Our strategy

Our strategy is simple. In order to deliver the Dartington Project and become a testbed and model for a sustainable society, we need investment. This will be used to grow the estate to its former scale – replicating the viable model established by our founders where multiple enterprises (both charitable and commercial) brought life and income to Dartington.

Our financial position and history

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For the last 2 years, The Dartington Hall Trust has been rigorously pursuing its financial strategy, supporting the overall transformation of our estate. This strategy has seen the Trust invest in successful new facilities, teams and projects that will fuel the transformation of our estate, as well as vital maintenance work on key buildings of architectural and historical importance.

This crucial investment in our future has meant a short-term increased deficit, in line with our 5 year plan. In the next financial year (2019-2020) we will revert to a tightly controlled cost budget in order to see the planned reduction in the operating deficit.

We have recently received a gift of £2 million – the biggest single donation to Dartington in our history. Our focus now, is to build on this fantastic start to our fundraising activity, control costs, increase revenues from our already successful businesses and raise further finance in order to increase the overall scale of the operation. A quick look at the history of Dartington’s economic model, is a good way to illustrate our overall plan to return to profit.



Investment projects that will deliver our vision

Global learning


Pioneering and experimental education continues here today. The world-renowned Schumacher College is a model for ecology-centred education and sits alongside the Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs and our Craft Revolution programme.

Investment will

allow us to expand the scale and impact of our holistic learning programme. We will create a multidisciplinary learning campus, surrounded by growing fields, social enterprises, arts initiatives and making spaces – all designed to enhance our ethos of ‘head, hands and heart’ learning.

Improved facilities will allow us to act as a hub and lab in a global network of progressive partners pioneering new models of higher education and lifelong learning across a range of subjects including the arts, design, ecology, horticulture, social justice and enterprise.

International gathering


We have the legacy and convening power to bring together local, national and international collaborators to participate in conversations, conferences, labs, debates and festivals that address the important questions and challenges of our time and experiment with new solutions.

Investment will

deliver a step change in our hospitality facilities (including our hotel, restaurant, café and shops) to align them with our vision of Dartington as a national and international destination.

Local community building


We want to redefine the future of rural living by embedding our social and ecological values into our plans to deliver homes. We want to grow a mixed, multi-generational, inclusive community of families, key workers, older people and others who will bring life and energy to the estate, contribute much needed income to the Trust and help us to secure a sustainable future.

Investment will

deliver homes (pending planning approval) that challenge the way that rural housing is delivered across the UK. We want to set a new benchmark and influence others by building inspiring, sustainable and socially inclusive houses, places and communities.

Our ultimate ambition is to fundamentally change the way that rural housing is delivered across the country by demonstrating a new model for rural living.

In addition to this, we are seeking investment to help us with the rest of the vision:



We already have one of the most diverse land use programmes in the UK, bringing together over 30 tenants to experiment with organic farming, biodynamic farming, agroforestry, community supported agriculture projects in meat and vegetables, young farmer projects, wildlife and biodiversity projects, PV and biomass projects and many more.

Investment will

help us expand this programme and work and allow us to develop further as a model of agroecology. There is huge opportunity to educate others, expand access, and attract students and innovators to see the results of this fascinating, experimental work.

We aim also to complete our efforts to become a carbon neutral estate by running more experiments in climate-change resilient forestry, water management and energy and waste.

Experimental arts


Through the ongoing development of the Dartington International Summer School & Festival of Music and Barn Cinema, and new initiatives such as Dartington Live and our artists in residence programme, we aim to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds with extraordinary experiences and challenge the barriers to the arts that exist in our society.

Investment will

enable us to grow and develop a diverse arts programme that is of regional and national importance – showcasing the unique and transformative power of art to engage with the major issues of our time and build an open and sustainable society.

Progressive enterprise


We currently host over 170 small, progressive businesses on our estate, including creative enterprises, social enterprises and charities which form part of the Dartington Collaborative Network.

Investment will

allow us to work with the Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs, the Dartington Collaborative Network and other partners to build an exciting new Enterprise Hub, providing improved and expanded facilities that enable us to attract more enterprises and jobs to the estate and build a stronger and more connected enterprise community.

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