Keble College receives largest donation in its history for major new development

Keble College receives largest donation in its history for major new development

Keble College is to receive a £25 million capital grant from The HB Allen Charitable Trust.

This represents the largest single donation in the 145-year history of the College and the largest grant ever awarded by the Trust.

The money will go towards a £60 million project to redevelop Keble’s Acland site in central Oxford, to provide space for research and graduate accommodation.

This will be the largest building project carried out by the College since it was founded in 1870.

It is being funded by the grant from the Trust, other philanthropic gifts from alumni and friends of the College, and a 40-year loan taken out by the College.

The HB Allen Charitable Trust was founded by Miss Heather Allen in 1987. Miss Allen, who died in 2005, was a philanthropist with multiple interests. She did not herself attend university.

Mr Peter Shone, a Trustee of the HB Allen Charitable Trust, said 'Having made a plan that will probably result in the Trust being wound up by the end of 2020, the Trustees thought it appropriate to make a landmark grant that will stand as a fitting memorial to the philanthropy of Miss Allen.

'There are few things more enduring than an Oxford College. The grant announced today will not only make it possible for the Acland project to proceed but it will also result in a building which will bear Miss Allen’s name.

'I am delighted to have identified a project at my old College which has the potential to provide the best possible experience for graduate students coming to the University and to add world-class facilities for accommodation and research to complement those on the existing Keble site.'

There are few things more enduring than an Oxford College

Mr Peter Shone

Sir Jonathan Phillips, Warden of Keble College, said: 'This and other gifts are an extraordinary demonstration of support for Keble in the context of the University’s Oxford Thinking fund-raising campaign.

'The Trust’s commitment to the project will enable it to proceed to completion well in advance of the College’s 150th anniversary in 2020 and is at least comparable with the benefactions which contributed to its foundation.'

Formerly a private hospital the Acland site was bought by Keble in 2004 and currently houses around 80 graduate students. It is located between the University’s Radcliffe Observatory Quarter and its major science departments.

The redevelopment will allow the site to house 230 graduate students. There will also be space for research and related spinout activities, in conjunction with Keble College’s Advanced Studies Centre. There will be a 120-seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms, an exhibition space, a café and a gym.

Construction is due to commence in July 2016 and it is hoped the building will be ready for occupation in October 2018.