The family of Sir Sean Connery have launched a new charity that will raise millions of pounds for Scotland and his adopted home of the Bahamas.
The Sean Connery Foundation – announced to coincide with the second anniversary of the James Bond star’s death – is expected to distribute an initial £6m in grants by the end of 2022.
Focusing on supporting education and ocean conservation, St Andrews University, Dyslexia Scotland, the Scottish Youth Film Foundation and the Scottish International Education Trust will be among the initial beneficiaries in Scotland.
Bahamas-based projects include Lyford Cay Foundations, the Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation, the Cape Eleuthera Foundation, Girl Rising, Swift Swimming and ocean literary workshops.
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.
Jason Connery, the late actor’s son, added: “We’re so pleased to announce the organisations receiving grants from the foundation in honour 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.”
Edinburgh City Council education convener Joan Griffiths said: “This is an amazing gift which is resulting in a significant increase in our support for individual learners.
“We’re also increasing staff training and developing groups for parents, so they feel more confident and informed about how to support their child’s needs.”