Please upgrade your browser

For the best experience, you should upgrade your browser. Visit our accessibility page to view a list of supported browsers along with links to download the latest version.

The Royal College of Art Receives £5 million Gift from the Garfield Weston Foundation

15 September, 2019: The Garfield Weston Foundation, the family-founded grant making Trust, has donated £5 million to the Royal College of Art’s GenerationRCA campaign. It will be used towards the creation of the RCA’s new flagship Battersea campus, set to open in 2021.

Dr Paul Thompson, Vice-Chancellor, RCA said:  

‘This very generous donation will contribute to our new Battersea campus and enable us to enhance our research and teaching. This gift cements the longstanding relationship between the RCA and the Garfield Weston Foundation, who have  supported the College for more than 30 years making multiple and generous donations to support each new chapter in our history. It will create new knowledge, which will feed into new taught programmes and generations of students.' 

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation said:

‘The Royal College of Art is the world’s leading art and design university and in recognition of it excellence the Trustees were delighted to support the College to build the infrastructure to educate the next generation of leading design engineers, architects, car designers and artists.’

The GenerationRCA campaign will see the RCA transform its campuses and the ways in which the university teaches, researches and creates. On a site immediately opposite its existing Battersea campus, the RCA will open a new state-of-the-art building, designed by internationally acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron. A landmark for London and British higher education, the development sets a new blueprint for creative education.

As a key part of the College’s investment in its infrastructure, the GenerationRCA campaign will provide considerable and necessary rejuvenation of the Darwin Building at Kensington. It will see the iconic tower sensitively returned  to its former structure.


Press Enquiries 

For further information, images or to arrange an interview please contact: 
Ben Marshall on: +44 (0)20 7590 4114 or [email protected]

Notes to Editors

About the RCA

The Royal College of Art, the internationally renowned art and design university, provides students with unrivalled opportunities to deliver art and design projects that transform the world. A small, specialist and research-intensive postgraduate university based in the heart of London, the RCA is a high performing institution, a radical traditionalist in a fast-paced world. The RCA’s approach is founded on the premise that art, design creative thinking, science, engineering and technology must all collaborate to solve today’s global challenges.

The university employs around 1,000 professionals from around the world – professors, researchers, art and design practitioners, advisers and visiting lecturers – to teach and develop students in 30 academic programmes. RCA students are exposed to new knowledge in a way that encourages them to experiment. Working across scientific and technical canvases and beyond set boundaries, RCA students seek to solve real-world problems.

The RCA runs joint courses with Imperial College London and the Victoria & Albert Museum. InnovationRCA, the College's centre for enterprise, entrepreneurship, incubation and business support, has helped over 50 RCA business ideas become a reality that has led to the creation of over 600 UK jobs.

Alumni include David Adjaye, Christopher Bailey, Monster Chetwynd, David Hockney, Tracey Emin, Thomas Heatherwick, Lubaina Himid, Clare Waight Keller and Rose Wylie.

The RCA was named the world’s leading university of art and design in the QS World Rankings 2019 for the fifth consecutive year.

About the Garfield Weston Foundation 

Established in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation has donated over £1billion to a range of charitable causes across the UK, including welfare, youth, health, community, education and the environment.  The Foundation is consciously a broad-ranging funder, aiming to be responsive to need and with the flexibility to respond to quality and excellence across these categories.

Having established one of the most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are highly active and hands-on. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business - a successful model that still endures today and as the businesses have grown, benefitting from a shareholder with a long-term perspective, so too have the charitable donations; this financial year the Foundation will donate over £80million across the UK.