Oglesbys honoured by Prince Charles

Bruntwood owners Michael and Jean Oglesby received an award from HRH the Prince of Wales for their outstanding contribution to arts across the North West.

The Prince of Wales Medal for Arts Philanthropy was one of five awarded by Prince Charles at a ceremony at Clarence House in London on Thursday.

Through sponsorship from office developer-investor Bruntwood and the work of the Oglesby Charitable Trust, the Oglesbys have supported organisations including the Hallé Orchestra, Chethams School of Music, the Library Theatre, the Lowry, Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester International Festival. They also fund the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting with the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Michael Oglesby said: "Jean and I are dedicated to supporting the arts and encouraging creativity. In these difficult economic times the partnership between companies and individuals on the one hand, and arts organisations on the other, is absolutely critical and will only work if everyone works together and becomes completely involved in projects."

Sir Mark Elder, music director of the Hallé, who has worked with Michael and Jean for a number of years, said: "It's not just money, that's what's so important to emphasise about Michael and Jean. They both give time as well as funds to support what they believe in. What they have done for the cultural life of Manchester is outstanding."

Bruntwood owns 101 office buildings in four cities; Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham. In 2010 it had a turnover of £100.2m and a pre-tax profit of £11.1m.

The Oglesby Charitable Trust was established in 1992 by the Oglesby family. The Trust was established to support charitable activities across a broad spectrum. Since 2005, The Trust has awarded over £4m to various charities and initiatives.

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How refreshing to see some good news for a change. It is wonderful that Prince Charles recognises people who do good deeds and support the arts. It also shows that philanthropy is in good health in the North West, not just down in London.

By Susan Elliott

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