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Geographies of corporate philanthropy: The Northern Rock Foundation

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Neill Marshall, Professor Stuart Dawley, Professor Andy Pike, Professor Jane Pollard



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


The paper contributes to literature on the geographies of corporate philanthropy through a case study of the origins, growth and decline of the Northern Rock bank’s charitable foundation. Analysis reveals the complex, geographically-embedded nature of philanthropic motivations and impacts. It demonstrates that investment in home and community by philanthropists was part of a regionally-inscribed business-model of excessive risk taking that brought them considerable personal financial rewards. It highlights tensions and conflicts between corporate philanthropists and professional grant-makers over the scale and regional focus of giving. The paper concludes that the positive outcomes of corporate philanthropy are difficult to sustain in disadvantaged regions where shifts in corporate strategy and fragilities in the local economy undermine charitable giving.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Marshall JN, Dawley S, Pike A, Pollard JS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning A

Year: 2017

Volume: 50

Issue: 2

Pages: 266-287

Print publication date: 01/03/2018

Online publication date: 14/12/2017

Acceptance date: 08/11/2017

Date deposited: 16/11/2017

ISSN (print): 0308-518X

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3409

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0308518X17746405


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