Garfield Weston Foundation

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Garfield Weston Foundation
Logo of the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Formation1958; 60 years ago (1958)
FounderW. Garfield Weston
TypeCharitable organization
PurposeAiding charities directly delivering services and activities to those in need. [1]
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
FieldsArts, Community, Education, Environment, Faith, Health, Museums & Heritage, Welfare and Youth [1]
Key people
Guy Weston, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Disbursements~£62 million annually [1]
Endowment (2017)£9.7 billion [2]

The Garfield Weston Foundation is a grant-giving charity based in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1958 by Canadian businessman W. Garfield Weston (1898–1978),[3] who during his lifetime contributed to numerous humanitarian causes, both personally and through his companies. His philanthropic works continue through the Garfield Weston Foundation in London and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Garfield Weston Foundation is one of the largest charitable foundations in the world, with assets of £9.7 billion at 5 April 2017, of which a majority was attributed to the foundation's majority holding in Wittington Investments Limited. [2]


The Garfield Weston Foundation gave Oxford University £25 million for the refurbishment of the New Library (built originally in the 1930s as part of the Bodleian Library)[4][5] and due to open to the public in March 2015 as the Weston Library.[6] The Foundation has given grants to a number of schools, including St Michael's Primary School and Brackenbury Primary School for new classrooms and outdoor play areas for sport,[7] and is a sponsor of Baker Dearing Educational Trust which promotes University Technical Colleges.[8]

Controversies over political donations[edit]

In 2010, the Charity Commission found that between 1993 and 2004 the charity had given donations to the UK Conservative Party that totalled £900,000, which were in breach of UK charity law; as were similar donations to the right-wing think tank the Centre for Policy Studies, and to Eurosceptic European political lobby groups such as the European Foundation and the Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign.[9]

Tax avoidance controversy[edit]

In 2011, companies owned by Wittington Investments Limited were targeted over tax avoidance by the protest group UK Uncut. Private Eye linked the Garfield Weston Foundation's political donations with the Conservative Party's decision to grant tax breaks for the kind of offshore arrangements used in the tax avoidance.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About the Foundation". Garfield Weston Foundation. Garfield Weston Foundation. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Annual Report: Report and Accounts of the Trustees - 2017" (pdf). Garfield Weston Foundation. Garfield Weston Foundation. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Weston foundation makes donation to Riverdale Farm". CP24. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  4. ^ "University Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  5. ^ "25m Gift for the New Bodleian Library Redevelopment". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Weston Library FAQs". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  7. ^ "School Playground Funding Guide".
  8. ^ "Sponsors". Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  9. ^ The Times, 12 April 2010, Westons breached charity law over Tory donations

External links[edit]