Entrepreneur becomes chairman of Leeds Community Foundation

A Yorkshire entrepreneur has been appointed to a leading role with a philanthropic organisation that is bringing hope to deprived parts of Yorkshire.

Martin Allison has become chairman of Leeds Community Foundation (LCF), a charity dedicated to bringing about change in local communities.

Since its launch in 2004, LCF has distributed more than £23m in grants to local community groups, who support vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the city. The foundation connects individuals and organisations with community groups.

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Mr Allison takes over from Kevin O’Connor, the regional managing partner of Baker Tilly in Leeds. After working as a professional banker in London, Mr Allison went on to serve as dean of the faculty for business & law at Leeds Metropolitan University and then as head of debt advisory in the North for PwC. He has held numerous directorships. He’s also served as chairman of the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association, where he is recognised as having rescued the team from bankruptcy.

Mr Allison said: “It is a great honour to have been appointed chairman, as I am extremely passionate about the Leeds region and have always been a great believer in giving something back to your local community. At a time when there is still great disparity between the wealthiest and poorest parts of our city region, I am eager to lead the team in championing the importance of philanthropy and civic enterprise.

“LCF makes a huge difference to improving the lives of local people by connecting those who need help with the people who are willing to give. Thanks to the leadership of Kevin O’Connor we are well placed to build on our current successes, as we report another year of significant progress having distributed over £3.1m to more than 500 community groups and charities.”