Sir Ronald Cohen opens new social justice hub in London

The ‘father of social investment’ Sir Ronald Cohen has cut the ribbon at the opening of a new social justice and human rights centre in Vauxhall, London.

The Foundry provides office space with communal facilities, a conference hall, exhibition space and a cafe to social organisations such as Engineers Without Borders UK and Solar Aid.

Cohen, the chairman of Big Society Capital, said: “It is a fantastic achievement to create a social justice hub. We have seen the power of hubs in technology investments where it was all about bringing people together who approached similar issues from different angles; who were driven by a powerful motive to succeed and by cooperating together to create new things to transform lives. I think it is about to happen in the social arena.  

“This magnificent facility showcases the marriage of foundations and new sources of investment, many of which, like Bridges Ventures or Big Society Capital, were not in existence a decade ago.”

The Foundry was established by the Social Justice and Human Rights Centre Company Limited, which is a company made up of the Ethical Property Company and a number of leading trusts and foundations including the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Chair of The Foundry Board and Head of Programmes at Barrow Cadbury Trust, Debbie Pippard said: “This building is about people. We wanted to create a space that freed organisations from the day to day problems of dealing with building management and administration so they could concentrate on their mission.”

The Edwardian era building has been rated ‘Excellent’ by BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainable building assessment organisation.

Susan Ralphs, managing director of Ethical Property Company, said: “This is a testament to the vision and commitment that all the partners shared to deliver a high quality development within a very tight £12 million budget. ”


Photo credit: The Foundry