Glass sculptures in the parterre garden,
Glass sculptures in the parterre garden, at the Cheeseburn Sculpture Show, 2018, Image: Oliver Dixon, Geograph (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Charity Details

Full Name: The Gillian Dickinson Trust
Founded: 2002
Type: Independent
Where Operates: North East England
Headquarters: Newcastle, NE1 2HF
Charity No: 1094362

History and Activities

Gillian Dickinson (1932 – 2002) began her career with the British Council where she served for many years as the editor of British Book News before working as a commissioning editor for the educational publisher Stanley Thorne. She then established her own small publishing company, Barrowden Books, later rebranded as The Spreddon Press. Toward the end of her life, Gillian lived in Corbridge, Northumberland. She had a passion for creative arts and prized the natural world and Britain’s history and heritage. When she died in 2002 she left the residuary value of her estate in trust with the intention of helping young people to engage creatively with the arts and enjoy nature.

The trustees of the Gillian Dickinson Trust have over many years given crucial support to smaller organizations working in the arts and environmental sectors, not fearing to make grants well in excess of income from investments. Since Gillian's death, the trustees have made grants totalling over £2.5m. In the five years ending on 5 April 2017, the trust made grants of £1,139,561 in total, averaging £228,000 a year. Grants typically have ranged between £5,000 and £40,000. Major beneficiaries, with grants of £40,000 or more, have been Live Theatre (£200,000), Durham University Library (£80,000), Seven Stories (£60,000), the Samling Foundation (£60,000), Northern Stage (£51,000), the National Glass Center (£50,000), Darlington Civic Theatre (£50,000), the Kielder Observatory (£50,000) and the Cheeseburn Sculpture (£42,000).

The Gillian Dickinson Trust has helped make possible some outstanding and inspirational projects. Cheeseburn Sculpture gardens is emblematic. Cheeseburn Grange, in Stamfordham in the Tyne valley, re-modelled by John Dobson in 1820 is set in 11 acres of landscaped gardens, now provides “a showcase for sculpture, sound and educational projects with a unique atmosphere where people can encounter the work of new and established artists.” It is the home of the Gillian Dickinson North East Sculptor of the Year Award.

Vital Statistics (year to 05/04/2017)

Total Income:
Voluntary Income:
Investment Income:  
Total Expenditure (TE):
Grants to Beneficiaries (GR):
GR as % of TE:
Investments at Year End:



Charity Commission (2018). Trustee Reports and Accounts for Gillian Dickinson Trust. Available here (Accessed 30/09/2018).

Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens (2018). Website Available here (Accessed 30/09/2018).