15 April 2020
Grosvenor Group contributes to the Estate’s ongoing wide-ranging efforts
Help targeted at businesses, families and the most vulnerable as The Duke of Westminster donates an additional £10m (initial donation £2.5m) to support the NHS, medical research and charities.
Help targeted at businesses, families and the most vulnerable
The Duke of Westminster donates £10m (following an initial donation of £2.5m) to support the NHS, medical research and development, and charities helping the nation’s long-term recovery from the pandemic
The Grosvenor Estate is helping businesses, families and the most vulnerable in society manage the impact of Coronavirus through different forms of assistance within the communities we are part of.
Hugh Grosvenor, The Duke of Westminster, is personally donating an extra £10 million to the UK’s COVID-19 relief effort. It follows his initial donation of £2.5 million in March, which was primarily granted to charities providing essential food distribution especially to vulnerable families struggling to feed their children who would normally receive free school meals. The majority of this latest donation will be made immediately available to support the NHS, through NHS Charities Together, to provide respite, rehabilitation and mental health assistance to NHS staff and their families. Funding will also go towards medical research and development linked to COVID-19. The remainder of the Duke’s donation will be split between organisations playing a vital role in supporting vulnerable individuals or families who may struggle with the long-term impact of the epidemic. See below for further details on this donation.
With the full support and encouragement of the Duke of Westminster, the Grosvenor family and the Grosvenor Estate Trustees, all parts of our organisation, including international property company Grosvenor Group, food and agriculture investor Wheatsheaf Group and the Grosvenor Estate Family Office which manages a number of rural estates, are working – in the UK and internationally – with urban and rural communities to offer practical support, and in many cases a lifeline, to help businesses and individuals overcome the present situation.
Our initiatives include:
- Offering rent deferrals and rent-free arrangements to independent and vulnerable retail tenants and other commercial businesses, including farms, to help with cashflow concerns. Where possible, and in line with local Government advice, we are also ensuring they can keep their operations open.
- Contacting vulnerable residential tenants who may be experiencing similar concerns about paying their rent with a commitment to supporting them over the coming weeks and months.
- The forthcoming rent for our 26 charities within our London estate portfolio, which is already heavily discounted, has been waived.
- Helping suppliers with cashflow by paying them in advance and as quickly as possible.
- Looking to make available a number of our properties in Mayfair and Belgravia to key workers and offering vacant properties and spaces to local Councils to help with their relief efforts.
Wheatsheaf Group, the arm of the Grosvenor Estate which invests in food and agriculture businesses to create efficiencies in the production and distribution of food, is supporting:
- Ethical grocer Farmdrop (a company in which we are a significant shareholder) in responding to unprecedented demand by doubling the amount of orders it is able to deliver every day. Farmdrop sources and delivers food from small producers direct to consumers, ensuring the majority of the price goes back to the farmer.
- One of our companies, Ozo Innovations, is producing disinfectants which de-activate the COVID-19 virus at its facilities in Oxford. It is making this available to local health, transport, care home and prison services
Across our rural communities in Cheshire, Lancashire and the Scottish Highlands we are:
- Maintaining orders for fresh foods from local suppliers to local businesses that have had to close, redistributing them to those who are most in need.
- Facilitating “safe distance” home delivery of free school meals to children impacted by school closures.
- Assisting with food deliveries to self-isolating households from local food shops and community farm vegetable box suppliers.
- Helping school children without broadband in rural locations access the internet to enable remote learning.
In order to deliver this initial range of support we are indebted to the commitment of our people. We are taking care not to compromise the nation’s primary aim of reducing the rate at which the virus spreads and protect those at risk – abiding by local Government advice, ensuring good hygiene and recommended social distancing, avoiding all non-essential travel and enabling flexible and remote working.
Further details on The Duke of Westminster’s donation:
The Duke will make the following donations available through his foundation, the Westminster Foundation:
- £5m to NHS Charities Together, specifically to create a ‘Family Fund’ that will support NHS workers and their families;
- £3m to national medical research and development linked to COVID-19;
- £2m to charities and organisations providing frontline support to people who will feel the greatest long-term economic and social impact of the epidemic and may need access to employment, education and mental health services in the coming months. This is in line with the Westminster Foundation’s new strategic focus to provide long-term sustainable help and direction to vulnerable young lives.
Hugh Grosvenor said: “On behalf of my family and everyone at the Grosvenor Estate, I want to say a huge thank you to all our amazing NHS staff and everyone providing critical frontline services. We are all humbled and incredibly grateful that you are working tirelessly to keep us safe and keep the country functioning.
“NHS staff and key workers don’t work in isolation. They have children and families whose health and wellbeing will also be highly impacted by this crisis. As they keep us safe, I want to help provide as much support to them and their families as we can. Our donation will help create a Family Fund within NHS Charities Together to provide food, respite, rehabilitation and positive mental health support to NHS staff and their families.
“While the impact of this crisis is being felt immediately, the virus will sadly also affect people’s lives long into the future. That’s why I’m keen to support the longer-term scientific and socio-economic response to the epidemic. Through these donations, my Foundation will work with a range of fantastic charities and organisations who are able to help vulnerable people in the difficult months ahead.”
The Grosvenor Estate will review the support we are providing on an ongoing basis, adapting our response as needed to ensure we continue to do all we can to help our communities.
For more information on Grosvenor Group please contact: https://www.grosvenor.com/news-and-insight/media-team
For more information on the Grosvenor Estate or Wheatsheaf Group please contact:
Public Relations and Communications Manager
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About Grosvenor Group
Grosvenor Group is a privately-owned international property company.
With a track record of over 340 years, we develop, manage and invest with a purpose of improving property and places to deliver lasting commercial and social benefit.
This is achieved by adopting a farsighted perspective, by being locally engaged and sharing and benefitting from our international experience – we call this our Living Cities approach.
Through the activities of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Grosvenor Americas, Grosvenor Asia Pacific and Grosvenor Europe we diversify the Group’s property portfolio by geography, sector, activity, currency and management teams. Our Indirect Investment business further diversifies the Group’s property interests by backing specialist third-party management teams. It invests Grosvenor’s capital in Africa, Australia, Europe and North and South America.
To read more about Living Cities please click here.
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About Grosvenor Estate
Grosvenor Group is one of three constituent parts of the Grosvenor Estate which encompasses all the activities of the Grosvenor family. Sharing the same values and a common purpose of delivering lasting commercial and social benefit, each has a distinct focus:
Founded in 2012, Wheatsheaf Group directly operates, invests in and helps to develop businesses in the food and agriculture sectors. Working in partnership with our portfolio companies, through the development of innovative technologies, Wheatsheaf aims to contribute enduring solutions to improve efficiency in the production of healthy and nutritious food to meet the food requirements borne out of the increasing demands of changing global population.
The Family Office manages the Grosvenor family’s rural estates in the United Kingdom and Spain, their philanthropic activities through the Westminster Foundation, Realty Insurances, and other specialist functions – including ones largely focused on heritage and conservation.
It maintains a sustainable approach to the stewardship of land, property and the environment, and in optimising commercial and socially beneficial outcomes we aim to contribute to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the communities it is part of.