The Jerwood Foundation was established in 1977 by its Chairman, Alan Grieve, for John Jerwood, an international businessman and philanthropist. John Jerwood (1918 – 1991) moved to Japan after the Second World War and established his own pearl business which developed into one of the largest cultured pearl dealerships in the world. Although John Jerwood was based in Japan for the rest of his life, he travelled extensively and became an inspirational philanthropist who supported a wide range of causes that remain at the heart of the Jerwood Foundation’s work today. Since John Jerwood’s death, Alan Grieve has created and shaped the Jerwood vision; securing the credibility of the Jerwood name as a major force in the vibrancy and creativity of the arts in the UK.
The Jerwood Foundation has made strategic capital grants, reflecting its purposeful and wide-ranging support for the arts and education. Jerwood Space was its first major capital project and opened in 1998. It is now established as one of the best rehearsal spaces for theatre and dance in the country.