Main menu


Sean Connery Foundation to donate millions in Scotland and the Bahamas in Edinburgh-born actor's memory

featured image

Sir Sean Connery outside the Filmhouse cinema on Lothian Road during the Edinburgh International Film Festival.  Picture: David Cheskin
Sir Sean Connery outside the Filmhouse cinema on Lothian Road during the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Picture: David Cheskin

The Sean Connery Foundation – announced to coincide with the second anniversary of the James Bond star’s death – will focus on supporting education and ocean conservation projects in the two countries.

It is expected to distribute an initial £6 million in grants by the end of 2022.

St Andrews University, Dyslexia Scotland, the Scottish Youth Film Foundation and the Scottish International Education Trust, which Sir Sean established in the 1970s, will be among the initial beneficiaries.

Sir Sean Connery’s family have launched a new foundation to honor his legacy two years after the actor passed away.

Stephane Connery, the stepson of the Edinburgh-born actor, will chair the foundation.

He said: “After two years of reflection, research and discernment, we have chosen to focus on the communities that Sean loved and on issues that reflect his beliefs, passions, and legacy.

“Above all, Sean believed that education was a force-multiplier and was most concerned that children from disadvantaged backgrounds, like his own, be given opportunities to succeed. Thanks to Sean’s gift, we dearly hope that our family’s grantmaking will help young Scots and Bahamians, along with our oceans, to thrive.”

The funding for St Andrews University, which previously worked with Sir Sean on a film charting its history, will help pay for its Scottish Oceans Institute to bring together postgraduate and undergraduate students from Scotland and the Bahamas for a new research project.

The Scottish Youth Film Foundation’s funding wil support its education work in schools, outreach projects that reach students in need and its annual festival.

A new Sean Connery Dyslexia Initiative, which will be run by Dyslexia Scotland and Edinburgh City Council, will help schools provide additional dyslexia and literacy support for children at school and in the home.

Bahamas-based projects receiving support include Lyford Cay Foundations, an “enrichment programme” which helps young people pursue college education, the Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation, the Cape Eleuthera Foundation, which seeks to develop a new generation of leaders in the social, environmental and economic stability of the Bahamas, Girl Rising, which focuses on the education and empowerment of girls, Swift Swimming, which works with schools to provide water safety lessons and ocean literary workshops.

The Connery family has previously announced support for The Race Against Dementia, which was set up by the actor’s friend, former motor racing champion Sir Jackie Stewart, and community development initiative Lend a Hand Bahamas.

Jason Connery, Sir Sean’s son, added: “We’re so pleased to announce the organizations receiving grants from the foundation in honor of my father’s legacy. Each group is doing such important work with integrity, excellence and commitment.

“These are the values ​​my dad passed on to us, his family, and through the foundation we hope to spread values ​​that inspire many for the years to come. We look forward to championing each organization as they work to enrich young people’s lives and protect our planet.”

Dr Julie Oswald, senior lecturer at St Andrews University’s Scottish Oceans Institute, said: “We’re very excited to receive funding from the Connery Foundation for marine science in the Bahamas.

“In our project, we will teach students from the UK and the Bahamas in an environment that allows for mutual cultural exchange and appreciation while addressing critical issues for marine conservation.”