Charity No 527178

What is The Anthony Gell School Foundation?

The Anthony Gell School Foundation is a Charitable Trust responsible for administering its property and investments for the benefit of the School and its students. It provides items, services and facilities for the school. It also promotes the education of persons who are in need of financial assistance in the following order of priority:

  • Students of the school
  • Anyone who has at any time attended the school
  • Persons under the age of 25 and resident in the Parish of Wirksworth and the surrounding villages.

What properties and which investments provide this money?

In recent years, the Foundation has sold much of its property and land, with the resulting money invested to provide funds for the benefit of the school. Currently the Foundation still owns:

  • The Hannage Playing Fields
  • Half of School House
  • The unadopted stone surfaced cul-de-sac at the end of Canterbury Terrace
  • The perimeter land around the outside of the playing fields
  • The land on which the school is built on

The Community Leisure Centre and Car Park

These were completed in 2001 by Derbyshire Dales District Council. The management of the Centre was taken over by Freedom Leisure in August 2018. The Foundation, along with other bodies, lobbied for the Leisure Centre to continue in partnership with the school, something which has been agreed and enshrined in a Revised Use Agreement. The Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre are built on land leased on a long term basis to 2079.

*New* John Thompson Bursary

The Anthony Gell School Foundation is pleased to announce the John Thompson Bursary in memory of our friend and longstanding chair of Trustees. It aims to provide grants to further the educational, entrepreneurial, creative and sporting ambitions of individuals and small groups of young people who are under the age of 25 and have previously attended Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth.

The Bursary encourages applications that full within the following:

  • to support further and/or educational development such as college, university or holiday courses
  • to support vocational ambitions such as apprenticeships or entrepreneurial ambitions
  • to support interests and developments in sports, the arts or other individual or small group interests.

Guidance on the process is available from and below has further information and the application form:

John Thompson Bursary Poster

John Thompson Bursary Application Form (Word Doc)

John Thompson Bursary Monitoring Form (Word Doc)

Use of funds

The Foundation holds funds from bequests, donations and property sales. Since 1988, an overall total of over £860,000 has been used for charitable purposes. This funding has helped to make projects happen, assisted students with equipment and book purchases, and helped to develop facilities. Some of these projects have attracted significant external funding. Special Projects include:

  • Sixth Form accommodation – £16,000
  • Science Block improvements – £10,000
  • Changing Room Improvements – £25,000 (out of a total £70,000)
  • Floodlit All Turf Pitch – £70,000 towards a total of £250,000 in 2001
  • Additional All Weather Floodlit Pitch, car park for 23 cars and resurfacing existing all turf pitch (2013-15) – £292,000 from a total of £463,00

A full list of projects can be provided on request from the Foundation Secretary at:

Financial Spending Strategy is in place and the Trustees have agreed an Ethical Investment Policy. The Foundation welcomes the receipt of donations and bequests.

Click here to view the Foundation Funding Streams

Who Is Involved?                       

Seven Trustees: Cathy Cooke (Chair), Chris Whittall (Vice Chair), Simon Hobbs, Debi Hedderwick, Lee Shakespeare, Alison Foote and Adam Lathbury.

The Foundation’s Governing Document allows for appointments for up to 4 years which can be renewed. Lee Shakespeare and Debi Hedderwick are the current representatives of the Foundation on the School’s Governing Body.

Representatives of School Governing Body: Lee Stephens (Chair of Governors) and Malcolm Kelly (Headteacher).

Three Voluntary Special Advisers: Glenn McClenaghan (Legal), Peter Jones (Investments) and Anna Bristow.

Secretary: Hugo Lane.

Requests for funding can be made via the school or to the Foundation secretary at: