UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 16 MARCH 2016
A new scholarship offering £10,500 funding towards a degree in property and construction has been launched in memory of renowned West Midlands business figure David Bucknall OBE.
David’s friends, colleagues and business associates, together with Birmingham City University and Mr Bucknall’s former firm, Rider Levett Bucknall, have set up the fund to support young people hoping to study degrees at the University’s school of Engineering and the Built Environment.
The David Bucknall Scholarship, which is aimed at helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds develop a career in construction and property, has been devised in honour of Mr Bucknall’s commitment to charity and community work.
The scholarship, which is being offered to young people who have already applied for courses at the University, will also provide students with work experience, placements and guidance from Rider Levett Bucknall.
Wolverhampton born Bucknall, who passed away in June last year, was well known for his contribution to Birmingham, having project managed the construction of Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, International Convention Centre and National Indoor Arena.
He was also passionate about helping those living in underprivileged areas and founded and chaired the Birmingham Community Foundation which distributed grants to local grass roots projects.
Simon Handley, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Birmingham City University said: “It is a fitting tribute to Mr Bucknall that we have joined up with his friends, colleagues and Rider Levett Bucknall to offer this scholarship in honour of such a renowned figure, both in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands.
“We were delighted when we were approached us with the proposal recently which means we are able to offer current applicants the opportunity to apply for funding support for courses starting in September 2016.
Mr Bucknall spent more than 50 years at the top of global property and construction firm Rider Levett Bucknall and received an OBE last year to recognise his outreach work, including the Birmingham Community Foundation. The Foundation provided grants for local projects and supported more than 7,000 community groups in Birmingham and the Black Country.
To apply for the scholarship, applicants to BCU undergraduate Built Environment courses need to produce a short video highlighting a key interest related to the built environment which includes all things that have been built or parts used in their construction.
Ann Bentley, director and global chair of Rider Levett Bucknall said: “David was a vibrant and inspirational personality and absolutely passionate about engaging with younger people to attract them to the property and construction sector. He was convinced it offered, by far, the most exciting, stimulating and rewarding career over and above any other sector. His passion was infectious and he influenced many to enter into the industry.
“The scholarship is exactly the way that he would want to be remembered, providing others with the opportunity to achieve their dreams in a profession he loved. We are delighted to be able to play our part in ensuring that his commitment to young people lives on.”
David’s wife, Moya Bucknall added, "The family is thrilled. This scholarship combines David's passion for improving the built environment with his determination to help everyone have meaningful opportunities in life. I can't think of a better tribute".
Representatives from Birmingham City University will be visiting schools in the West Midlands to help work with local pupils hoping to land the scholarship.
The scholarship forms part of the University’s move to support more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into full time Higher Education.