A Brief History of the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation - Tony Wingate
Wingate Scholarships have been offered by the Foundation since 1988 but the Foundation itself was first established by my father as long ago as 1960. Over the years when he was building up Chesterfield Properties, his commercial property and cinema-cum-theatre business, the Foundation became a major shareholder of this company. It was clearly my fatherís intention that society should share the benefits of the success he had had in Chesterfield.
When my father retired from Chesterfield, my youngest brother, Roger, took over as Chairman and Managing Director. Chesterfield became a PLC in 1961 and although the shares were then quoted on the stock market, the Foundation retained its position as a major shareholder with the dividends being available to the trustees for grants to other organisations. Chesterfield was eventually sold to another property company in 1999 but the family retained the cinema and theatre interests. Since then, the capital of the Foundation, between £9m and £10m, has been a mixed portfolio and approximately 50% of the dividend income now goes to fund the Scholarships.
The first significant donation by the Foundation was in the late 1970s and was to the Royal London Hospital. This was for the establishment of a gastro-intestinal unit where my brother, David, was the Professor of Gastroenterology. My father, who had retired to the south of France, died in 1979.
The Foundation now makes donations in six areas: Jewish Life and Learning, Music, Education and Social Exclusion, Performing Arts, Medical Research and Development Projects. It also funds an annual Book Prize in association with the Jewish Quarterly. There are currently six trustees, four from the family, who meet quarterly to decide on which organisations or projects, which have applied for grants, should receive them.