480 Year Old Wade’s Trust Leeds


This is a locally focused charity founded in 1530’s which owns large areas of open spaces & parks in Leeds.

Wade’s Charity  provides grants to registered charities and community groups across Leeds, funded by the £8.2million cash and investments held in trust by the charity. There is also a schedule of properties and maintained open spaces within the pre-1974 Leeds city boundary leased to Leeds Council. One example is ‘ Land with frontages to Ellerby Road, Morpeth Place, Zion  Street and Bow Street commonly called Smithies Garth were donated to the charity in 1898’ Other land at Gotts Park, Gledow Valley, Middleton and Kirkstall were green spaces acquired in the last century.

Grants are made to other charities within the pre-1974 city boundary of Leeds to support ‘facilities for recreation, amusement, entertainment and general social intercourse for citizens of every age of areas of population in the City of Leeds occupied in the main by the working classes including in any such objects the establishment of what are commonly known as Community Centres and Youth Centres’.


  • After almost half a millennium it is probably best to leave well alone for the trust to continue it’s good work.
  • The accounts submitted to the charity commission, the website and reports on grants made are very open and to be commended.
  • As with other ‘local’ organisations there is  a danger that more affluent areas are able to obtain more resources from such charities as Wades. This is partially due to their ability to envisaging larger schemes and having the local nous or chutzpah to ask for more.

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