Duke of Westminster donates £12.5m to support the NHS - but who is he and what's his net worth?

Thursday, 16th April 2020, 5:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th April 2020, 5:05 pm
The donation will be used to help support the NHS, providing respite, rehabilitation and mental health assistance (Photo: PA)

The Duke of Westminster has made a donation of £12.5 million to support the UK’s coronavirus relief effort.

The Duke previously donated £2.5 million to the cause in March and has now given a further £10 million, which will be used to help support the NHS, providing respite, rehabilitation and mental health assistance to medical staff and their families.

Who is the Duke of Westminster?

The 29-year-old Duke, Hugh Grosvenor, is a billionaire landowner who is the world’s richest person under the age of 30.

He inherited his title, the family estate and an £8.3 billion fortune following the death of his father, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, in 2016.

Grosvenor is a former student of countryside management at Newcastle University and is said to “own half of London”.

He is close friends with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and is the youngest godparent to Prince George.

What is his net worth?

He currently has a net worth of $12.7 billion - an estimated £10.1 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Grosvenor inherited the money after his father died, alongside his title and estate in Belgravia and Mayfair.

Despite his wealth, he reportedly did not have to pay billions in inheritance taxes, as much of his fortune was passed down through family trusts.

What will the Duke’s donation be used for?

A sum of £5 million will be used to create a Family Fund within NHS Charities Together, while a further £3 million will go towards national medical research and development linked to the coronavirus illness.

The final £2 million will be given to charities providing frontline support to those who are suffering the greatest long-term social and economic impact.

The £10 million donation follows an initial donation of £2.5 million in March, which was largely given to charities that provide essential food distribution to vulnerable families.

Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together, said: "We know many NHS staff have chosen to keep their families safe by staying apart and focusing their time and energy to care for their patients and save lives.

"Their dedication is not only remarkable but no doubt comes with its own price and, if I may speak on their behalf, we say a heartfelt thank you to the Westminster Foundation."

What else has the Grosvenor estate done to help?

In addition to the hefty donation, the Grosvenor Estate has also been offering practical support, including rent-free arrangements and rent deferrals for independent and vulnerable retail tenants, charities, other commercial businesses and farms.

A disinfectant is being produced and offered freely available to local health, transport, care home and prison services, and properties in Mayfair and Belgravia have been made available to key workers.

Vacant properties have also been offered to local councils to help with their relief efforts.

The Duke said: "On behalf of my family and everyone at the Grosvenor Estate, I want to say a huge thank you to all our amazing NHS staff and everyone providing critical frontline services.

"We are all humbled and incredibly grateful that you are working tirelessly to keep us safe and keep the country functioning.

"NHS staff and key workers don't work in isolation. They have children and families whose health and well-being will also be highly impacted by this crisis.

"As they keep us safe, I want to help provide as much support to them and their families as we can."

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