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About the Trust

The Oglesby Charitable Trust is a grantmaking charity with the purpose of Creating Thriving Communities. 

We seek out effective organisations that can demonstrate positive impact, both now, and into the future, across four priority themes: arts; environment; health; and social inequality. We are currently donating around £3.5m each year, supporting organisations to deliver impact both locally and strategically. We have made donations of over £30m since we started out in 2001.

We are a small team of staff and Trustees based in Manchester and consider proposals by invitation only.

History of the Trust


The founders of the Trust – the late Michael Oglesby, and his wife Jean – originate in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire. Michael qualified in Construction at Aston University, and then the couple moved to Manchester, started a family, and Michael established the Bruntwood company. 

They set up the Oglesby Charitable Trust as it is today in 2001, with a broad aim: to ‘give back’ to the cities and communities in which the family business had a presence, by championing and supporting cultural, environmental and socially driven charitable activity, and encouraging others to do the same.

Since their first grants, we have supported over 300 charities. The Trustee Board comprises family members plus professional advisors and a small staff team managing day to day activity. Trustees continue to be closely involved in the work we support, offering support beyond the funding where possible.

Support has always been diverse: from small and large capital projects, to core funding, to founding grants that have established new charities. 

Michael and Jean Oglesby at Cobden Works in Salford

The Oglesby Charitable Trust and the Bruntwood Group

The Oglesby Charitable Trust was established by the late Michael Oglesby CBE DL, the founder of Bruntwood, and his wife Jean. Both organisations are to this day led by Oglesby family members, and share the same values relating to community responsibility and philanthropy.

Bruntwood’s purpose is to Create Thriving Cities and  has a strong focus on supporting and galvanising the strengths and potential of the communities in which Bruntwood is located. In addition to corporate partnerships, Bruntwood supports local community and voluntary organisations through Bruntwood Cares, its staff volunteering scheme, plus staff fundraising and pro bono support as well as offering awareness raising opportunities.

The Oglesby Charitable Trust’s financial capacity comes from both the philanthropic generosity of its founders as well as the success of the Bruntwood Group. The Trust’s activity is separate from, and additional to, Bruntwood’s own community activities, although there is a close partnership between the two organisations, designed to add value to their collective relationships and the impact they can deliver.