Donors and supporters

A huge thank you to our 2021 Festival donors and supporters.

Headline Sponsor 

The Holbeck Charitable Trust

Holbeck Charitable Trust

The Holbeck Charitable Trust is delighted to be Headline Sponsor of York Festival of Ideas. The Festival continues to go from strength to strength, with the 2021 programme offering a huge range of stimulating events including talks, performances, digital exhibitions and walking trails. We congratulate the Festival on its determination to remain as widely accessible as practicable by staging so many events where entry is free. 

As a long-standing supporter, we are particularly proud to support the team’s development of international partnerships through co-curated virtual events, as well as its commitment to reaching larger national and global audiences.

Supporters and Donors

University of York

We are proud of the University of York’s role in establishing and leading York Festival of Ideas over the past decade. The Festival is an expression of the University’s commitment to being a university for public good: through the Festival we demonstrate the major contribution of education to the economic, social and cultural development of York and Yorkshire. The Festival’s inclusive programme partnership model offers incredible opportunities for the University to develop collaborations with diverse organisations across the city and region, nationally, and of late, new and exciting partnerships in India, Bangladesh, The Netherlands, Greece and France. 

The University is pleased to support the Festival through the Higher Education Innovation Fund, which facilitates the communication of new knowledge and its benefits to society. 

Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor


C & JB Morrell Trust and the Morrell Centre for Legal and Political Philosophy

The C & JB Morrell Trust is a core funder of the Festival. The Morrell Centre for Legal and Political Philosophy, which is generously supported by the Trust, is proud to sponsor a series of themed events on Democracy, Debate and Disagreement. The Centre is dedicated to legal and political philosophy with a particular focus on toleration as an idea and as a practice. Follow us @MorrellCentre

Friends Provident Foundation

Friends Provident Foundation is an independent charity that makes grants and uses its endowment towards a fair, resilient and sustainable economic system that serves people and planet. We connect, fund, support and invest in new thinking to shape a future economy that works for all. We are very pleased to support a series of themed events on Levelling Up the Economy. 


John Templeton Foundation 

John Templeton Foundation

The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. We support efforts to advance human wellbeing through rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. We are very pleased that our funding is being directed to support a series of themed events on Science, Imagination and the Big Questions.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation

JRF logo

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) is an independent social change organisation whose mission is to inspire action and change to solve UK poverty. JRF is therefore delighted to support York Festival of Ideas in its ambition to provide a platform for informed debate on key contemporary issues through a programme of accessible events. 


Shepherd Group


Shepherd Group is one of the leading family-owned private businesses in the UK. Founded in 1890 in York, its head offices remain in the city and its operations include Portakabin, Europe’s market-leading modular building innovator. Shepherd Group is the proud sponsor of family events in the York Festival of Ideas programme.

French Embassy in the UK 

The Higher Education, Research and Innovation (ESRI) Department of the French Embassy in the United Kingdom is recognised as a partner for British Institutions and their French counterparts. The ESRI is very happy to work with York Festival of Ideas to present two events which bring together leading academics from France and the UK – Protecting the Oceans to Preserve the Climate and Women’s Bodies: Gaining control


York-Maastricht Partnership 

The York-Maastricht Partnership is a major strategic investment between the universities of York and Maastricht, intended to develop a deep and lasting relationship and built around excellent research, teaching and knowledge exchange. The Partnership is very proud to support two events in the Festival programme, The Road Towards Sustainable Consumption and Global South: Climate change and conservation


The Institution of Engineering and Technology


The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is the largest multidisciplinary professional engineering institution in the world. The North Yorkshire Network of the IET is a proud sponsor and collaborator of York Festival of Ideas. This year we will be supporting Handmade: A scientist’s search for meaning


Jane Moody Fund 

With thanks to the Jane Moody Fund for supporting our Festival launch, A Celebration of Inspirational Ideas. Professor Jane Moody, who died in 2011, was founding Director of the University of York’s Humanities Research Centre and co-founder of York Festival of Ideas. 


Ron and Barbara Cooke are very pleased to support Wilding Campus East

Lorna and David Foster are delighted to support York Festival of Ideas. 


Bags of Creativity

The University of York is proud to be working with REACH to deliver Bags of Creativity to 2,000 primary schoolchildren across York to enable them to engage with the Festival. Further information about the project and its sponsors is available here.


Our thanks to those donors and supporters who wish to remain anonymous.

If you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, please email the Festival team: