Greenham Common Trust is the first charity ever to win The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development three times for its innovation, employment creation and partnership work.
The charitable trust was presented with the award by the Duke of Gloucester for its continued regeneration of the 150-acre former RAF Greenham airbase into a mixed-use business park, Greenham Business Park, home to around 150 businesses employing over 1,500 people.
The Park has some of the country’s leading R&D businesses and is home to several other Queen’s Award winners.
Greenham Common Trust is committed to promoting green transport initiatives among its staff and business tenants to reduce CO2 emissions, car journeys and ease traffic congestion. It manages a free shuttle bus service and cycle loan schemes for tenants and staff.
The executive staff’s flexible approach and careful management of the business park with its supported incubator units for fledgling businesses, investment and design & build opportunities, helps it stand out amongst the competition.
It is that sustainable stewardship which the Trust has carried forward into its other assets, including Broadway House, a shared resource centre for counselling and voluntary organisations in Newbury and The Innovation Centre, fully serviced office and conference space for fledgling entrepreneurs, which now produces an annual income of around £4 million a year that is distributed to local good causes and social projects through charitable awards. Over £30m has been awarded to over 700 social, educational, artistic and environmental projects since the Trust was formed in 1997.
It was this innovative investment which has enabled the restoration of 750-acres of heathland and woodland on Greenham Common, owned and managed by local authority West Berkshire Council, into some of the most important wildlife and conservation areas in the UK.
The regeneration and transformation of the redundant nuclear airbase has not only safeguarded Greenham Common from piecemeal development but has created a sustainable commercial venture which has not only boosted the local economy but created a significant self-sufficient charitable income, benefiting the lives of thousands of local residents.
It is this focus on innovation that has led the Trust into its latest exciting venture – www.findmeagrant.org – a 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 helped to distribute nearly £7.5m to local good causes including nearly £1.5m in public donations.
Major projects the Trust has funded include:
• £450,000 – digital X-ray machine for the West Berkshire Community Hospital
• £550,000 – ground-breaking laser and ultrasound treatment of urological cancers by the Pelican Cancer Foundation, Basingstoke
• £572,000 – renovation of the Watermill Theatre, Newbury
• Community Buildings Improvement Programme: Over 100 village halls, sports clubs, churches and community centres have benefitted from over £2m in funding for refurbishments and replacement assets in an initiative to bolster local communities
• £600,000 – 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 – 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