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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 August 2005, 23:48 GMT 00:48 UK
Tycoon honoured for philanthropy
Sir Tom Farmer used his fortune to help others
Sir Tom Farmer used his fortune to help others
Scottish businessman Sir Tom Farmer has been awarded a prestigious international award for philanthropy.

The founder of the Kwik-Fit car repair business is one of six people who will receive the Andrew Carnegie Medal 2005.

The ceremony is due to take place at the Scottish Parliament on 4 October - the first time the awards will have been held outside the US.

The accolade is given to people deemed to have dedicated their private wealth to public good.

Living conditions

Each receives a bronze bust of the Scots-born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and a bronze medal.

Racehorse owner the Aga Khan, one of the world's richest men, and Anna Southall, chairwoman of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, were also named as award recipients, along with Eleanor Hewlett Gimon and Susan Packard Orr, on behalf of the Hewlett and Packard families.

Agnes Gund, chairwoman of the New York Museum of Modern Art, will also receive the accolade.

The Aga Khan, the Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, has been working to improve living conditions in the developing world, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central Asia and the Middle East.

The awards also recognise the work of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, which promotes civil rights, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the US.

The awards ceremony will be held in the Scottish Parliament
The awards ceremony will be held in the Scottish Parliament

Ms Gund has dedicated much of her life to giving children greater access to art.

Sir Tom, born in Edinburgh, has committed himself to using his resources to help others.

The awards were named after Dunfermline-born philanthropist Carnegie, whose family emigrated to the US from a life of poverty in Scotland in 1848.

He eventually gave away the equivalent of almost $15bn, establishing a family of worldwide foundations.

Global challenges

The announcement of the winners came on the anniversary of Carnegie's death on 11 August 1919.

The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh will play host to more than 400 guests from around the world for the awards, which will form part of an international symposium on some of the major global challenges facing philanthropists and their foundations today.

First Minister Jack McConnell said: "Andrew Carnegie was one of the greatest Scots who ever lived, and I am delighted that the Carnegie Trusts have decided to host this prestigious ceremony in Scotland this year."

He added: "It is fantastic news that one of Scotland's own philanthropists, Tom Farmer, is being honoured. Sir Tom has contributed much to Scottish life and this award is richly deserved."

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