Elmley Foundation

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 Foundation is acutely aware of the very serious situation in which artists and arts organisations find themselves.  We exist to support their work and we want to do everything we can to help.

The Trustees have agreed to stand by all their commitments, recognising that many festivals and projects have had to be postponed, and some sadly cancelled.

As the arts sector adjusts to current circumstances, the Trustees are keen to give what help they can.  They are happy to consider grant applications on a case by case basis, and encourage arts organistions and students to get in touch.



The Foundation is conscious that there are fewer and fewer opportunities for people running arts and culture organisations who work with professional artists to meet and learn from each other.

To meet this need, The Foundation decided to inaugurate biennial conferences.  After the considerable success of the first event in 2013, follow-up getherings for arts and cultural organisations and agencies were held in November 2014, 2015 and 2017.  On average, some 90 Chairs and CEO/Secretaries register representing over 50 different bodies.

The principle feedback has been the value to them of providing a forum in which people can meet and exchange ideas. One outcome of the 2013 event was a decision by Herefordshire delegates who previously had not met each other to get together to launch a bid to be City of Culture 2021.  The subsequent success of the £750,000 bid to the ACE/HLF Great Places scheme was a direct result.

In 2016 we arranged a series of training seminars on the use of Social Media which were extremely well received.

The Conference format was changed for 2019 when we organised an Exchange event.  This gave delegates the chance to hear about nine outstanding audience development and outreach projects.  Once again, a large turnout responded very positively to the programme, with many saying they were inspired to think afresh about aspects of their organisation's work.

Summaries of the presentations can be found under the Exchange 2019 tab.