From the archives: The 2005 Attwood Award
ART (Aston Reinvestment Trust) was chosen as recipient of an Attwood Award in recognition of its pioneering work providing finance for small and medium businesses and social enterprises in the Birmingham area. ART lends to those unable to secure the finance they need from conventional sources. In the eight years since it started it has helped to create or protect almost 2,000 jobs [2010 – over 3000].
The Attwood Award, inscribed on a brass plaque, handmade by Harry Eyles, formerly of the Jewellery Quarter, was presented to Steve Walker, Chief Executive of ART, by Sylvia Shaw, a descendant of Thomas Attwood, at a special lunch held to mark the occasion.
Accepting the Award, Steve Walker commented: “Thomas Attwood deserves to be remembered for the relevance of his beliefs and actions to major issues of today. I am extremely proud to receive this Award presented by local people in recognition of ART’s work. Our mission – addressing poverty through enterprise using money invested in ART by individuals and organisations to support those in the local community who are able to create local jobs for local people – is very much in the Attwood mould.”
Patrick Shaw, an Attwood historian and member of the Attwood Group, told guests attending the lunch: ”Thomas Attwood was active in bringing about the repeal of the Corn Laws, he advised the Bank of England on currency issues and played a leading part in the political reform that gave the vote to the ordinary man in the street. The Attwood Group, which bestows this Award, is concerned about the decline of British industry, especially in the Midlands.
We need an organisation like ART operating in every town and city, supporting enterprise particularly in those areas where traditional industries are disappearing. Long may its excellent work continue.