Garfield Weston Foundation
The Garfield Weston Foundation is a grant-giving charity, based in the United Kingdom.
Established in 1958 by Canadian businessman W. Garfield Weston (1898-1978), 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, Canada. The Garfield Weston Foundation is one of the largest charitable foundations in the world, with assets of £3,720 million at 5 April 2008, of which £3,620 million was attributed to the foundation's majority holding in Wittington Investments Limited.
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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). It is due to open to the public in March 2015 as the Weston Library. In January 2015, it was announced that the Piece Hall in Halifax would receive £250,000 to help with refurbishment costs. The Foundation has also 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.
Controversies over political donations
In 2010, the Charity commission found that between 1993 and 2004 the Charity had given donations to the UK Conservative Party that totaled £900,000, which constituted a breaches of UK Charity Law, as were similar donations to the right-wing think tank the Centre for Policy Studies, as well as to other right-wing Eurosceptic European political lobby groups such as the European Foundation and the Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign.
Tax avoidance controversy
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 illegal political donations with the Conservative Party's decision to grant tax breaks for the kind of offshore arrangements used in the tax avoidance.
- "Weston foundation makes donation to Riverdale Farm". CP24. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- "University Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "25m Gift for the New Bodleian Library Redevelopment". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "Weston FAQs". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "School Playground Funding Guide".
- The Times, 12 April 2010, Westons breached charity law over Tory donations
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