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Tornado Relief fund: Who are the 'Birmingham Foundation'?

the good the bad and the ugly | 19.09.2005 17:40 | Birmingham

Residents and traders from Balsall Heath and Moseley recently met up at St. Paul's school to discuss how to regenerate the area affected by the Tornado devastation back in July. The meeting was initiated by the Balsall Heath Forum.

One of the proposals made by a group of local residents was to organise a local grass-roots group without political or vested interests to help administer the Tornado Relief fund. Then at the end of the meeting Dick Atkinson from the Balsall Heath Forum and Esther proposed using 'The Birmingham Foundation' to setup and administer a Tornado Relief Fund. When asked who exactly 'The Birmingham Foundation' were, they replied that they were "the great and the good of Birmingham".

The Birmingham Foundation:

The Birmingham Foundation is a large private charity with extensive links to multi-national corporations. It has the controversial millionaire construction and property consultant David Bucknall as its chairman and another director who works in the arms manufacturing industry (see notes).

The Birmingham Foundation is a private charity that aims to 'satisfy a desire among Birmingham's business leaders to give something back to the community'. The Foundation essentially acts as a broker for many community orientated projects in Birmingham and as a medium for corporate donors to get publicity.

Given the amazing grass-roots response to the disaster from local people, some of whom have experience fund-raising, why should the community need a private charity to broker the funds they need to raise for the disaster?

Since The Birmingham Foundation have recently made a £5,000 contribution to the Balsall Heath Forum, shouldn't Dick Atkinson have been in a position to tell us more about them and whether this private charity syphons off money to cover it's costs?

Will the Foundation's proposed involvement also include some form of corporate branding like most of its other projects?

Surely the administration of the relief fund should mirror the same grass-roots response to the disaster - why can't local people setup their own group, perhaps with pending charitable status to administer the funds?


(i) David Bucknall, chairman of the Birmingham Foundation, chairs the construction and property consultancy Bucknall Austin. Bucknalls were involved in the construction of the Bakun Hydroelectric Project which was temporarily shelved in 1990

There is enormous opposition to the immense social, environmental and economic costs of the project. Not least the fact that the construction of the dam will require the relocation of more than 9,000 of the indigenuous peoples who lived in the area to be flooded

(ii) Bucknall Austin offers the following services - regeneration, Private Finance Initiative procurement and planning supervision to it's construction and property clients. Public and private sector clients include arms manufacturers BAE Systems, Barclays Bank, British Nuclear Fuels Ltd, British Airways, CGNU insurance group, Coca-Cola, David Wilson Homes, DEFRA, Forte, Hilton, HM Prison Service, HSBC Bank, Ikea, Land Securities, Mitchells & Butlers, Ministry of Defence, O2, Persimmon Homes, Prudential, Tesco and Waitrose.

(iii) Gary Gould is regional director of the Defence Diversification Agency and a director of The Birmingham Foundation

the good the bad and the ugly


Display the following 4 comments

  1. the birmingham foundation's trustees — transparen c
  2. The Birmingham Foundation is a registered charity — John Newson
  3. but I am considerably richer than yow! — the good the bad and the pig ugly
  4. Newson's innaccuracy — White Lunar