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N Ireland foundation made grants of £870,000 last year

N Ireland foundation made grants of £870,000 last year

The foundation established in by the late Sir Allen McClay provided grants of over £870,000 last year, according to the accounts for 2017.

The McClay Foundation derives its income from the shares in the Almac pharmaceutical company Sir Allen built to become a world leader in the sector. Last year the company recorded profits of nearly £27 million, nearly double the figure for 2016 while the Foundation has charitable assets of £96 million.

Most of the grant recipients of the Foundation received in previous years. Queens University received the largest grant of £207,000 last year for general support, down from £285,000 the year before while the Buddy Bear Trust got £150,000. The Northern Ireland Hospice received £150,000 for their new hospice building in Belfast and for their service in Fermanagh.

Most other grants were in the range of £25-£50,000, with the smallest grant £2,000. Health and children’s charities make up most of the beneficiaries. The in-year grant figure for 2017 is an increase from the 2016 figure of £814,000.

As well as new grants pay in 2017 the accounts record ‘contingent liabilities’ of £1.3 million.  The largest commitment was £350,000 to the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children which is thought to be part of multi year commitment towards the charity’s new respite facility. The Northern Ireland Hospice received £300,000 also thought to be a part of a pledge for the new hospice building in Belfast.

The contingent liabilities also list £283,000 for Queen’s University Belfast, a long time beneficiary of support from the Foundation, and £230,000 for the Buddy Bear Trust. The overall commitments are down from £1.5 million in 2016.

The Foundation’s charitable goals are given as:

·       Support and encourage research and innovation

·       Advance the use of diagnostic tools and drugs in the prevention, control and cure of disease

·       Ensure latest advances in healthcare are available to all, including developing countries

·       Generate and promote employment opportunities

·       Support and promote such educational purposes as the trustees shall select, provided that such purposes shall be exclusively charitable in law


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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