Funder Focus: Clark Foundation


The Clark Foundation was set up in 1959 to support community projects in places where Clarks employees, pensioners and their families live and work.

At that time, in addition to the headquarters in Street, there were factories in Shepton Mallet, Weston-super-Mare, Bridgwater, Plymouth, Barnstaple, Yeovil, Minehead, Bath, Radstock, Midsomer Norton, Warminster, Castle Cary and Ilminster. The Foundation continues to support projects in all of these places and the villages around them. It also gives to projects in Kendal, where ‘K Shoes’ used to be, as this was acquired by Clarks in the 1970’s. Occasionally, they even get the chance to support work in the overseas communities where the shoes are now manufactured.

Last year, the Foundation offered grants totalling more than £400,000 to community groups. They gave to village halls, arts organisations, schools, outdoor education, libraries, swimming pools, museums, hostels, open spaces, hospitals, rescue services, playing fields, as well as groups for young people, retired people and centres providing services with people with additional needs. They give grants for capital projects and equipment, but not for ongoing running costs. Around 5% of their funding is given out in ‘small grants’ of up to £1,000. Decisions on these are usually made very swiftly and you can apply at any time. Larger grants are considered by a grants committee that meets quarterly.

The amount of grant offered depends on the overall value of the project, how many people are likely to benefit from the scheme and how close you are to places where Clarks employees and their families are likely to live. Generally speaking, the majority of grants are for amounts under £10,000, with around a quarter being for larger sums.

For more information, an application form or an informal chat about your project, please contact the Trust Manager, Susie Mercer on:

T: 0117 240 5583