As the Trust's sole Trustee, our Committee comprises Members of the City of London Corporation, who are elected by the Square Mile's residents and businesses.
City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the Bridge House Estates, a Registered Charity (1035628) whose sole trustee is the City of London Corporation (the “City Corporation”). The City Corporation undertakes many diverse functions reflecting its ancient origins and unique constitutional status. In addition to being trustee of Bridge House Estates, it is also the municipal body in the City of London or “the Square Mile”, the financial district and historic centre of London.
Bridge House Estates
This ancient charity is over 800 years old, and has its origins in the original grants of property to support and maintain London Bridge. The charity’s primary objective is to maintain and support five bridges that cross the Thames into or by the City of London – Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge and Millennium Bridge. For more information on the history of the bridges and Bridge House Estates, please see the page on our history.
Following a charity scheme agreed with the Charity Commission in 1995, once the responsibilities relating to the bridges have been met, the charity can use surplus income in any given year for the benefit of Londoners. These activities are currently delivered through the charity’s funding arm, City Bridge Trust. Over £400m has now been distributed for these purposes, the majority in the form of grants to charitable organisations, helping to create a fairer London through tackling disadvantage.
Bridge House Estates holds substantial assets, with a large proportion held as a permanently endowed fund. These assets include an investment property portfolio comprising properties located primarily in the City of London and the London Borough of Southwark. In addition, the charity holds financial investments, and £20m from the charity’s funds have been designated as a Social Investment Fund to invest in charities and social enterprises, looking at projects that provide a financial return while also creating positive social impacts for people, communities or the environment.
Visit the City of London Corporation’s website for the Committee details of the Bridge House Estates Board and a list of meetings and agendas for this committee.
For more information on the finances and governance of the Bridge House Estates, see the charity’s latest Annual Report & Financial Statements.
City of London Corporation
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.
The Corporation’s contribution to the capital includes: supporting children’s education in several London boroughs; housing people in different parts of London; working to provide job opportunities to people from all backgrounds; contributing to London’s cultural strengths; managing world-class open spaces to be enjoyed by all; supporting hundreds of charities; running historic markets with a longstanding contribution to the wider economy; and taking responsibility for port health on the River Thames.
The City Corporation also has its own Central Grants Programme, which has set themes and deadlines for applications, and encompasses a number of smaller charities for which the City Corporation is trustee to deliver maximum impact from those charitable funds.
In the current climate of public sector funding retrenchment, the City Corporation (itself and as trustee of Bridge House Estates) has developed a philanthropy strategy to maximise and deepen impact in this space and explore ways to amplify philanthropy more widely – in London, the UK and globally.
The Bridge House Estates Grants Committee
The Committee comprises elected Members of the City of London Corporation’s Court of Common Council. It meets approximately six times each year and has delegated authority from the City Corporation as trustee to make funding decisions on grants of up to £500,000 from the Bridge House Estates through its funding arm, City Bridge Trust. Any individual grants over this amount are referred to the full Court of Common Council for final approval from the City Corporation as trustee of Bridge House Estates.
Visit the City of London Corporation’s website for the current members of the Grants Committee of the Bridge House Estates Board and a list of meetings and agendas for this committee.