City of London Corporation’s charitable funder elects first BAME Chairman

Dhruv Patel, who founded the City Hindus Network, has today become the first ever BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) Chairman of London’s largest independent grant giver.

Mr Patel, an Elected Member of the City of London Corporation since 2013, was elected as Chairman of the City Bridge Trust Committee at its meeting this afternoon. He replaces Alison Gowman, who has served her full three-year term, and now becomes Deputy Chair of the Committee.

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates, making charity grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantaged communities across the capital.

Formerly the Committee’s deputy Chairman, he will lead City Bridge Trust’s Elected Members in delivering Bridging Divides, its five-year funding programme, which will see £100 million distributed to the capital’s charities to help Londoners most in need.

The 35-year-old businessman, who was awarded an OBE in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours for voluntary service to the British Hindu community and to Social Cohesion, was the City Corporation’s first ever chairman from a BAME background in his previous role on its Community and Children’s Services Committee.

Mr Patel, who is married with two children, has business interests in property, retail pharmacy, and the London insurance market. He sits on the Board of Governors of the City of London School for Girls, and is Chairman of the local governing body of Avanti Court Primary School, a mixed Hindu faith school in Redbridge.

Dhruv Patel, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:

“I am humbled to have been elected by the City Bridge Trust Committee to serve as its Chairman, and I will strive to do the best job that I can to tackle the inequality which should not exist in London.

“It is a great privilege to be in the leadership role of one of the UK’s most important supporters of civil society. Together we will continue to help give all London’s communities the opportunity to thrive, and give young people, in particular, the best possible start in life.”

Alison Gowman, Deputy Chair of the City Bridge Trust Committee, said:

“I feel sure that Dhruv will do an excellent job of leading the Committee, which works hard to deliver our strategy to help create a capital city in which everyone can thrive.

“I have enjoyed my term as Chair and in particular, having the opportunity to meet many of the charities that have been supported by the Trust, in recognition of their outstanding work.”

City Bridge Trust has awarded around 8,000 grants totalling over £400million since it began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.


Notes for Editors:

Dhruv Patel is available for media interviews. Please contact Andrew Buckingham (see below) for details.

Media enquiries:

Andrew Buckingham

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

020 7332 1452

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. 

About City Bridge Trust:

City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of Bridge House Estates, a Registered Charity, with its primary aim the maintenance and support of five Thames bridges: Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark, Blackfriars and the Millennium footbridge.

City Bridge Trust was established in 1995 to make use of funds surplus to bridge requirements and provides grants totalling around £20m per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London. The City of London Corporation is the sole trustee of the Bridge House Estates.