Carnegie United Kingdom Trust

The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust is an independent, endowed charitable trust[1] based in Scotland that operates throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Originally established with an endowment from Andrew Carnegie in his birthplace of Dunfermline, it is incorporated by a royal charter and shares purpose-built premises with the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland,[2] the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, and the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust.[3]

Carnegie United Kingdom Trust
Carnegie United Kingdom Trust Logo.jpg
Andrew Carnegie House, Dunfermline, Scotland.jpg
Andrew Carnegie House
Named afterAndrew Carnegie
Formation1913; 107 years ago (1913)
FounderAndrew Carnegie
Founded atDunfermline, Scotland
HeadquartersDunfermline, Scotland
British Isles


Andrew Carnegie

The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust was founded in 1913 with a $10 million endowment from Andrew Carnegie. In creating the trust, Carnegie defined its purpose as:

the improvement of the well-being of the masses of the people of Great Britain and Ireland by such means as are embraced within the meaning of the word ‘charitable’ and which the Trustees may from time to time select as best fitted from age to age for securing these purposes, remembering that new needs are constantly arising as the masses advance.

The trust's endowment provided it with a yearly budget of £100,000, a very significant amount of money at the time, causing one commentator[4] to observe that ‘how they spent this money was a matter of national importance’. While the trust had to spend some of its money on libraries and church organs already promised to several groups by the Carnegie Corporation of New York or Carnegie himself, the trust was largely free to choose which charitable causes it would give to.

In the 1910s and 1920s, the trust focused on fulfilling Carnegie's commitment to building libraries, as Carnegie himself had already done across the United States. The trust also funded the construction of several universities, including Carnegie College in Leeds, Newbattle Abbey College in Newbattle, and College Harlec in Harlech. Other contributions to the education field during this time period included funding the Workers Educational Association, supporting the first pre-school playgroups, and training social workers and librarians. In the 1930s it shifted its focus to social welfare, including the Land Settlement programme, which aimed to help unemployed men to make a living from the land. It also advocated for the creation of National Parks, subsequently introduced by the Attlee ministry after World War II. The Trust also supported the arts during this time, including the restoration of the Book of Kells in Ireland, the publication of ten volumes of Tudor church music,[5] and the publication of contemporary British musical compositions. After World War II, the Trust expanded its social welfare programs and released reports about health and nutrition in the United Kingdom.

In 1996, the Trust launched The Carnegie Young People Initiative (CYPI), a youth programme designed to encourage young people to participate more positively in society. To support the goals of the CYPI, the Trust funded research, conferences, demonstration projects, training, networking, publications, and online initiatives. The Trust also advocated for issues affecting young people, such as giving 16-year-olds the right to vote. Trust staff members also acted as advisors to government departments, local authorities, the NHS, schools, and the voluntary sector. By the end of the program in 2007, CYPI provided £1.78 million of direct funding to 130 projects across the British Isles. Later that year, the Trust helped to secure £4m to create Participation Works, the national centre for youth empowerment in the United Kingdom. The Trust also co-funded the Carnegie Medal for Children's literature and organised a centenary festival for the first Carnegie library in 2007.[citation needed] In 2008, the Trust created the UK's first university based research centres for philanthropy and charitable giving in partnership with the UK and Scottish Governments and the Economic and Social Research Council. Soon after, the Trust's Royal Charter was changed to enable it to collaborate with foundations across the European Union. It became an active member of the European Foundations Centre and jointly funded youth empowerment and rural community development work as part of the Network of European Foundations. It also began to collaborate more closely with the Carnegie foundations in the United States and Europe.

Current activitiesEdit

The remit of the Trust has been the same since it began in 1913, although the approach has changed over time. There was an increasing concern that the Trust’s model of short-term funding, prevalent across the foundation world, had not been an effective way of addressing changing issues and needs. In 2004, Trustees decided to end the Trust's grant funding and to operate at a more strategic level in order to influence public policies and practice in more sustainable ways. One of the main reasons for this was the Trust's concern that the model of short-term, generally modest grant giving provided little evidence of sustainable change or impact upon deeper structural concerns in society. In relative terms the value of the endowment has also reduced significantly while the role of the state has increased, prompting a rethink of the role of the Trust.[citation needed] The Strategic Plan for 2016-2020 reconfirms that decision, outlining the role of the organisation as an operating Trust that makes proactive decisions about its projects and activities. The Trust no longer takes unsolicited grant applications, but seeks to build partnerships with other organisations for specific pieces of work. The Carnegie UK Trust continues to work to improve the wellbeing of people throughout the UK and Ireland by changing minds through influencing policy, and by changing lives through innovative practice and partnership work. The 2016-2020 Strategy highlights that the Trust’s work will pay particular regard to people who are disadvantaged. The Trust’s work from 2016-2020 is focused on the strategic objective of Enabling Wellbeing and the three thematic areas, Digital Futures, Flourishing Towns and Fulfilling Work.


