The origins of the Francis Routh Trust go back to the 1950s when three alumni of the Royal Academy, Norman Tattersall, Roy Teed and Francis Routh, decided to put on concerts of music by British composers that they saw as being insufficiently appreciated. These early concerts were held in St Luke’s Church, Redcliffe Square, London. These concerts led, in 1963, to the establishment of the Redcliffe Concerts of British Music, a registered charity concerned with promoting the music of British composers.

The Redcliffe Concerts of British Music had a number of notable successes and some of the patrons of the charity were significant British composers of the period, including Sir Michael Tippett, Sir Arthur Bliss and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Over the 20 years following its formation more than 150 20 th century British composers had their work either commissioned or performed by the charity. These included Harrison Birtwistle, Tristram Cary, Jonathan Harvey, Elizabeth Lutyens, Alan Bush, Priaulx Rainier, Alan Rawsthorne, George Benjamin and Arthur Bliss as well as Andrej Panufnik and, from the 18th century, Samuel Wesley.

In the 1990s, the charity expanded its operation to include recordings and produced a total of 22 LPs and CDs, many of which are still available today.

On his death in November 2021, Francis Routh left much of his residual estate as a legacy to the Redcliffe Concerts of British Music to continue the work that he had started. This has enabled the Trustees to move the charity from a concert society to a grant giving body. In recognition of the new direction of the charity and the legacy provided, the Trustees also agreed to rebrand the charity as the Francis Routh Trust and to update the consititution to that of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. This new entity was registered as a charity (No 1202381) in March 2023.