Businessman sets up £50m grantmaking foundation

12 Nov 2018 News

A UK businessman has set up a £50m foundation to give grants to charities that support children with life-limiting conditions. 

The Kentown Wizard Foundation was set up with nearly £56m from Kenneth Townsley, a businessman who founded Gold Medal Travel, which was later sold to Thomas Cook. He has previously vowed to give away the majority of his £100m fortune. 

It was set up in October 2015 and recently filed its first set of accounts for the financial year ending March 2017, which show that over the first 18 months it received donations worth £55.8m. 

This was comprised of £42.8m in a donated investment portfolio, £11m in cash and £2m in investment property. 

It made grants totalling £870,000 to seven charities including Operation Smile (UK), Make a Wish, Rainbow Trust and Kids Cancer Charity. 

Grants are “by invitation only” at the moment. The charity’s website says: “To ensure that the grants we make achieve our purpose we actively seek out UK registered charities who share our ethos and ambition.”

Townsley is the chair of the charity and there are three other trustees. 

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