The Allen Lane Foundation was formed in 1966, with the Trustee Deed signed on 14th March.
The trust was set up with 100,000 shares in Penguin, valued at around £150,000. There were three Trustees and a broad remit for funding. Trustees met three times a year and made small grants to small projects across the country. The Foundation was keen to ensure that its small grants were made with best effect and in the most constructive way. It aimed to make a lasting difference in the lives of the people it helped to support. Over the years, Trustees developed a policy of funding projects which were deemed ‘unpopular’ in society.
In addition to its general grant-making, the Foundation has, in the past, funded some particular programmes of work including support for penal reform and women’s projects in the Republic of Ireland. It has also made some larger-scale grants for specific work on a national scale.
Previously located in London and then Bracknell, for the past 15 years, the Foundation’s offices have been in York.
2016 is the Foundation’s 50th anniversary year and a Lecture, given by Dame Anne Owers, has taken place in celebration.