The Prince of Wales has honoured philanthropists for their dedication to supporting the arts.

His Royal Highness presented medals at St James’s Palace in London to individuals who have backed the UK’s culture scene.

Actress Joanna Lumley was master of ceremonies at the event in the Palace’s state apartments.

Among those who received the 2014 Prince of Wales Arts Philanthropy Medal were Terry and Liz Bramall, from Harrogate, who are regarded as two of the country’s most generous philanthropists.

Mr and Mrs Bramall placed more than £96 million into the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation in 2008 after Mr Bramall became a building tycoon.

The Foundation has made grants of around £2 million a year to organisations in Yorkshire, supporting Northern Ballet, Phoenix Dance and the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

A former bus company boss turned philanthropist who donated millions to causes in the North East including the Sage Gateshead, Live Theatre and Tyneside Cinema was posthumously awarded the medal.

Trevor Shears, who died from cancer in May this year, was part of the management buy-out that formed Newcastle transport firm Go Ahead in 1987. The company’s public flotation in the mid-1990s brought him immense wealth – but he gave more than half of it away.

His wife Lyn was also honoured for the couple’s support of the arts.

Mrs Shears said: "It’s vitally important to introduce more young people to the arts because they are the audiences of tomorrow. Some have a huge talent but don’t know how to use it.

“One girl we met was a wonderful singer working in Tesco and following some tuition and confidence building with (music charity) Samling she is now at the Royal Academy of Music.

“It’s hugely rewarding to make even a small difference. My husband and I always felt that we got so much more from the giving than the recipients did.

“We never did it seeking recognition but it’s a huge honour to receive the medal from The Prince of Wales. It’s sad that Trevor can’t be here but I know he would have been immensely proud.”

Other recipients were Sir Harry and Lady Carol Djanogly, who have helped the V&A, Tate and the Chickenshed theatre company; Lady Susie Sainsbury of Turville, deputy chair of the Royal Shakespeare Company; and John J Studzinski whose Genesis Foundation strives to nurture young talent.

Source: www.princehenryofwales.org

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