The Queen’s Award for Enterprise
GREENHAM COMMON TRUST IS FIRST CHARITY TO WIN THE QUEEN’S AWARD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT THREE TIMES
Greenham Common Trust has been conferred with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development 2012, the first charity ever to win the prestigious business award three times.
Having previously won the coveted accolade in 2008 and in 2003 when Greenham Business Park was the first commercial property development ever to receive the commendation, the Trust has once again been recognised for its continued regeneration of RAF Greenham Common airbase into a sustainable business park.
Since its creation in 1997, the Trust has transformed 150-acres of the former nuclear airbase into a mixed-use business campus with 150 businesses employing around 1,500 people. Greenham Business Park, and the Trust’s other assets, which include a centre for counselling and voluntary organisations called Broadway House in Newbury and The Innovation Centre, fully serviced office and conference space for fledgling entrepreneurs, now produce an annual income of around £3 million a year that is distributed to local good causes and social projects through charitable awards. It was this sustainable investment which has enabled the restoration of 750-acres of Greenham Common into some of the most important wildlife and conservation areas in the UK.
Sir Peter Michael, Chairman and co-founder of the Greenham Common Trust, says:
“To be the first charity to have received The Queen’s Award for a third time is not only an incredible honour but an acknowledgment of the Trust’s innovative and radical approach to sustainable development.
“Fifteen years ago we formed a charitable trust with the philanthropic vision of regenerating and transforming a redundant nuclear airbase. We wanted to safeguard Greenham Common from piecemeal development and create a sustainable commercial venture which would not only boost the local economy but create a self-sufficient charitable income, benefiting the lives of thousands of local residents.
Since 1997 the Trust has distributed over £16m to support over 700 local good causes, supporting hundreds of social, educational, environmental and artistic projects. We believe we have achieved a transformational blue print for sustainable brownfield regeneration at Greenham Business Park which we hope others can learn from.”
Stuart Tagg, the Trust’s Chief Executive, adds: “The long-term vision for Greenham Business Park has always been to produce a commercial development capable of producing a secure, sustainable income that would support the local voluntary sector and charitable and environmental projects. The management of the Trust’s investment has enabled millions of pounds to be channelled into the community through its focus on economic development, social projects and ecological balance.”
It is this focus on innovation that has led the Trust into its latest exciting venture – www.findmeagrant.org – simple and efficient online grant application system which matches grant givers to local fundraisers, administers public donations (adding Trust matched funding and Gift Aid where applicable) and all free of charge.
So far www.findmeagrant.org has raised well in excess of £300,000 for local organisations and nearly £100,000 in donations and Trust-Top Up (the matched funding element).
Greenham Common Trust was formed in 1997 and the careful management of its investment in the 150-acre Greenham Business Park has subsequently allowed the distribution of £16.2 million to around 700 local organisations, charities, social, educational and environmental projects in West Berkshire and North Hampshire.
The creation of the Trust also enabled the restoration of 750-acres of the former Greenham Common airbase as open heathland, one of the most important environmental projects in the south of England.
Known globally in the 1980’s as a base for nuclear weapons and the peace protests that it attracted, Greenham Common airbase was declared redundant by the MoD in 1992 and set aside for disposal. The Greenham Common Trust was formed by local people who were concerned that a major environmental and social asset could be lost to piecemeal development.
In March 1997, in partnership with the local council, the Trust purchased the 900-acre airbase at full market value, with funding raised on commercial terms. 750-acres, including the runways and taxiways, were immediately transferred to the control of the local authority to be restored, with further financial support from the Trust, as common land. In April 2000 the common was reopened to the public with unrestricted access and protected in perpetuity for the public to enjoy by an Act of Parliament.
The remaining 150-acres of the airbase, consisting mainly of military buildings, were retained by the Trust to be regenerated as a mixed-use business park with provision for community recreation and the arts. This sustainable approach to the management of the investment in Greenham Business Park now generates an annual income for charitable distribution that has grown steadily from £650,000 in 2002 to around £3 million by 2012.
Major projects have included:
- £450,000 to purchase a digital X-ray machine for the West Berkshire Community Hospital
- £550,000 to fund ground-breaking laser and ultrasound treatment of urological cancers by the Pelican Cancer Foundation, Basingstoke
- £572,000 toward the renovation of the Watermill Theatre, Newbury (including £72,000 to provide new sewage plant to help prevent pollution of the river Lambourn)
- £2m to fund The Slater Centre, a 18,000 sq ft purpose built training, administration, workshop and storage facility for several local voluntary organisations
- £600,000 towards the restoration of the Crookham Common Athletic Track
- £300,000 – Trust bought Greenham Community Centre on a long lease and has refurbished it for the whole community
- £100,000 towards a new skate park and play area in Victoria Park, Newbury
- £50,000 – Robbie the Robot – State of the art robotic equipment to assist surgeons at Royal Berkshire Hospital