Rochester Bridge Trust Appoints Rathbones

The Rochester Bridge Trust has appointed award-winning Rathbone Investment Management (Rathbones) to oversee its financial investment portfolio.

The Trust, founded at the end of the 14th century, still serves its original purpose of providing bridges over the River Medway at Rochester in perpetuity. The Trust has full responsibility for maintaining the two road bridges and the service bridge that takes essential utilities across the river.

Sue Threader, Rochester Bridge Clerk, said: “The Trust’s income and reserves are all derived from our original 15th-century endowments of land and money. We receive no public grants, do not fundraise, and charge no tolls.

“It is expensive to maintain bridges year after year, and we need to ensure we have enough income to continue our work. Moreover, the bridges will eventually need to be replaced, and we must make sure that our reserves will be sufficient for that purpose. Achieving the best possible long-term financial returns is of paramount importance to us.

“The Trust is delighted to have appointed Rathbones after a very competitive process. The company has a strong reputation for its work with charitable funds and investments and was the Charity Times 2012 winner of the Investment Manager of the Year Award – the only charity-specific accolade recognising excellence in investment management.”

The Rochester Bridge Trust selected the investment management company from a final shortlist of five. Established in 1742, Rathbones manages more than £16 billion of funds for individuals, charities and trustees.

Ivo Clifton, head of charities at Rathbones, said: “The Rochester Bridge Trust provides an essential service to the people of Rochester and the surrounding towns and villages.

“It is a unique organisation that relies entirely on the income from its investments to continue its work. In such challenging economic times, we are delighted to have been selected to work with the Trust and look forward to a long and successful relationship.”

In addition to meeting its responsibilities for maintaining and replacing bridges across the River Medway, the Rochester Bridge Trust regularly awards grants ato local organisations. Eligible projects for 2013 include the repair, conservation, or restoration of features of historical importance in listed buildings or projects devoted to education, conservation, or research in the fields of bridge engineering, Kent history, or Kent agriculture.

Notes:

1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.

2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For more information:

The Rochester Bridge Trust
5 Esplanade
Rochester
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125