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By Eric Sorensen, Chairman

Eric SorensenTHE 1980s and 1990s saw the transformation of the social, physical and economic environment of Newham's Docklands. This was characterised by an increasing determination by central and local Government, and by the public and private sectors, to work together to create a successful economy and community for the 21st century. The rapid growth in the number of residents has been underpinned by major investment in community facilities of all kinds and new employment opportunities.

Successful regeneration and success in business depends on the economic and social health of the community as a whole. This requires financial support for community projects which are vital in establishing stable communities and the development and support of the skills and expertise of local communities. Experience demonstrates that this can most effectively be achieved through partnerships between local employers, key public agencies and local communities. In the decade up to its demise in 1998, the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) worked in partnership with the London Borough of Newham (LBN) and Newham's voluntary sector to run a joint funding programme which offered financial support to community projects and the voluntary sector. To maintain this support into the future the LDDC and LBN, in partnership with representatives of the local community and senior business leaders, established the Royal Docks Trust (London). The LDDC provided the Trust with a core endowment of 2,700,000. The income generated is added to year on year by the London Borough of Newham. This has allowed the Trust and the Council to develop and sustain a grants programme approaching some 200,000 p.a.

The Trust thus provides an essential element in the continuing regeneration of Newham's Docklands. The Trust aims to be truly representative of the communities it serves and positively welcomes the involvement of new members from the local community and from the business and voluntary sectors. I hope you will wish to join with the Trust to work for its continuing success and that of Newham's Docklands.

Eric Sorensen

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THE Royal Docks Trust (London) is determined to play a key role in the continuing regeneration of Newham's Docklands. Central to the Trust's focus is the belief that if local community organisations are properly supported they will help to build a thriving and vibrant Newham Docklands community. Funding for such groups is therefore a key objective. The Trust wants also to foster and develop partnerships of local residents, local businesses, key developers and Newham Council. The Trust believes that partnerships of this kind, which bring together the experience, skills and expertise of local residents and local business, also help to secure a flourishing, economically secure community which is not only mutually supportive but also benefits from a lower incidence of crime.

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Royal Docks Trust (London) was established in March 1995 as a company limited by guarantee (registration number 3032232) and registered as a charity (registration number 1045057) with a broad range of objects which in summary are

Sailing ship at ExCel


 advancement of education including vocational training

  relief of poverty and sickness

  provision of or assistance with providing facilities for recreation and leisure

  provision of or assistance with providing housing for needy persons, including the disabled and handicapped

  advancement of public education in the Arts

  preservation, repair and maintenance for public benefit of buildings of historical, architectural or constructional interest

  general support of any religious order solely and specifically of its charitable work

  improvements to the physical and social environment.

It’s area of benefit is that part of the London Borough of Newham which lies between the A13 trunk road (Newham Way) and the River Thames which includes Beckton, part of Canning Town, Custom House, North Woolwich, West Silvertown and Silvertown. The Trust is not permitted to provide funding for activities outside the above area unless they are specifically targeted for the benefit of people within it.

Being a registered charity, the Trust is a not-for-profit organisation.

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THE Trust holds the freehold interest in the following properties in its area which are used for community purposes:

  The Docklands Equestrian Centre

  The Explorer Scout Hut at Eastbury Road

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THE Trust also inherited from LDDC the "special share" in the Winsor Park Management Company Limited.

The Winsor Park Estate is a large housing development built on a site which in former times was a part of the Beckton Gas Works. Investigations by LDDC showed that contamination was present over much of the site including various liquors and tarry products. Surface water ponding across the site was also shown to be highly acidic and contaminated with oil-tar material. Waste products from the gas works were found to a depth of 4 metres and included substances which are both toxic and carcinogenic even at very low concentrations. Many of the contaminants were also corrosive and therefore damaging to construction materials. LDDC concluded that the only viable approach to the reclamation of the area was by a containment system. This had the advantage that no material needed to be removed from site which would be instantly available once the engineering works were completed. In view of the degree of contamination it was felt that the barrier should consist of a minimum of a metre clean imported material with venting and a perimeter drain to allow ground water discharge. The Winsor Park Management Company was set up to monitor the reclamation scheme and LDDC established an Accumulation Fund, held by the management company, to meet any expenditure required in respect of any failure of, or damage to, the reclamation works.

