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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006, 13:16 GMT
Tycoon vows to give fortune away
Irvine Laidlaw
Lord Laidlaw is said to be Scotland's second richest man
One of Scotland's richest men has said he intends to give away his personal fortune to worthy causes.

Philanthropist and businessman Irvine Laidlaw said he plans to hand out the cash over the next few decades to help society's most disadvantaged people.

The Conservative donor made the promise during a speech at the Entrepreneur of the Year awards in Glasgow this week.

Lord Laidlaw, who is said to be worth 730m, has recently contributed funds to youth projects and education causes.

During a ceremony in which he was inducted into the Entrepreneurial Exchange Hall of Fame, Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay said he wanted to help people less fortunate than himself.

"That's what I'm planning to do, hopefully over the next 20 to 30 years," he said.

He was made a peer in 2004 and last year sold his events business, IIR, for more than 700m.

Largest donor

It is understood the benefactor now plans to plough his money into charitable investments.

Asked about the causes he was likely to support, he cited the work of his own venture, the Laidlaw Youth Project, which supports a wide range of projects for disadvantaged young people in Scotland.

Earlier this year, national youth charity The Prince's Trust celebrated a 2m birthday funding boost from Lord Laidlaw, making him the charity's largest personal donor.

Education is also a cause he has championed in the past.

Moray Council's plans to shut 21 schools were scrapped last year after a huge outcry from parents was backed by the businessman.

He became involved when Rothiemay Primary School became one of the schools earmarked for closure.

He also donated 40,000 to Keith Grammar School in his home town to fund a scheme to help senior pupils prepare for the world of work.

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