Income for the Foundation, which comes from the trading group gift-aiding a proportion of its profits and from investments, was £19.5m for the 2014/15 financial year, and grants awarded were £12.7m (and a £10m grant was awarded just after the year-end). This equates to charitable spending of 65% of income (or 116% taking into account the donation just after year-end). In the 2013/14 financial year, charitable spending was £17.2m or 143% of income, with the Foundation digging into its reserves to fund charitable causes.
Moreover, the LRF also discharges its charitable purpose through the safety related activities of the trading group – such as safety inspections on 8,500 ships each year, the on-going development of rules for the safe construction and maintenance of ships, verifying the safe design and operation of oil rigs etc – for the benefit of the public and environment.
The LRF is not a publicly funded charity – its income is generated from the profits from the trading group and its investments. Put into context, the operating group made a pre-tax profit of £62m in the 2014/15 financial year. £20.2m was paid in tax worldwide. Its donation to the LRF was £11.5m, with the balance re-invested into the business.
The Foundation was set up in 2012, working closely with the Charities Commission and HMRC, and became fully operational in 2013. None of the trustees are paid helping us keep our governance costs down. In its first year it put considerable effort in to putting the governance, people and systems in place in order to allow the Foundation to start its programme of activities to help address society’s needs, but it has already delivered a significant contribution to society as illustrated below:
- 715,500 people directly engaged in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enrichment activities through our funding
- 300+ papers, chapters and books published by our funded researchers
- £36m live grant portfolio (as at 31 June 2015)
- £9 million of grant for nanotechnology research and education committed this year
- £15 million research funding to help establish the new NSIRC in Cambridge, UK
- £10 million over five years to support research by the Alan Turing Institute on engineering applications of big data