About the Trust's work:
Strategic Plan 2016-2020
Current Work Leaflet
Annual Review 2018
Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2018

Key 2020 Reports:
Race Inequality in the Workforce
Natural Capital Account for Derry City and Strabane District
Scaling up the UK personal lending CDFI sector: From £20m to £200m in lending by 2027
Engage. Respond. Innovate. The Value of Hackathons in Public Libraries
Can Good Work Solve the Productivity Puzzle?

Key 2019 Reports:
Ensuring Good Future Jobs
Turnaround Towns UK
Participating People
Support for Community Planning Partnerships’ Statements of Progress: Examples of visual communication of data
The Enabling State: Where are we now? Review of policy developments 2013-2018
The Practice of Kindness: Learning from KIN and North Ayrshire
Study visit to Wales
Engaging Libraries: Learning from Phase 1
Conversations with young people about kindness
Journeys of Understanding: Domestic twinning as an approach to improving town capacity and wellbeing
Switched On
The many shades of co-produced evidence
Exploring the practicalities of a basic income pilot

Key 2018 Reports:
Leading the Way – a guide to privacy for public library staff
Payday Denied: Exploring the lived experience of declined payday loan applicants
Use of credit and financial resilience. Analysis of the Scottish Household Survey
Repay Right
Quantifying kindness, public engagement and place
Making Procurement Work for All
Digital Inclusion in Health and Care in Wales
Kindness, emotions and human relationships: The blind spot in public policy
Living Digitally – An evaluation of the CleverCogs digital care and support system
Fulfilling Work in Ireland: Discussion Paper
Growing Livelihoods People Working Together to Build a Future for Smaller-Scale Food Growers
New Powers, New Deals: Remaking British Towns after Brexit
Measuring Good Work: The final report of the Measuring Job Quality Working Group
Insights For A Better Way
Data for Public Benefit
What Sort of Scotland Do You Want To Live In?

Key 2017 Reports:
Searching for Space: What place for towns in public policy?
What Do Citizens Want?
Digitally Savvy Citizens
The Place of Kindness
Fairness Commissions: From Shetland to Southampton
Shining a Light
Hackathons: A Practical Guide
The Scottish Approach to Evidence

Key 2016 Reports:
Work and Wellbeing: Discussion Paper
Turnaround Towns
Time for Towns
Build your own TestTown Manual
Digital Participation and Social Justice in Scotland
Sharpening Our Focus
The Enabling State in Practice: Evidence from Innovators
Carnegie Library Lab: Final Project Snapshot from Cohort 1
Gateway to Affordable Credit
Breaking the Link
Towards A Wellbeing Framework: One Year On

Key 2015 Reports:
Fairness Matters – report of the Fairer Fife Commission
Click and Connect – hyperlocal news case studies
The Enabling State Challenge – meet the winners
Ambition and Opportunity – a national strategy for public libraries in Scotland
Meeting the need for affordable credit
The Carnegie Position on Enterprise
Digital Participation in Dumfries and Kirkcaldy
Finding and Protecting the Carnegie Playing Fields

Key 2014 Reports:
Places that love people
Making Digital Real
The Welsh Dragon: The success of enterprise education in Wales
Measuring What Matters in Northern Ireland

Key 2013 Reports:
Evidence Exchange
Make Your Local News Work
The Rise of the Enabling State
Economic literacy training for UK-based journalists
Economic literacy training for civil society organisations
Shifting the Dial in Scotland
Weathering the Storm
Going the Last Mile
Across the Divide

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, Registered Charity no. SC012799". Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
  2. ^ The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
  3. ^
  4. ^ Robertson, William (1964). Welfare in Trust: A History of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust 1913–1963. Dunfermline: Carnegie UK Trust.
  5. ^ "Stile Antico record highlights from the Tudor Church Music edition". Gramophone. July 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2018.

Further readingEdit

  • Robertson, William (1964) Welfare in Trust: A History of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust 1913–1963. Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable Ltd.
  • Goodenough, Simon (1985) The Greatest Good Fortune: Andrew Carnegie's Gift for Today. Edinburgh: MacDonald Publishers.
  • Nasaw, David (2006) Andrew Carnegie. New York: The Penguin Press.

External linksEdit