One of Britain’s richest men is giving £10m to charities struggling with the impact of Covid-19.
Steve Morgan, who set up the housebuilding firm Redrow in 1974, is match-funding a £10m award from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and said the new £20m fund would help hundreds of charities to survive.
Separately, the Liverpool-born philanthropist has already pledged £12m to help charitable organisations across Merseyside, north Wales and Cheshire as part of his Covid-19 Emergency Fund, which he launched shortly after lockdown in March.
The fund has so far made over 600 awards totalling £6.5m to charities tackling everything from food poverty, mental health, homelessness, domestic violence, bereavement and social isolation.
The new £20m pot will be split between around 100 smaller north west-based charities and four larger organisations: Maggie’s, which cares for people with cancer; diabetes research charity JDRF; Onside Youth Zones, a chain of youth clubs; and The Reader, which brings communities together to read.
Since stepping down from Redrow in 2018, Morgan has focused much of his attention on philanthropy, via his Steve Morgan Foundation. He has already given out £50m in grants and committed another £250m since launching the foundation in 2001, but warned that the charity sector faced an unprecedented challenge because of the pandemic.
The government’s half of the £20m pot comes from a new £85m Community Match Challenge Fund set up by the DCMS and is part of the government’s £750m support package for charities.
“I’m honoured that the work of the Steve Morgan Foundation has been recognised by the government with this award of £10m and, by match-funding it, we have £20m to get out to those charities in the most need,” Morgan said. “It will help millions of some of the most vulnerable people in the UK.”
He added: “We know that the north-west has some of the highest levels of social deprivation in the UK, so the importance of this £20m can’t be underestimated.”
Under the terms of the DCMS funding, the £10m award has to be spent by March 31, 2021, at which point the Steve Morgan Foundation match-funding will kick in.
Morgan established Redrow when he was 21 and remains its biggest shareholder, with a 16% stake in the group. The Flintshire-based Redrow floated in 1994 and has expanded to become a £1.6bn company, making Morgan one of Britain’s richest people, with an estimated worth of about £750m.