The Trust, a registered charity, supports residential stays by professional artists, writers, composers and others for short periods away from home for holidays, convalescence or quiet working time.
This website is open for Applications. Please see the News Page for further details.
The Francis W Reckitt Arts Trust was founded as Mount Pleasant Artists' Rest Home in 1929 by Francis William Reckitt (1860-1932). A keen amateur painter and regular host of other artists, often less fortunate than himself, he left his house in Rickmansworth to be used by colleagues who could not otherwise afford to have holidays, time for convalescence and opportunities to meet their fellows and work in congenial surroundings. He also left a generous fund - made up of shares in the family business (later Reckitt and Colman) - to provide an income to support this work. Over the years, the Trust became a registered charity, and the original house was sold, with another bought in Reigate in Surrey. Mount Pleasant was for decades a temporary home for painters, composers, writers and others who formed a community of friends and colleagues; these guests enjoyed a few days of rest or a couple of weeks of uninterrupted time to work without distraction.
As times changed, the trustees worked hard to ensure that the house was suitable for today's requirements, with a major refurbishment in 2009/10. They also changed the original male only stipulation and admitted professional women Artists. Gradually it became clear that the costs of running such a large establishment could not keep pace with the investment income, and with great reluctance the trustees decided to sell the house in order to swell the fund. Rather than finance the maintenance and staffing of their own property, the Trust now uses all the charity's income to provide similar opportunities for beneficiaries in other places of residence. Following detailed discussions with the Charity Commission, and having changed the name of the charity, the Trust opened its new operations in the summer of 2016, offering grant support to professional artists, composers, writers and other creative professionals for short stays. The Trust also supports other Charities with similar or complementary objectives.
TRUSTEES: Chris Green (Chairman), Marcelle Bernstein, Kate Danielson, Chris Cook. SECRETARY: David Stoll
The Trust has established a close working relationship with Hawkwood College, a beautiful educational, arts and residential centre in Gloucestershire, where many of the paintings and books and much furniture from the Reigate House are now stored and used.
A preferential accommodation rate is available at Hawkwood for beneficiaries of the charity, but the trustees are willing to consider grant applications for residential costs elsewhere.
The Trust also supports the extensive Hawkwood Artist Residency Programme through which Artists may be given time and space to work on particular projects alone or in groups. Of this programme, Emma Betteridge, Bristol Old Vic, Ferment Producer, said “It is completely invaluable. We are so looked after here. There is a major thing around having physical space to create in as well as having support from the whole staff team who are fantastic. They are hugely engaged with what we are doing and really understand what artists need and what I as a producer need, I cannot speak more highly of this place …. It’s brilliant and there really is nowhere else like it in the rest of the country - no one doing it in the way these guys are doing it.” Please contact Hawkwood College directly if you are interested in this programme.
Individuals may check their eligibility and make applications through the Artists Application Form on this website. It is strongly advised that you read all the guidance notes provided.
It is also possible for individuals to apply for a paper Application Form by post, and to complete and return it to the same address. Please note that postal applications will take longer to process.
Charities and other Arts Bodies should see the information on the Charities General Information page.
Application by PostThe Secretary
The Francis W Reckitt Arts Trust Grants
Painswick Old Road
This website is now open for Applications; please see the News Page for further details. Please also note that the only email address now functioning is firstname.lastname@example.org which may also be accessed via this website.