The special shareholder has a responsibility to oversee the conduct of the Company. It has the power to appoint up to four directors of the Company if it sees fit and two such directors have been appointed. The special shareholder is also a joint signatory of the Accumulation Fund account and has a duty to ensure the proper operation of that account.

The fund currently has a value of several million pounds and attracts about 200,000 of interest per year net of tax. It is to be held by Winsor Park Management Company Limited until 11th April 2070, unless it is required to be spent as above or unless an engineer reports that there is no reasonable likelihood of the fund having to be spent for that purpose - such engineering reports have to be obtained every 10 years commencing 11th April 2010. In either event the fund, or what is left of it, becomes repayable to the Trust as the holder of the special share.

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The Trust provides the corporate umbrella for a statue for which a group of local people raised the funds over a period of some years.  The statue is now in place on the north side of the Royal Victoria Dock, adjoining the western entrance of the ExCeL Exhibition Centre. It depicts dockers at work and thus celebrates the past of the area and many of its people.  Apart from taking "ownership" of the project the Trust also donated 25,000 towards the cost.   The sculptor is Les Johnson.

Click here or more pictures

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The economy is going through a bumpy patch and this is bound to have an impact locally. At such a time it is more important than ever that the Trust should be working hard to help support the local community. Even so, the area is full of opportunity and there is land for development including:

Silvertown Quays
Peruvian Wharf
Minoco Wharf
The Royals Business Park
The sites ripe for development around the Albert Basin

Nearby there is rapid development for the 2012 Olympic Games. London City Airport has now obtained planning permission to expand to 120,000 flights per annum and is thus set to make an even bigger contribution to the local economy and especially employment prospects for local people. There continues to be growth around ExCeL which in June 2008 was acquired by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). The new owners plan significant investment in the ExCeL site as part of its vision to create a global network of exhibition venues. In October 2008 London's Mayor, Boris Johnson launched a project to increase ExCeL London's event space by 50 percent and provide a convention centre with 5,000 seats. This will bring a wealth of jobs for local people.

And there are transport projects too. The DLR has been extended to Woolwich Arsenal and work on Crossrail is under way.

As other parts of the area come back to life there will be thousands more homes and jobs and there will be many opportunities for the Trust, and for those who are working with it, to ensure that local communities contribute to regeneration and benefit from it. The Trust's endowments, its partnership with Newham Council, its strong community roots and the involvement of local businesses will all be helpful in responding to these opportunities.

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The Trust is managed by a board of trustees who are not permitted to profit from their involvement. All give their time freely without payment. Their number may not fall below seven nor exceed seventeen. Apart from two nominated annually by the London Borough of Newham and three positions available to be filled by co-option annually, their term of office is three years but there is no bar preventing them from seeking re-election on retiring.

 Eric Sorensen (Chair)

 Katie Carter

 Councillor Ken Clark

 Sandra Erskine

 Giovanna Grandoni

 Bob Heaton

 Councillor Forhad Hussain

 James Kenworth

 Sid Keys

 Belinda Ngugi

 Steve Nicholas

 Kayar Raghavan

 Gary Quashie

 Shani Thomas

 Amanda Williams




The Trust's Officers are:

 Company Secretary: John Parker

 Deborah Hindson - Director for Finance, London Borough of Newahm

 Grants and Community Development: John Johnson

Investment Advisers: Investec Wealth & Investment Limited
Auditors: Goldwins Limited
Bankers: National Westminster Bank, Beckton Branch



John Parker
Royal Docks Trust (London)
Olive Cottage
Station Road
St Margaret's at Cliffe
CT15 6AY
Tel: 01304 853465 E-Mail: jb.parker@tiscali.co.uk


For grant and community development matters:

John Johnson
Royal Docks Trust (London)
PO Box 63195
London SE14
Telephone: 0207 277 8667 E-Mail: john.d.johnson@btinternet.com

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The Royal Docks Trust (London)
Registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee: Registration No: 3032232
Registered as a charity: Registration No: 1045057
Registered office: 37 Rushey Green, Catford, London SE6 4AF