The Swire Charitable Trust

For more than 40 years the Swire Charitable Trust has been supporting voluntary organisations and in 2018 we awarded grants totalling £2.75 million to over 200 charities. We are funded by John Swire & Sons Ltd, the London-headquartered parent company of the Swire Group. Founded in Liverpool in 1816, this is now a diverse business group employing over 120,000 people worldwide.

In early 2017 we established the Trust’s three grant-making programmes: welfare; opportunity; and heritage. We have key aims underpinning each programme and overarching priorities help to guide us in our grant making. Details of these can be found here. Sadly, we are currently having to turn down over 85% of the applications we receive, including many that are closely aligned with our funding priorities.

Running alongside our core programmes is a discretionary fund. This makes donations to charities across all sectors and regions that have been championed by our stakeholders.

The Swire Charitable Trust is governed by a board of seven trustees who meet regularly to consider eligible funding requests and award grants. We are based in John Swire & Son’s offices in London, where a small team of staff look after all the UK Swire trusts and foundations.

Find out more about our grant-making programmes.

UK Swire Trusts and Foundations

The Swire Charitable Trust is part of a cluster of Swire philanthropic initiatives, which includes the grant-making trusts and foundations listed below. Each of these operates autonomously with its own objectives and oversight.

Swire Chinese Language Foundation

This is a private initiative funded by John Swire and Sons which aims to broaden the reach of Chinese teaching in the United Kingdom and improve its quality by developing a network of centres of excellence for teaching the language. There are currently Swire Chinese Language Centres in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gosforth, Liverpool, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Oxford and Sheffield. Find out more at

Swire Family Charitable Trusts

  • The Adrian Swire Charitable Trust
  • John Swire 1989 Charitable Trust
  • Swire 2765

These family charitable trusts support a wide range of voluntary organisations both in the UK and overseas. Donations are made at the discretion of settlors and trustees.

Swire Scholarships Programme

The Swire Scholarships Programme was established as the Swire Educational Trust in the 1980s and it formally merged into The Swire Charitable Trust in 2015. The Programme sponsors graduate and postgraduate study at British and overseas universities for overseas students. Today many of its scholars attend Oxford, as well as London, Reading and Southampton Universities. It is governed by the Trustees of the Swire Charitable Trust, but its day-to-day activities are managed independently of the Trust and we are not responsible for allocating individual scholarships. We ask eligible applicants to contact university admissions teams for any further information.

Hong Kong Swire Trust

The Hong Kong based Swire Trust was established in 1983 as the philanthropic arm of Swire Pacific Limited.

Hong Kong – Swire Charitable Trust Swire Trust’s mission is to create positive change in Education, Marine and Arts through supporting registered non-profit organisations primarily in Hong Kong and Mainland China.  Please contact with enquiries.