Unlike landed estates in private ownership, The Dulwich Estate is a charity and as such it is regulated and must comply with the Scheme approved by the Charity Commission. The Scheme currently governing the Charity was approved in July 1995 and this sets out:
The Trustees are nominated by the following:
The Board has adopted the policy, when seeking co-opted members to the Board, to seek in prospective Trustees specific professional knowledge and skills to complement those of current Board members. For example, the current Trustees have professional backgrounds in property, the law, accountancy, investment fund management and The Church of England. Local knowledge is also helpful and half of the current Board lives in Dulwich.
Neither employees of the Estate nor employees of any of its Beneficiaries can be a Trustee and Trustees receive no remuneration or benefit from their appointment. Generally, Trustees serve an initial period of five years and then can be reappointed for a second continuous term of five years.
The Board currently comprises:
The Charity was founded almost 400 years ago by Edward Alleyn and the Board seeks to continue the objects of the Founder - to assist with education and, through the Dulwich Almshouse Charity, to provide shelter to those in need. Thus, the role of the Board is to manage the endowment assets of the Charity in the long term interests of all the Beneficiaries.
The Charity cannot benefit any group or individual and perhaps a common misconception is that the Estate exists to 'benefit Dulwich'.
The distinction has to be made between the Estate's Scheme of Management (of which the Trustees are the Managers) and The Dulwich Estate, the Charity. The rights and powers under the Scheme of Management "are conferred on the Managers for the purpose of enabling them to preserve the amenities of the Estate for the common benefit". However, this does not mean that Trustees can apply the Charity assets for this purpose; only the Beneficiaries listed above can benefit from these and this is why the Scheme of Management is operated as a separate cost centre and funded by the Scheme Charge to freeholders (with the Estate paying its share in regard to its own properties).
Under the Charity's Scheme, the Board has the power to:
The net income of the Charity has been to distribute to the Beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the Scheme (any variations thereto requires the prior approval of The Charity Commission). Income is currently distributed as follows:
And the remainder split:
(which is divided up amongst the three schools in proportion to the average number of pupils in each school during the preceding three years).
The total distribution to the Beneficiaries for the financial year ended 31 March 2004 was £4,616,377.
John Major, Chief Executive
The Dulwich Estate