Birmingham Conservation Trust has been working with Birmingham City Council to form a new independent ‘Chamberlain Highbury Trust’, which will take over the role of managing the Highbury Estate.
If you follow our blog, you will be aware that back in September we posted an invitation to become a trustee of the Chamberlain Highbury Trust. A very strong ‘shadow’ board has now been appointed, and work is well advanced to formally establish the new trust as a charitable company limited by guarantee.
In 1932 the Highbury Estate, the Birmingham home of Joseph Chamberlain, was given in trust to the City of Birmingham. Since then it has been operated by Birmingham City Council as sole trustee. It has been used for many purposes, most recently as a banqueting and wedding venue run by the City Council’s catering arm.
Acting on the options appraisal that BCT undertook, the council will grant the new Chamberlain Highbury Trust the estate’s assets on at least a 25-year lease. The new trust will develop and implement a vision for Highbury, beginning with much-needed repairs and restoration of the house and gardens.
The shadow board is holding a ‘Stakeholders’ Meeting’ on 24th February at Highbury. The Friends of Highbury Park, local residents and other groups using the estate have been invited to the meeting, which aims to identify the respective needs and aspirations of those involved with Highbury and how best to work together to achieve them.
Hopefully the formation of the new trust will ensure a long-term, sustainable future for Chamberlain’s house and gardens for the people of Birmingham to enjoy. We look forward to following future developments.