Kirby Laing Foundation

Bringing aid and Christian hope to isolated communities. Photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship.

Bringing aid and Christian hope to isolated communities. Photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship.


The Kirby Laing Foundation was established in 1972 by Sir Kirby Laing, with the intention that both income and capital should be applied, at the Trustees’ discretion, for general charitable purposes.

Areas of Giving

The Trustees' primary areas of giving are:

  • the promotion of the evangelical Christian faith
  • education and youth development, focused particularly on STEM education and vocational training in traditional crafts
  • medical welfare and research, with a particular emphasis on dementia, stroke and neuro-degenerative diseases
  • culture and the environment, focussed on improving access for young people and the disabled, particularly to projects with a national focus / impact, and on encouraging young talent in opera and the performing arts
  • overseas development projects, with a special interest in projects benefiting women and girls in low income countries in Asia

In recent years the Trustees have been looking to spend down the Foundation’s capital endowment. In order to achieve this, they run a two strand grant-making programme:

Open Grants Programme

The Foundation is open to unsolicited applications as part of a smaller grants programme which runs alongside a spend down programme. Applications for grants are considered in the primary areas of giving outlined above. Most grants awarded are in the region of £2,000 to £20,000.

Spend Down Programme

This is a proactive programme, focussed on specific themes identified from within the broader areas outlined above. Applications are by invitation only and we work primarily with charities with whom we already have a relationship. Grants may be made towards capital projects, programme development costs or endowment / capacity building for future sustainability; grants will not be made towards core costs, the delivery of ongoing projects or to individuals. Currently identified themes, reflecting the interests of the founder, are:

1. Promotion of the Evangelical Christian Faith:

  • Theological education and training – practical application & Christian ethics
  • Nurturing Christian faith in teens to 30s age group
  • English Cathedrals – sustainability, access and Christian outreach

2. Education & Youth Development – STEM Education

  • Engineering as part of STEM education in primary / secondary schools
  • Promoting careers in engineering

3. Medical Welfare and Research – Education & Welfare in Ageing

  • Improving understanding of the process of ageing and treatment of age-related conditions
  • Development of innovative models of care to improve the lives of older people
  • Programmes supporting the education & training of health professionals in ageing and age-related conditions.

4. Performing Arts – Developing Talent

  • Encouraging participation at grassroots level in order to identify talent
  • Programmes supporting young professionals.

5. Overseas Development Projects

  • Projects benefiting girls/young women, with a geographical focus on Nepal and Bangladesh

Annual Report and Accounts

The Foundation's latest annual report and accounts provide examples of recent grants. (Please note that the link will open a new window on the Charity Commission of England & Wales website).


Rev. Charles Edward Burch (Chair)
Frederick Terence Wyndham Weller Lewis
Simon Webley
Alison Claire Laing

Charity Number


If you are thinking of applying for funding, please first read the How to Apply guidelines and Exclusions which are common to all the Laing Family Trusts.