The Royal Docks Trust (London) was established and registered as a charity in March 1995. It works to provide community benefits to the Docklands part of Newham between the A13 and the River Thames.
The Trust is structured so as to provide opportunities for local people, community organisations and businesses to become actively involved through the election of representatives to serve on its board of trustees, as well as providing two places reserved for appointees of Newham Council.
The Trust's Vision
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 can bring together the experience, skills and expertise of local residents and local businesses, also helps to secure a flourishing, economically secure community which is not only mutually supportive but also benefits from a lower incidence of crime.
Objects and Area of Operation
Royal Docks Trust (London) is constituted 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:
- 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.
The Trust holds the freehold interest in the following properties in its area which are used for community purposes:
- The Docklands Equestrian Centre
- The site in Eastbury Road occupied by Beckton Skills Centre
Winsor Park Management Company
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 the 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 Limited 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.
Board of Trustees
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 five nor exceed thirteen. Apart from four 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)
- John Parker
- John Johnson