Welcome to The Elmley Foundation

The Elmley Foundation is an independent grantmaking charity which supports the arts in the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

The Foundation was endowed by the late Countess Beauchamp of Madresfield Court near Malvern. She was the Danish-born widow of the eighth and last Earl Beauchamp who was known as Viscount Elmley until he succeeded his father to the House of Lords in 1938.

The purpose of The Elmley Foundation is to continue the tradition of encouragement of all forms of the arts, crafts and design which has been associated with Madresfield Court over many generations. In doing so, the Foundation perpetuates Madresfield’s considerable influence on the cultural life of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

The Foundation believes strongly in initiating ideas to fill gaps and generally develop the arts scene in the two counties.  To this end it founded Herefordshire and Worcestershire Arts Development Ltd and works closely with the trustees of this company who add to the Elmley Foundation's investment by attracting money from other sources to promote schemes.  The Foundation's independence is much valued by artists, arts organisations and the various statutory bodies involved and is consequently influential in cultural planning for the two counties.

Around £300,000 is spent each year in grants and on schemes initiated by the Trustees.

The Foundation runs two schemes, the Main programme and the Elmley Small Grants scheme.


The Forum provides an opportunity leaders of all kinds who rarely get the chance to reflect together at a serious intellectual, philosophical level on the many underlying forces which affect the world and our society.  Feelings of concern and frustration among senior people in all walks of life are widespread, and the imperative to take action, or be seen to be doing so, can easily be mixed with anxiety about consequences and the wider context.  Hardly ever do we have space to reflect on the underlying forces, even though to do so in an intellectual environment can be stimulating and help to build confidence . 

The Elmley Foundation, the leading cultural grantmaking body in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, has therefore created an opportunity for leaders of the public, professional, private and voluntary sectors in the two counties to discuss Big Questions in a local context.

Senior figures from local government, judiciary, the arts, police, church, health and emergency services, academics, business and the voluntary sector come together in a unique environment.  Particular appreciation has been voiced for the in-the-round format and the emphasis on interactive debate.

Forum events so far have featured discussions on Human Hopes and Planet Frailties with the philosopher John Gray, Fairness and Happiness with Geoff Mulgan (founder of Demos), Freedom and Restraint with Shami Chakrabarti, and Certainty and Doubt with Richard Holloway.

The next Forum event is being planned for Spring 2015.

To be put on the mailing list for invitations, please email forum@elmley.org.uk