The King Henry VIII Endowed Trust, Warwick is one of the oldest charities in the country. Its formation in 1545 came from the negotiations with King Henry VIII’s commissioners, when he effectively took the wealth of the local churches. This legacy lives on today, with the 50% of its distribution benefiting the 5 Anglican churches in Warwick. 30% of the distribution goes to the Warwick Schools Foundation (which is used for means tested bursaries for Warwick children) and the remaining 20% Town Share is available for discretionary grants that benefit the inhabitants of the Old Borough of Warwick.
These distribution percentages were set by the Charity Commission in 1978 and reflect the original purpose of the Trust. Trustees are legally obliged to follow this allocation and have no powers to alter them.
Since 1978, the Town Share has seen £9.8 million in grants going to supporting more than 200 different organisations in Warwick, and also many hundreds of individuals. Such grants have ranged from a few hundred pounds up £150,000.
These grants can be for:
Trustees have, in recent years, prioritised grants that support young people. Over 50% of the Town Share distribution has benefitted young people (including schools).
The role of the Trustees is primarily one of Asset Managers, who then distribute the income to the beneficiaries. Any growth comes from the management of the investments in the Endowment Fund, and particularly the sale of land for development.