Hugh Grosvenor, The Duke of Westminster, has personally donated an extra £10 million to the UK’s COVID-19 relief effort.

The Duke of Westminster donates a further £10m to national COVID-19 relief effort, following an initial donation of £2.5m.

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.

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.  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.  

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.”

Helping local communities cope with Coronavirus

 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.

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 £10m 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. 

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.