About us

Even though we’re one of the largest Charities in the UK, everything we do is for the Bedford area. Using the legacy of Sir William Harpur, our founder in 1566, our aims are clear and simple.

We’re here to inspire and support people in the Borough of Bedford to improve their lives by:

  • providing and promoting education
  • offering help and relief to anyone who is sick, in need, hardship or distress
  • providing recreational facilities with a social welfare purpose

Over 1,100 people in Bedford work for The Harpur Trust, either directly or in one of our schools.

Our grants

We’ve awarded over £10million in grants within the Borough of Bedford since 2003 …

Supporting our community by giving grants to local projects is core to what we do. In 2015/2016 we awarded £887,288 in grants to organisations and individuals based in and around Bedford. This money helped local organisations and individuals to make a difference to their own lives or those of others in the local area.  To see some of projects we’ve supported visit our Past Projects pages – maybe we’ve helped a group that you know.

Our schools

We own, manage and support the four, independent Harpur Trust Schools:

  • Bedford Girls’ School* – a day school for girls aged 7-18
  • Bedford Modern School – a day school for boys and girls aged 7-18
  • Bedford School – a boarding and day school for boys aged 7-18
  • Pilgrims Preparatory School – a nursery and prep school for boys and girls aged 3 months to 7 years

* Bedford Girls’ School has been formed by the merger of Bedford High School for Girls and Dame Alice Harpur School.

Sole Sponsor of the Bedford Academy

We are proud to be the sole sponsor of the Bedford Academy, which is soon to become a MAT (Multi-Academy Trust) with Shackleton, Shortstown and Cauldwell Primary Schools. The Academy opened in September 2010. For more information visit www.bedfordacademy.co.uk.

Our Almshouses

We have been providing Almshouses in Bedford for over 200 years. Our first ones, in Dame Alice Street, Bedford, were completed in 1802.

Today we have 14 bungalows and cottages in Randalls Close, Bromham.  These will be  replaced by 25 new apartments being built at the ExtraCare Retirement Village at the Wixams, due to open by 2019.

Our residents enjoy an independent lifestyle with the benefit of knowing help is close to hand whenever they need it.