Lloyd's Register Foundation grant-giving doubled to £17.2m in 2013/14, its accounts show

The charity is listed as the largest in England and Wales by income because it owns a £1bn-turnover multinational business

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation's annual report
The Lloyd’s Register Foundation's annual report

The engineering and technology grant-maker the Lloyd’s Register Foundation awarded £17.2m in grants in 2013/14, more than twice the total awarded in the previous year, its accounts show.

The charity, which registered with the Charity Commission in 2012, is the largest in England and Wales by total group income, at more than £1bn. This is thanks to its outright ownership of a trading subsidiary, the multinational engineering and technology business Lloyd's Register Group, which had an income of £1.03bn in 2013/14.

The trading subsidiary's costs and administrative expenses totalled £989.4m, leaving it with operating profit of £73.7m and post-tax profit of £26.8m. In 2012/13, income was £919.9m and post-tax profit £36.8m.

The trading subsidiary made a £4m gift to the foundation 2013/14. The foundation also holds an investment portfolio that brought in £8m of income in the year.

The accounts show that the charity received 119 approaches for funding in the year and awarded 15 grants. Grants awarded totalled £17.2m – more than double last year’s £8.1m – with £15m of that going the Welding Institute, an engineering institution for welding, joining and allied technologies, which is not a registered charity.

The next largest grants were £600,000 to the livery company the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and £451,000 to technical education charity the Smallpeice Trust.

During the year, the foundation also adopted its strategy for 2014 to 2020, with four strategic themes: supporting excellent scientific research; accelerating the application of research; promoting safety and public understanding of risk; and promoting advancement of skills and education.

It appointed Richard Clegg as managing director. Clegg, a defence and nuclear industry veteran, previously worked for the Lloyd’s Register business. The group as a whole employs several thousand people, and the foundation employed eight people in the year, with two of those earning more than £60,000, the accounts say.

These are Clegg, who was paid £80,000, including benefits in kind and pension, and another unnamed individual whose salary is listed as between £80,000 and £90,000.

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation is the largest charity by income ahead of the British Council, which had an income of £864.3m in the year to 31 March 2014. However, its charitable spending in the year of £17.8m is relatively small; more than 50 England and Wales-registered charities spent more than £100m on charitable activity in their most recent accounts.

Founded in 1760, the Lloyd’s Register Group was previously an industrial and provident society, making it an exempt charity, but under a 2012 transformation programme it became a company limited by shares, owned outright by the foundation, itself newly registered with the Charity Commission.

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