The Foundation was set up as an independent grant giving body by Sirius Minerals Plc in 2013. It has subsequently registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity number: 1163127).
The articles of association define the area of benefit as within the North York Moors National Park and the boroughs of Scarborough and Redcar & Cleveland. A small proportion of annual funds may also be deployed outside the area of benefit, provided the Foundation’s objectives are still met.
The charitable objectives of the Foundation are to:
- Advance education, including supporting projects and training that benefit people by enhancing their skills;
- Promote the general health of the community;
- Advance environmental protection and improvement including the enhancing of the local landscape;
- Provide and improve facilities in the interests of social welfare and leisure time with the aim to improve residents' well-being;
- Help gain skills to those in need, because of financial hardship by being out-of-work, particularly the long-term unemployed.
The Sirius Minerals Foundation is an independent charity and its strategic direction and funding decisions are overseen by a board of seven trustees. The trustees are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Foundation, together with the evaluation and approval of funding for local projects, and are guided by the Foundation’s Articles of Association.
The trustees are appointed by three “members” of the Foundation. The members act as guardians for The Foundation and are similar to shareholders in a company, except they are not permitted to take any funds out of The Foundation. The members are the only people who may appoint trustees or make changes to the Foundation’s Articles of Association. However, any changes must be agreed unanimously and ratified by the Charity Commission. The current members are:
- York Potash Ltd, a subsidiary company of Anglo American Plc.
- Mr Jim Dillon, Chief Executive of Scarborough Borough Council
- Mr Ian Swales, former MP for Redcar
The intention of the board and management of Sirius Minerals Plc was always to create a grant-giving body that would provide a lasting legacy for the community and, importantly, that would not be able to be unravelled by future management teams. The structure of The Foundation, its governance and its subsequent decision to register as a charity has therefore been deliberately designed to achieve this. The structure has allowed the Company to contractually bind itself to share 0.5 per cent of revenue from Woodsmith Mine with The Foundation. The contract, which lasts for 100 years, was signed in 2013.
The trustees of The Foundation are appointed by its members. They serve for four-year terms and can serve for a maximum of eight years. A two-year break in service is then required before they can be appointed again.
York Potash Ltd, as a Foundation member, appoints three of The Foundation’s trustees. The remaining four trustees are appointed by the other two “independent members” of the Foundation. The trustees are listed below.