buildings so that they comply with conservation regulations and are an example to all.
Bungay is proud to have this unique non-political and non-denominational charity running alonside the Town Council, with the Town Reeve and Town Mayor working together on social and civic occasions.