With an annual income of more than £47 million, the Whitgift Foundation is a significant presence in Croydon. Yet we have heard very little about its role in the redevelopment of the town centre, says SUSAN OLIVER
One interesting aspect to the £1 billion Westfield and Hammerson development so far is the low profile that the Whitgift Foundation has maintained. The Foundation is a partner in this project and yet, so far, we have heard very little from them.
It raises a lot of questions about the role of charities in society. Let’s not look away from the fact that the Whitgift Foundation is a charity with a lot of power in town. Who is supposed to benefit from this power?
It reminds me of an article I read in the Boston Globe several years ago. It dealt with real estate in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is the home of Harvard University. It said that most houses in Cambridge were worth at least $1 million – an astonishing amount.
After reading the article, I had to ask myself, “Do educational institutions always benefit society?” “Have educational charities used their charitable status to strengthen their own position at the expense of others?”
Here in Croydon, it seems there is a bit of political correctness about Whitgift; a tendency to protect this institution.
Let’s not forget the amazing amount of power this organisation holds in town. Let’s not be afraid to hold this group to account.
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Coming to Croydon
- Cinema Ruskin: Dec 21
- Surrey Street Christmas market, Dec 22
- Community Carol Service, ACA, Dec 22
- Shabden Park Farm Christmas market, Dec 23
- STDLCC Screening: Now You See Me, Dec 27
- STDLCC Screening: Kolya, Dec 30
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Purley Swimathon: Feb 8 and 13
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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- Westfield secures planning permission for £1 billion Croydon mega shopping centre (independent.co.uk)
- No return for Reeves furniture store burnt to the ground after 147 years in business (standard.co.uk)
- The Whitgift Almshouses: an historical gem in the Centre of Croydon (whitgiftfoundation.wordpress.com)
- Property: Different set of rules applies in Croydon (standard.co.uk)