Our Year


A message from the chairman

This year has been a special one for The Harpur Trust.  We have celebrated our 450th Anniversary with a variety of activities and projects that have benefited all parts of the community, as Sir William Harpur might have wished.  You can see the highlights of these events in a special video which you will find below.

The Trust’s schools continue to be successful, offering an excellent range of academic and co-curricular opportunities to pupils.  Their programme of means-tested fee assistance helps over 230 pupils benefit from the education they provide: through this and the many and varied ways they engage with the community, the schools are an integral part of the fabric of the town.

Looking forward, we hope to complete the transition of the Bedford Academy, which we are proud to sponsor, to a Multi-Academy Trust in partnership with Shortstown, Shackleton and Cauldwell primary schools.

Residents in our almshouses will shortly move to excellent new facilities on Kimbolton Road and work will start on the new retirement village in Wixams, which is being built in partnership with the Extra Care Charitable Trust.

Our grants programme remains central to our work in the community, and we aim to deliver the best possible benefit to the people of the Borough.  In addition, the trustees have set aside £2,000,000 from the sale of land for our “Social Investment” initiative.  We hope that this innovative way of delivering help to the community will begin to bear fruit this year.

So, despite being 450 years old, the Trust continues to develop and improve with the aim of inspiring and supporting the people of Bedford.  If you would like to find out more about what we do, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Watch a short film about our 450th anniversary

Our year in numbers

1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016


In grants awarded in Bedford Borough


Towards relief grants


Towards education grants


Towards recreation grants

  • £84 Million

    The Endowment fund was valued at £84 million

  • £57,600

    In University Bursary awards to 16 local pupils

  • £23,900

    Toward maintained school uniform grants

  • 1,120

    People employed by the Trust

  • £2.5 million

    Spent on means-tested Harpur Trust bursary awards

  • 3,529

    Pupils were educated in our schools

  • 231

    Pupils received means-tested Harpur Trust bursary awards

  • 78

    Pupils received a free school place (full fee remission)

Our key activities this year

Our schools' activities in 2015-2016


Download previous annual reports