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Highbury Hall in 1890

Highbury Hall in 1890

Update on Highbury

Birmingham City Council has called a public meeting on Wednesday 24th February at 7.00pm at the Council House.

Article in Birmingham Post - December 21

Article in Birmingham Mail - October 29

Two stories by David Ainsworth from Third Sector magazine:
October 30
November 3

Letter from Charity Commission - 5 October 2009
Letter from Charity Commission - 5 October 2009 (contd)
pdfLetter from Charity Commission - 25 September 2009
pdfOpen letter sent to Birmingham Post - 11 September 2009
pdfArticle in Birmingham Post - 13 July 2009

A summary of the current situation as we understand it as follows is:

  • The original scheme that was drawn up by the City Council and Charity Commission that allowed for the disposal of parts of the estate is to be revised now.
  • The Charity Commission still want Birmingham City Council to use Highbury predominantly for charitable purposes.
  • Birmingham City Council will call a public meeting for interested parties to identify a way forward for the property, such as identifying charitable uses for the property and identifying sources of income. The Council will be making arrangements for a public meeting, preferably by the end of July and by the end of September at the latest.
  • Following the meeting, the Council as trustee will develop a business plan which clearly identifies the proposals for the future of the charity.
  • Subject to the conclusions reached following the public meeting, the Commission will amend the draft Scheme. The Council is considering a proposal for the Commission to amend the draft Scheme to include provision for a management committee. The Council would remain as custodian trustee but there would be a management committee who would be the charity trustees.
  • Mary deVere Taylor the great grand-daughter of Joseph Chamberlain continues support our campaign and is waiting for a response from the leader of the Council. Earlier this year she offered to join the Board of Highbury Trust, the City Council have not responded positively yet.
  • Len Brown - Highbury Day Centre user

    Len Brown - Highbury Day Centre user

  • Birmingham City Council plan to close the Day Centre (for elderly residents) on the 13th July. Many of the Day Centre users do not want to be moved. Mr. Len Brown (93 years old) is representing the Day Centre users and he claims the City Council won't listen. You can hear Len Brown talking about this subject
  • The 4 seasons garden project (horticultural therapy) is based within the old cottage gardens on the site still does not have a secure future. The City Council has not helped the project create a permanent base on the estate for its staff and volunteers.

Please let the Charity Commission know that you're against the City Council selling off parts of the Chamberlain estate and that it should be kept intact. Also that the City Council should no longer be the sole trustee of the Highbury Trust but that it should open up the Trust so it can behave like other independent charities.

Highbury Hall, and Grounds could form a major resource for the people of Birmingham, being of historic, aesthetic, educational, social and recreational significance. The full potential of the Hall and Grounds is not being realised and there may be moves to dispose of parts of the estate. So a consortium of local community groups has decided to produce this Plan to:

  • restore the Hall and Grounds to their former glory
  • and actively use them for education, employment, health, social welfare, recreation and biodiversity

Our vision will require a locally representative Charitable Trust to be set up and to include a trading arm to develop an income stream. We presented this plan at the Kings Heath and Moseley Ward Committee meeting on the 19th March 2008 and asked for a response from the Council's Trusts and Charities sub committee (the sole corporate trustee). We would very much welcome your comments and support.

Highbury Hall in 2006

Highbury Hall in 2006

You can download the following documents

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