Community activities are a key part of what makes Marylebone such an attractive place to live, work and shop. It is very much part of the Howard de Walden Estate’s ethos to support worthwhile local events, organisations and causes, particularly those which enhance the “sense of community” which we believe we all value. Our contribution in these areas is not solely financial – Howard de Walden staff are involved in numerous local initiatives. Amongst these initiatives are the following:-
Each year the Howard de Walden Estate arranges, runs and is the principal sponsor of the annual Summer Fayre – this event, which is held in June every year, is attended by over 25,000 people throughout the day and is a great showcase for local retailers, businesses, clubs and associations. Whilst some of the costs of the Summer Fayre are recoverable from stall holders, sponsorship, retailers, etc., the net cost to the Estate of running this event is in excess of £100,000 p.a. The Estate uses this event as an opportunity to raise money for its nominated charity each year and in 2009 and 2010 alone it raised over £60,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust.
The Estate also organises, coordinates and is the principal sponsor of the annual Christmas lights switch on held in November every year. Unlike many other Christmas lights events, this is a community based evening, involving full participation from nearly all the local schools in the area. This event also raises money for charity and in the past has benefitted SPARKS, TCT, Children in Need and RNIB amongst others.
The principal of supporting the local community has long been a part of the Howard de Walden tradition; indeed the land on which part of St Marylebone School now stands was donated by the Howard de Walden Family for that purpose over 100 years ago.
Key Local Organisations
More recently, the Estate has been delighted to provide financial support to both the St Marylebone Parish Church and the Royal Society of Medicine. Within the last few years we have also established scholarship funds for students at the Royal Academy of Music and for school leavers from St Marylebone School to assist them with university places and we have also helped to finance a new library for St Vincent’s Primary School. In 2010 we were also delighted to sponsor workshops for the benefit of St Marylebone School and St Vincent’s Primary School at Regents Park Open Air Theatre. The Estate is delighted to have supported not only these activities but also to have provided many other local organisations or events, such as the annual Marylebone Interfaith Service, with financial support or organisational assistance in recent years and it is very much part of our philosophy to continue to support local initiatives such as these in the future.
The Estate is also pleased to provide community support in a number of other ways; including the subsidised publication of the bi-monthly Marylebone Journal which is distributed free to over 18,000 people in and around Marylebone. This colourful and stylish publication provides local residents and businesses with interesting and informative articles on culture, food, fashion, shopping, history and property relating to the area.
Finally the Estate is above all a property company and we are keen to ensure that the overall appearance of the area is continually improved. The Estate owns over 300 listed buildings, including a Grade I Robert Adams building at 2 Chandos Place which we restored in 2004. As well as investing heavily in the fabric of the buildings which it owns, the Estate takes a keen interest in the general appearance of the area, including the introduction of hanging baskets to some of the local streets which has undoubtedly added to the charm of the area.
The above are just some of the ways in which the Howard de Walden Estate contributes to the character, as well as contributing to the local community. In all the Estate contributes over £¼m a year to these and other initiatives which enhance life for everyone in Marylebone.
The following is a list of just some of the initiatives and/or organisations which the Estate has supported in recent years:
The annual Marylebone Summer Fayre
The annual Christmas Lights switch-on in Marylebone High Street
The Royal Academy of Music
St Vincent’s School
St Marylebone School
St Marylebone Parish Church
The Royal Society of Medicine
Regents Park Open Air Theatre
Marylebone Interfaith Service
Tree planting and hanging baskets
The Weiner Library
The Wellington Appeal
Teenage Cancer Trust
The heart of Marylebone