Teesworks charitable fund set up by former Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon

A charitable foundation is currently being set up to distribute funds to charitable causes from profits made by Teesworks.

The Teesworks Benevolent Foundation was registered as a limited company in mid-December 2023, according to documents filed with Companies House.

Four directors are listed for the company, former Middlesbrough mayor Ray Mallon, Teesworks Ltd minority shareholder Chris Harrison, Jacqui Corney - wife of Teesworks CEO Martin Corney, and Matt Johnson who is Development Director at Chris Musgrave’s Wynyard Park.

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In the charitable company’s articles of association, its objectives are listed as: “the prevention or relief of poverty in Tees Valley by providing: grants, items and services to individuals in need and/or charities, or other organisations working to relieve poverty.”

Former Middlesbrough mayor Ray "Robocop" MallenFormer Middlesbrough mayor Ray "Robocop" Mallen
Former Middlesbrough mayor Ray "Robocop" Mallen

Mr Mallon’s reputation as a former-police officer earned him the nickname “Robocop” during his time as independent mayor of the town. He told The Yorkshire Post how his time in office opened his eyes to social conditions on Teesside.

“I thought I understood social deprivation from my time as a police officer, but I was introduced to real social deprivation when I was elected,” he said.

After leaving office in May 2015, Mr Mallon entered a professional relationship with Teesworks partner Chris Musgrave, in a role at his Manston airport project.

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The Kent airport has been used as an overflow lorry park, with the Department for Transport previously paying the owners more than £3m to keep it ready on standby as part of Operation Stack.

A statement on Mr Musgrave’s website claims he has donated more than £500,000 to Alice House Hospice in Hartlepool over the years, as well as numerous other charitable causes in the area.

The foundation is yet to be formally set up as a charity as trustees wait for a bank account to be created before being able to register with the Charity Commission.

Mr Mallon told The Yorkshire Post that Teesworks’ private shareholders have committed to initially pay the foundation £200,000 each year, with the hope that figure could increase over time. He also explained the foundation believes it could offer an outlet for tenants at Teesworks - the former Redcar steelworks site - who are looking to contribute locally as part of their corporate social responsibility strategies.

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Companies pay less in Corporation Tax when charitable donations are made from their profits.

It’s the foundation’s hope to fund the work of a large number of smaller charities in the region, according to Mr Mallon. “We’ll be a facilitator,” he says. “We aim to welcome applications and will also seek out worthy causes in the Tees Valley region.

“There are many of us who are doing well at the moment, but unfortunately that’s not the case for everybody.”

The charitable foundation hopes to attract a broad range of trustees who each offer different expertise or connections, as Mr Mallon says he hopes the directors who established the foundation eventually step back from their roles and allow greater independence for the board.

“There’s a great opportunity to help a lot of people,” he says, “I think we can do a great deal of good.”

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