Charitable Trust in East and West Sussex

Southover Manor General Educational Trust Ltd is a charity established in 1988 following the closure of Southover Manor School, Lewes, East Sussex in 1984.

As a charitable Trust based in Sussex, we award grants to educational organisations drawing on funds invested following the sale of Southover Manor School buildings and site. We use the annual income, currently approximately £100,000, to benefit the educational needs of young people under 25 across East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton & Hove.

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The History of the Charitable Trust

Southover Manor School was founded in 1924 in Lewes as a small independent boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18. The School was based in the former Southover Manor and, although some 60 years later was still flourishing with 125 girls, mostly boarding, it had become clear that the Grade 2 listed building was increasingly unsuitable for a modern school.

Adapting the existing building was difficult and expensive and, as a result, it was decided to relocate to a different site, which would be funded with the proceeds from the sale of Southover Manor. However, Grade 2 listing and attendant planning requirements proved a lengthy and complicated business. In the end the Governors agreed it was more prudent to close the school, with the proceeds being used to establish a new charitable trust – the Southover Manor General Educational Trust Ltd.

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The Charitable Trust is Launched

The Trust was formed to “advance for the public benefit the education of girls and boys under the age of 25 years in any manner being exclusively charitable as the governing body of the Trust may from time to time determine”.

Trustees have since determined that the Trust should become a grant-giving body, supporting schools and other educational organisations serving the young people of Sussex and, very occasionally, the education of individual Sussex-based young people.  However, it has always been the intention that grants should benefit as many young people as possible.

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The Southover Manor General Educational Trust Today

We are a well-established Sussex-based charitable trust providing educational grants (to date totalling approximately £6m) to worthy projects throughout East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton & Hove. Trustees meet bi-annually and carefully research and consider every application made before deciding which should be their priority.

Read our eligibility criteria to apply for a grant.