Garfield Weston Foundation

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The Garfield Weston Foundation was founded in 1958 as a UK based, general grant-giving charity endowed by the late Garfield H. Weston and members of his family. The foundation's income is derived almost entirely from Associated British Foods[1].

At 5 April 2006, the foundation owned 79.2 per cent of Wittington Investments Limited, a company registered in England. Wittington Investments is the ultimate holding company of Associated British Foods plc, which is listed on the International Stock Exchange, and Fortnum and Mason plc and Heal’s plc. Under the terms of the Trust Deed, the investment in the Wittington Investments Limited group of companies forms the permanent capital endowment of the Foundation and the trustees may not dispose of those investments except by a unanimous vote of all the trustees. [2]


The foundation awards grants to organisation for work in various fields including:

  • Art
  • Community
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Religion
  • Welfare
  • Youth

In the year ended 5 April 2006 the foundation paid out grants totalling £38,023,110.[3]


The Trustees portfolio of non Wittington group investments is managed by Rensburg Sheppards (formerly Carr Sheppards Crothswaite) and Sarasin Chiswell.

For the year ended April 2006, the Trustees had income reserves of £21.7 million.[4]

Political donations controversy

A Charity Commission investigation found that family members who run the Garfield Weston Foundation allowed an investment company it controlled to make political donations between 1993 and 2007. Wittington Investments Limited donated £100,000 to the Conservative Party annually, between 1993 and 1999, except in 1995 when it donated £200,000.

According to The Times: 'The payments stopped when a new law required shareholders to give approval for political donations, but it made a further £100,000 donation in 2004. Between 2000 and 2007 Wittington donated £70,000 to the Centre for Policy Studies and £305,000 to the anti-EU European Foundation and £45,000 to the anti-single currency Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign.

The Charity Commission ruling argued that the four Weston family directors of Wittington breached their legal duty as trustees of the charity by "failing to give proper consideration" to whether the company should be allowed to make political donations to the Conservative Party[5].

Between 2008 and 2013, the Foundation has donated to various right-wing and free-market groups.




Genetic Interest Group | University of Buckingham

See also


Weston Centre
10 Grosvenor Street
London W1K 4QY
Tel:020 7399 6565



  1. The Observer Business Page, TRUSTS TAKE BILLIONS FOR GRANTED, The Observer, 20-February-1994
  2. Garfield Weston Foundation 2006 Annual Report and Accounts STRUCTURE, GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT, accessed 6 October 2007
  5. David Brown, Westons breached charity law over Tory donations, The Times, 12-April-2010
  6. Financial Statement 2008, p. 31; Financial Statement 2012, p. 33.
  7. Financial Statement 2011, p. 32; Financial Statement 2012, p. 33.
  8. Financial Statement 2010, p. 31; Financial Statement 2011, p. 32; Financial Statement 2013, p. 33.