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Virgin Money launches new charitable foundation and invites applications for grants


  • The Government has committed £4 million to the Virgin Money Foundation over four years
  • This donation will be matched by a further £4 million over four years from Virgin Money, giving the Foundation a total of £8 million to distribute to community projects over the next four years
  • The new Virgin Money Foundation will focus on community projects in the North-East of England, growing over time to operate nationally
  • The application process is now open for grants of £10,000 to £50,000 for projects in the North-East

Virgin Money has today launched the Virgin Money Foundation (the ‘Foundation’) – a new, independent charitable foundation that will focus initially on community projects in the North-East of England, and over time will grow to operate nationally.

The Foundation will promote the sustainable regeneration of economically and socially deprived communities in the UK. This will include providing social investment in community housing and building projects, promoting opportunities for youth work and training, as well as investing in projects designed to relieve unemployment.

An independent Board of Trustees has been appointed, chaired by Edward Wakefield. Edward was formerly Managing Director at Greenhill, a leading independent investment bank.

The launch follows the announcement in December 2014 that the Government would provide £4 million of funding - £1 million per year for four years - to be granted through the Foundation to support charitable projects in the North-East of England.

Having previously announced that it would donate £1 million in 2015 to community projects in the North-East, Virgin Money has today confirmed that it will match the Government’s donation, taking the total of Virgin Money’s donation to £4 million over 4 years. This means that the Foundation has £8 million of committed funding over the next four years.

Virgin Money will also cover the full operating costs of the new Foundation. This means that the full £8 million will benefit community projects.

The Virgin Money Foundation is now ready to receive applications for its first round of grants. In this first round, applications for grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 that meet the charitable objectives of the Virgin Money Foundation are invited from community projects in the North-East of England. Applicants will need to show that their projects are strongly rooted in the local community, and that the work they propose to do will make a measurable and sustainable difference in the community.

There will be two rounds of grants over the next nine months, with the first awards expected to be made in November 2015. Full details of the eligibility criteria and the application process can be found at

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said: “I am delighted that we’ve been able to support the Virgin Money Foundation’s important work with £4 million of funding provided from the fines levied on banks. This will be a real boost to local communities in the North East.

“It is only right that we use fines from those who’ve demonstrated the worst values in our society to support charitable causes in the Northern Powerhouse that demonstrate the best of British values on a daily basis.”

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Money, said: "Virgin Money takes its social responsibilities very seriously in all of the communities in which we operate, but particularly in the North-East of England, given our acquisition of Northern Rock in 2012. I am therefore delighted to be launching the new, independent Virgin Money Foundation. Virgin Money will match the donation of £4 million over 4 years pledged by the Government meaning the Foundation can make a positive and sustainable difference, initially in the North East and over time across the whole of the UK.”

Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society, said: "Virgin Money Foundation will support disadvantaged communities and young people in the North East of England and help us to build a truly compassionate society, helping those who have the least."

Edward Wakefield, Chairman of the Virgin Money Foundation, said: “I am delighted that Virgin Money has decided to set up the new Foundation, and I am extremely grateful both to the Government and to Virgin Money for their very generous commitment. It is an honour to have been asked to chair the new Foundation. My fellow Trustees and I are looking forward to receiving the first round of grant applications and to working with partners locally to make a sustainable and meaningful difference to many communities.”

Media contact:
Virgin Money press office
0191 279 4676


Virgin Money Foundation Board of Trustees

Edward Wakefield


Independent Trustee

Jo Curry


Independent Trustee

Mike Peckham


Independent Trustee

Sir Tom Shebbeare


Chairman of Virgin Money Giving

Anth Mooney


Virgin Money Trustee

Stephen Pearson


Virgin Money Trustee

Edward Wakefield Biography

Until 2013 Edward was Managing Director in the London office of Greenhill & Co, an independent investment bank. He led Greenhill’s financial services practice in Europe, advising companies, governments and other institutions on mergers, acquisitions and other financial and strategic matters.

Edward is now an investor and entrepreneur.

Edward is a graduate of Durham University, and is married with one daughter.

About Virgin Money

Virgin Money provides savings, mortgages, credit cards, current accounts, pensions, investment and protection products

Virgin Money’s business ambition is to make “everyone better off” – this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society and delivering a profit to shareholders

Virgin Money is the official sponsor of the London Marathon, the biggest annual one-day fundraising event in the world. Virgin Money has helped London Marathon runners raise over £¼ billion, including funds raised through Virgin Money Giving the not-for-profit online fundraising service, since 2010.

Virgin Money Holdings (UK) plc - Registered in England and Wales (Company No. 03087587). Registered Office - Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 4PL.