One of Birmingham’s best known businessmen is to be remembered through a scholarship scheme being set up to help young people from the city’s underprivileged communities pursue careers in property and construction.
David Bucknall died suddenly in June at the age of 76, while out cycling as part of his training for an ‘Iron Man’ event.
A well-known property man in the city and beyond, he built his firm, Bucknall Austin, into the international property and construction powerhouse Rider Levett Bucknall , which now employs 3,500 people in 120 offices.
Mr Bucknall, who lived near Stratford-upon-Avon with his wife Moya, was also a devoted humanitarian, who believed passionately in helping those who lived in underprivileged areas of the region.
He co-founded and chaired the Birmingham Community Foundation which distributed grants to local grass roots projects.
The charity supported more than 7,000 small community groups across Birmingham and the Black Country to the value of £36 million.
The scholarship in his memory is to be launched at a memorial service on Friday, October 23 at 11am at St Paul’s Church in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
The David Bucknall Scholarship will offer financial assistance to school-leavers considering a career in property and construction and studying at Birmingham City University.
It will be awarded to students studying for a BSc in the built environment, supporting their maintenance and living costs, while BCU will waive part of the tuition fees.
The memorial scholarship fund will be available to a number of local schools in underprivileged parts of the community. School-leavers can begin applying for a scholarship from January 2016 for a September 2016 start.
The scholarship fund was the idea of friends and associates of Mr Bucknall, with the support of his family, and is being spearheaded by Sir Bernard Zissman
Mr Bucknall’s daughter Julia said: “I think the scholarship idea is perfect because it marries his commitment to the city of Birmingham to his commitment to young people and to reversing the lot of the underprivileged.
“I think it is exactly what he would have wanted.”
Among those speaking at the event are Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham, Rider Levett Bucknall global chairman Ann Bentley, Sir Bernard Zissman and Carol Harbach, a former partner at Bucknall Austin.
Following the service, a lunch will be held at the ICC, a location chosen because Mr Bucknall project-managed its construction.
To attend the service email Joanne Lowe in the office of Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a contribution to the Scholarship email DJBscholarship@uk.rlb.com.