In comparison to many trusts and foundations, the area in which John Lyon’s Charity gives grants is relatively small. In reality, however, the nine boroughs that make up the Beneficial Area are home to around two million people. This focus on a small area has enabled the Grants Team to amass a wealth of local knowledge, which has proven to be invaluable in the assessment of grant applications and in offering practical advice and guidance to organisations. The location of the nine boroughs has also had a huge impact on the Charity’s grant-giving policy and how it has developed over the years.
Britain’s Front Room and Arrival Lounge
The Charity’s Beneficial Area contains within it areas that are amongst the most politically, culturally and socially significant in the country, if not the world. It houses the seat of Government for the United Kingdom and its central bureaucracy, the country’s legal centre, the world’s largest financial centre, Europe’s largest shopping district and one of the world’s greatest clusters of media, publishing and creative industries. There are 43 universities in London, the largest concentration of higher education institutions in Europe.
London has been described as a world cultural capital and the Charity’s boroughs have the highest concentration of Arts institutions in the country; it is rich in world-renowned museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls and centres for opera and dance. The close proximity of these institutions of excellence and the opportunities that they afford for young people, underpins the Charity’s drive to enable every young person who lives in these boroughs to have access to them either via their school or through their own exploration. London is one of the world’s most visited cities and many of the boroughs form the nucleus of any tourist’s itinerary. The West End, the City, Holborn, Camden, Kings Cross and Hammersmith are major centres of employment and wealth creation for the UK as a whole and are the preferred location for global and European headquarters of both British and foreign multinational corporations.
This is also the ‘arrival hall’ for the country. Heathrow Airport is on the edge of the area and the attraction of the Capital brings new entrants to the city from around the UK as well as from all over the world. 13 of London’s 18 major railway stations are contained in our boroughs. Consequently, the Beneficial Area is often the first place of settlement for newcomers and a focus for all the changes and challenges that accompany them.