Corporate community involvement emerged in the early 1980s against a backdrop of enormously high levels of unemployment and urban unrest.Back to Timeline
The next milestone was the decision of HRH The Prince of Wales to accept the Presidency of Business in the Community.
The Prince’s unique ability to connect with people from all walks of life made him an outstanding leader of the community involvement movement and he quickly invested his energy in a wide range of new initiatives, ranging from local regeneration in depressed towns and cities, business-education partnerships and raising the awareness of environmental issues.
Corporate community involvement emerged in the early 1980s against a backdrop of enormously high levels of unemployment and urban unrest.
Attracting support from the main political parties, and recognising that companies in the United States were much more involved with their local communities, Tom King, then Minister in the new Conservative Government, chaired an Anglo American Conference at Sunningdale Park to develop the way forward.
Sir Alastair Pilkington, who had previously set up the pathfinder Enterprise Agency in St Helens, was chosen to chair a new organisation and insisted from the outset that BITC be a genuine partnership between business, government, local authorities and trades unions. Companies such as BP, Marks & Spencer, Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank, Norwich Union became early supporters.
BITC’s early role was to “hold the hand of new and developing business” and be the umbrella for the enterprise agency movement.
By 1985 the support network was nearly complete, showing that enterprise agencies vastly increased the life of new businesses and these new businesses contributed to the long-term viability of local communities.