THE family of the late Sir Sean Connery has launched a new foundation to honour the actor’s legacy. 

The Sean Connery Foundation – announced to coincide with the second anniversary of the James Bond star’s death – will focus on supporting education and ocean conservation projects in Scotland and Connery’s adopted home of the Bahamas. 

It is expected to distribute an initial £6 million in grants by the end of this year. 

Among the initial beneficiaries are St Andrews University, Dyslexia Scotland, the Scottish Youth Film Foundation and the Scottish International Education Trust, which Connery established in the 1970s. 

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Stephane Connery, the stepson of the Edinburgh-born actor, is set to chair the foundation. 

He said: “After two years of reflection, research and discernment, we have chosen to focus on the communities that Sean loved and on issues that reflect his beliefs, passions and legacy. 

“Above all, Sean believed that education was a force-multiplier and was most concerned that children from disadvantaged backgrounds, like his own, be given opportunities to succeed. 

“Thanks to Sean’s gift, we dearly hope that our family’s grantmaking will help young Scots and Bahamians, along with our oceans, to thrive.”

The funding given to St Andrews University, which previously worked with Connery on a film charting its history, is intended to help pay for its Scottish Oceans Institute to bring together postgraduate and undergraduate students from Scotland and the Bahamas for a new research project. 

The Scottish Youth Film Foundation’s funding will help support education work in schools as well as outreach projects for students in need and its annual festival. 

The National: Sean Connery was best known for his role as James BondSean Connery was best known for his role as James Bond

A new Sean Connery Dyslexia Initiative, which will be run by both Dyslexia Scotland and Edinburgh City Council, will help schools provide additional literacy support for children at school and in the home. 

Projects in the Bahamas receiving support include Lyford Cay Foundations, an “enrichment programme” which helps young people pursue college education, the Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation and the Cape Eleuthera Foundation, which aims to develop a new generation of leaders in the social, environmental and economic stability in the Bahamas. 

Also receiving support is Girl Rising, which focuses on the education and empowerment of girls. 

Swift Swimming will also be the recipient of a grant, an organisation which works with schools to provide water safety lessons and ocean literary workshops.

The Connery family has previously announced support for The Race Against Dementia, which was set up by the actor’s friend, former motor racing champion Sir Jackie Stewart, and community development initiative Lend a Hand Bahamas.

Jason Connery, Sir Sean’s son, added: “We’re so pleased to announce the organisations receiving grants from the foundation in honour of my father's legacy. Each group is doing such important work with integrity, excellence and commitment.

"These are the values my dad passed on to us, his family, and through the foundation we hope to spread values that inspire many for the years to come. We look forward to championing each organisation as they work to enrich young people's lives and protect our planet."

Dr Julie Oswald, senior lecturer at St Andrews University’s Scottish Oceans Institute, said: “We’re very excited to receive funding from the Connery Foundation for marine science in the Bahamas.

"In our project, we will teach students from the UK and the Bahamas in an environment that allows for mutual cultural exchange and appreciation while addressing critical questions for marine conservation.”