New fund to support education and training projects across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland



Tony and Anne Platten of Blyth, Northumberland have become the latest family to open a philanthropic fund at the Community Foundation. The Platten Family Fund means Tony and Anne join the ranks of significant donors in the region such as Ron and Louise Bowey, Guy Readman, and the Sir Tom Cowie Fund.

Through the Fund, Tony and Anne will support the region with around £100,000 in grant-making a year to support people into employment, with a particular focus on engineering. The Royal Academy of Engineering estimates that 830,000 graduate-level Stem (Science, technology, engineering and maths) experts and 450,000 technicians will be needed by 2020 and it is hoped that funding from the Platten Family Fund will go some way to encouraging people of all ages, but in particular young people, to consider engineering as a positive career move.

The Platten Family Fund was established following the sale of electronic engineering company Tynetec in Blyth, however the fund will support projects throughout Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Tony Platten said:

“Anne and I are delighted to establish charitable funds at the Community Foundation. I am passionate about education and I’d like to encourage young people in particular to think about engineering as a career. This was the driving force of our philanthropy, and I believe that by working with the Community Foundation we can really make a difference to people’s lives by providing a stepping stone into engineering employment. The North East led the world in engineering  for over 150 years, it’s time to re-establish that position”

Lisa Cappleman, Head of Philanthropy Development at the Community Foundation added:

“Tony and Anne’s decision to support local people through funds at the Community Foundation is wonderful news for our area. Research through our own Vital Signs reports highlight many areas in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland where people lack basic skills and qualifications. Through Tony and Anne’s philanthropy we can help to address these issues and provide a better future for many people.”

Photo by David Wala












In addition to the Platten’s family philanthropy, Tony Platten, Chairman of Blyth Spartans AFC has offered free in-kind sponsorship to the Community Foundation as the clubs main shirt sponsor. Tony believes the deal will suit both parties, where free in-kind support can raise the profile of the Community Foundation and its cause of enriching local communities.

Tony Platten added:

“Blyth Spartans is a local club full of ambition. Whilst I wouldn’t want to make comparisons between our charitable sponsorship to that of Barcelona and UNICEF, I do believe that ambition is best shown by example. We’re delighted to offer free in-kind support to the Community Foundation which helps to make stronger communities through its grant making, including many local grassroots sports activities in Blyth and the local area.”

Ash Winter OBE, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Community Foundation said:

“We were delighted to be approached by Tony with the offer of free sponsorship of Blyth Spartans. Football clubs such as this make up the fabric of our local community, showing the passion that exists in our region. Blyth Spartans has a great history as well as ambition and community awareness. Community is our cause, and we hope this new exposure can help us to reach new audiences, to extend our giving to those who really need our support.”

The Platten Family Fund is a significant fund at the Community Foundation where half of the money will be invested into an endowment and half will be made available for immediate grant making. Philanthropic giving into an endowment to create a fund in perpetuity was eligible for match funding through the Community First Endowment Match Scheme where £1 could be claimed for every £2 donated. To find out more about how you can set up a named fund or donate to one of our existing funds please call Lisa Cappleman on 0191 222 0945 or email

Posted on 08/07/2014 @ 11:39 am
Filed under: News