Victory for community groups over Highbury Hall

Council concedes that Birmingham charitable estate will be run partly by local advisory body

A charitable estate in Birmingham is once more to be used for charitable activities after local organisations won more say in running it.

Highbury Hall and its gardens were bequeathed in 1932 to the citizens of Birmingham by its former mayor, Joseph Chamberlain. The local council became the sole trustee.

The council has used the hall as a banqueting facility and other buildings in the grounds to house social services staff for the past 20 years.

But after a long campaign by local charities and community groups, the council is to pass some of the running of the estate to an advisory group of local representatives. The exact responsibilities of the group are still to be decided.

Tony Thapar, coordinator of the Moseley Community Development Trust, one of the charities involved in the campaign, said: "We're now talking to some groups that want to use the grounds, and we hope to start charitable activity on the site soon."

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