New name for Tower Bridge owner and major charity funder
The owner of Tower Bridge, and London’s biggest independent charity funder, has changed its name – to reflect its unique role in the life of the capital.
Nine-hundred-year-old charity Bridge House Estates is responsible for five Thames bridges, while its funding team, City Bridge Trust, awards over £30 million a year to organisations across London.
Now, they will operate under a new name – City Bridge Foundation – chosen to bring together under one banner its dual role as bridge owner and major player in the capital’s charity sector.
The foundation, whose sole trustee is the City of London Corporation, is also responsible for London Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Millennium Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.
Giles Shilson, City Bridge Foundation Chairman, said: “For centuries, we’ve been bridging London – literally and metaphorically – and connecting the capital’s communities.David Farnsworth, City Bridge Foundation Managing Director
“Many people are not aware that we maintain five bridges at no cost to the taxpayer, and the surplus funds remaining from that work are used to support charities across Greater London.
“Bridge House Estates has a long and proud history and City Bridge Trust is well-known in London’s charity sector, but we wanted a name that encompasses all our work.
“The new identity will help to unite the two sides of our unique organisation and to give greater clarity when we communicate with Londoners.
“It will underpin our vision of a London that is fairer, safer, more equitable and greener; and support our commitment to further that ambition through our role as a leader in the sector and a funder of organisations working on the frontline to support communities across the capital.”
The new name is accompanied by a new logo with five horizontal lines reflecting the foundation’s five bridges and a curved line representing the River Thames.
A flag bearing the new logo was raised today over Tower Bridge – one of five bridges the charity maintains at zero cost to the taxpayer.
Bridging London for 900 years
City Bridge Foundation is the new working name for Bridge House Estates, a charity established 900 years ago for the upkeep of the old London Bridge – the first stone crossing over the river.
It took its name from the Bridge House – the administrative centre for the bridge located at its southern end. Its logo, the Bridge Mark, is one of the oldest emblems in continuous use and is carved into the stonework of City bridges and at other points along the river.
Through tolls for crossing the bridge, rents on the buildings which stood on it and charitable donations, the fund grew over the years and today is used to maintain five bridges – Tower, London, Southwark, Millennium and Blackfriars bridges – at no cost to the taxpayer.
In 1995 a decision was made to use surplus funds to award grants to charities across Greater London through a new funding team called City Bridge Trust. More than 14,100 grants totalling around £760 million have been awarded since then.
While all the organisation’s operations will be carried out under the new City Bridge Foundation banner, Bridge House Estates remains its legal name and the historic Bridge Mark will continue to pique the interest of people walking, cycling or travelling by boat along the Thames, as it has done for hundreds of years.