London bridges charity chief gets gong in New Year Honours

The boss of London’s biggest independent charity funder and the owner of Tower Bridge has been recognised in the King’s New Year Honours.

Picture of David Farnsworth, wearing a grey suit and white open necked shirt, standing in front of one of the towers of Tower Bridge
David Farnsworth
  • Published: 30 December 2023

David Farnsworth, managing director of City Bridge Foundation, has been awarded an OBE for services to the voluntary sector in London.

The foundation is a 900-year-old charity which owns five Thames bridges and awards funding of over £30 million a year to charities across the capital.

In his 10 years at the helm, Mr Farnsworth has overseen a reorganisation of the organisation’s governance structure and the launch of a new brand bringing together its role as a bridge owner and charity funder.

He played a key role in supporting communities affected by the Grenfell fire in 2017 and the Covid pandemic, working closely with the charity’s trustee, the City of London Corporation.

Next year, he will complete a nine-year term as chairman of London Funders, the umbrella organisation which represents funders across the capital.

Mr Farnsworth said: I feel very humbled to receive this honour, which is a reflection of the efforts of the many extraordinary people I’ve had the privilege of working with for the benefit of London’s communities.

Both of my grandfathers were working class orphans from London, which makes me reflect on how lucky I am to have such an interesting life and to enjoy a role of such diversity.

I hope in the future we can continue to work with partners for a London which retains its magic, its diversity and its energy but which makes real progress in addressing the deep inequality that still exists in the capital.”

Before joining City Bridge Foundation, Mr Farnsworth worked for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, heading up a programme which supported young refugees and asylum seekers, and has also worked for the Immigration Advisory Service and the Welsh Refugee Council.