The Swire Charitable Trust

Since our foundation in 1975, The Swire Charitable Trust has supported a broad range of charitable organisations. Last year we awarded grants totalling £2.5 million to more than 180 charities. The Trust is funded by John Swire & Sons Ltd, the London-headquartered parent company of the Swire Group. Founded in 1816, this diverse group of businesses employs over 120,000 people worldwide.

The amount donated to the Trust has been increasing and in 2016 we carried out a full strategic review of our activities. We identified a number of funding priorities which form the bedrock of our core grant-making programmes – currently focusing on three main areas: community and social welfare; education and training; and heritage.

Running alongside our core programmes is a discretionary fund, which takes its inspiration from the stakeholders of John Swire & Sons, as well as a separate graduate and postgraduate scholarship programme for overseas students.

The Swire Charitable Trust is governed by a board of six 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 board of trustees.

Swire Chinese Language Foundation

This private initiative aims to improve the quality, quantity, and reach of the teaching of the Chinese language in the UK. It is working with various schools across the country to create Swire Chinese Language Centres, which benefit both the individual school and other schools in the local area. 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 their settlors and trustees.

Swire Scholarships Programme

The Swire Scholarships Programme was established as the Swire Educational Trust in the 1980s to sponsor graduate and postgraduate places in the UK for overseas scholars. Today many of its scholars attend Oxford, as well as London, Reading and Southampton Universities.

In 2015 the Swire Educational Trust was formally merged into The Swire Charitable Trust.

The Swire Charitable Trust is not responsible for allocating individual scholarships and 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 TrustSwire Trust’s mission is to create positive change in arts and culture, the environment, education and those facing extreme hardship through giving to registered non-profit organisations primarily in Hong Kong and Mainland China.