A new scholarship offering £10,500 funding towards a degree in property and construction has been launched in memory of former Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) chairman, founder and renowned West Midlands business figure David Bucknall, OBE.
Along with David’s friends, colleagues, business associates and Birmingham City University (BCU), RLB has 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 is aimed at helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds develop a career in construction and property. It has been devised in honour of David 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 RLB.
Born in Wolverhampton, David Bucknall passed away in June 2015. He 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 grassroots projects.
Funding support now possible
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.’
Mr Handley said the university was delighted when approached with the proposal recently, which means it can offer current applicants the opportunity to apply for funding support for courses starting in September 2016.
‘Having the chance to provide this scholarship also gives us the opportunity to widen out Higher Education to students who might otherwise not have the opportunity, and help them to reach their full potential.’
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. This includes all things that have been built or parts used in their construction.
An inspiring influence lives on
Mr Bucknall spent more than 50 years at the top of RLB. He received an OBE in 2012 in recognition for 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.
Ann Bentley, director and global chair of RLB 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.’
She continued, ‘The scholarship is exactly the way 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.
For more information visit: www.bcu.ac.uk/davidbucknall