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Iceland delivers on £10m pledge to UCL Dementia Research

1 February 2017

Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation has today made an initial donation of £3 million to support the development of the hub of the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, the go-ahead for which was announced in December. This is the first tranche of a total of £10 million pledged to the project by Iceland, to be raised through the sale of 5p single-use carrier bags in Iceland stores across the UK and through the fundraising efforts of Iceland’s people, customers and suppliers.

Malcolm Walker, Founder and CEO of Iceland Foods, said: “This is a cause immensely close to my own heart and to those of very many of my 23,000 colleagues and five million customers – because there is hardly a family in the country that has not been affected by dementia. It is now the biggest killer in the UK and costs the country more than cancer and heart disease, yet it receives a tiny fraction of the research funding dedicated to these other conditions.

“At Iceland we have been fundraising for dementia research for several years, and I am delighted that we have been able to do so much to help raise the profile of dementia and improve understanding of the condition, as well as raising very substantial sums to help find a cure for this devastating disease.

“We are the smallest of the UK’s national food retailers yet we have been able to pledge £10 million to the Dementia Research Institute project – a donation of nearly £12 for each and every one of the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today. I urge every business and individual to join with us in giving every support they can to this new world-leading Institute which will have the facilities and expertise to transform the treatment, care and prevention of dementia, and bring new hope to the hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens – and the millions around the world – who are either living with the condition themselves or caring for a loved one affected by it.”

"I would like to sincerely thank the fantastic support from Iceland in advancing our plans to establish the Dementia Research Institute hub at the heart of the exciting Queen Square House redevelopment" Professor Michael Hanna, Director of the UCL Institute of Neurology

About the UCL Dementia Retail Partnership

In addition to Iceland’s own fundraising, the company’s CEO Malcolm Walker played a key role in initiating and assembling the unique coalition called the UCL Dementia Retail Partnership, which brings together nine UK retailers pledged to donate all or some of their carrier bag revenues to this vital cause. The other members of the Partnership are Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons, HSS Hire, Booths, Farmfoods, Poundland and WH Smith. In its first full year of operation to October 2016, the Partnership raised funds for UCL Dementia Research equivalent to the sale of approximately 200 million carrier bags. Read more about the retail partnership

About the UK Dementia Research Institute

The creation of the new UK Dementia Research Institute was announced on 14 December 2016, with the appointment of Professor Bart De Strooper from the University of Leuven in Belgium to lead its national hub at UCL in London. The Medical Research Council, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK have together pledged core funding for the project.

Read more about the UK Dementia Research institute