Hilda Besse Building Refurbishment Campaign

Hilda Besse Building Refurbishment Campaign

The Hilda Besse Building has been at the heart of the College ever since its completion in 1971.  The Grade II listed building is now in vital need of repair, which presents an opportunity to modernise and transform this icon of St Antony's.  Improvements will revolutionise the building and ensure that it can best serve students and academics for generations to come.

Below you can read about tour plans for restoring the Hilda Besse, and ways of helping us achieve this ambitious campaign. 

Hilda Besse Campaign

St Antony’s is presented with a considerable challenge to ensure the future of the building.  An ambitious £10 million project has been proposed to meet this, and provide us with a rejuvenated building we can be proud of, and which will ensure its place in the future of the College. This section contains all you need to know about the Hilda Besse renovations: it has information on the building itself, the logistics of the works, and practical information for current and prospective students.  

Given the adverse effect of C-19 on its finances, the everyone at the College is incredibly grateful that well over £9m has been secured towards the total project cost of £10m.  It has been wonderful to see the worldwide Antonian community rallying around the Hilda Besse campaign, our number one funding priority, having received more than 750 gifts (of all sizes) from alumni of all generations. 

PDF icon Our fundraising leaflet provides a summary of the need and costs of the project. 

For visual and news updates of the project,  please click here and here. To see pre rendered visualisations of how the Hilda Besse will look after renovations, please click here.

Supporting the Campaign

The great cost of completing this project to the high standards it deserves means that the College cannot fund the works from its existing income and capital.  The College is seeking support from various trusts and foundations, but also hopes to garner the help of its strong and dedicated alumni community.  Any and all gifts can make a huge difference in helping us achieve our overall goal. Please see below for information on how to make a gift (including tax-efficient options).  If you would like further information, or to discuss a naming opportunity or your gift, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Development Team at alumni.office@sant.ox.ac.uk, or on 01865 274496.

Naming opportunities

As the Hilda Besse is listed, it is crucial to integrate the naming and plaques in a way that keeps the architectural integrity intact. To ensur this, the design of the names and plaques will be developed in consultation with the architect. Below are examples of how the naming of spaces in the Hilda Besse Building could look like. 

Downstairs   1st and 2nd floor   Other  
Buttery 500,000 New FDR 500,000 Main quad 1,000,000
Foyer 250,000  Servery 100,000 Student room 20,000
Entrance 100,000 Kitchen 100,000 Table in Hall 5,000
        Chair in Hall 1,000
        Donor Board 250

Making a gift

Gifts can be made through the website of the University of Oxford.

Your gift can often be enhanced by a variety of tax breaks for charitable action. St Antony's College is a registered charity (number 1141293). There are several schemes available to help donors based in various countries to make tax efficient donations.

United Kingdom – Gift Aid

Gift Aid is a UK government scheme that enables the University to claim tax relief on donations from UK taxpayers. We would encourage all eligible donors to take up this scheme to maximise their donation. For every £1 a UK taxpayer donates, 25p in reclaimed tax is added. This means that a £100 gift with Gift Aid is worth £125 to the University.

United Kingdom – Higher-rate taxpayer

Gift Aid only applies to the basic rate of tax (20%). However, if a donor pays a higher rate of income tax, either at 40% or 45%, they can reclaim the difference between the basic rate of tax and the highest rate of tax they have paid after making a charitable donation. This reclaim can either be kept by the donor or donated back to a charity of their choice. The donor can reclaim the tax on their self-assessment tax return.

United States – Americans for Oxford

If you are a resident of the USA, you can give to Oxford and its colleges via Americans for Oxford, Inc. This is the University's primary charitable organisation in North America, and has been determined by the United States Internal Revenue Service to be a tax-exempt public charity with 501(c)(3) status.


The University of Oxford is recognised by the Canadian Revenue Agency as a prescribed institution under Section 3503 of the Canadian Income Tax Regulations. On receipt of your donation, we will ensure that you are sent a receipt for Canadian tax purposes. Canadan donors can make their gift to St Antony's through the University's giving pages.

Hong Kong

The University of Oxford China Office Limited is a registered charity under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance. The China Office is able to issue gift receipts for Hong Kong tax purposes.


Residents of Germany can also make tax-efficient donations via the German Friends of Oxford University without incurring any fees.

The German Friends of Oxford University is a registered charity run by Dr Jan Willisch. It is authorised to issue donation receipts to German donors, entitling them to offset charitable gifts from their taxable income in Germany. Legacies are treated in the same way as lifetime donations for the purposes of inheritance and gift tax in Germany, so you can also talk to Dr Willisch about leaving a gift in your will.

Contact: Dr Jan Willisch, Bayernallee 48. D-14052 Berlin
Email: germtax@gmail.com
Tel +49 (0)30 755 424 00


Swiss Friends of Oxford University (SFOU) was founded in 2017 to make it easier and more tax-efficient for Swiss-resident taxpayers to donate to the University and its colleges and departments. Set up as an association (Verein) under Swiss law, SFOU has a tax rulings from the canton of Zug recognising its tax-exempt status. This means that under the rules of the Association, donations from Swiss residents are tax deductible, and legacies are exempt from any applicable cantonal gifts tax.