Arthur Burden OBE.

Burdens chairman awarded OBE

Published:  06 July, 2009

BRISTOL: Arthur Burden, chairman of the Burdens Group, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's birthday honours for his services to charity.

It is fitting that this honour has come during the 80th anniversary of the founding of Burdens.

When asked for his reaction to the award, Mr Bureden stated: "So many people are worthy of the award, but so few are chosen and I have never felt that I was doing anything out of the ordinary."

Following his appointment as a partner with Manchester-based chartered accountants Beever and Struthers in 1959 Mr Burden took an increasingly active interest in the public, voluntary and charity sectors.

His first honorary treasurer role was for the Manchester Hostel of the YMCA, he was elected chairman of Manchester Citizens' Advice Bureau and became chairman of the National Library for the Blind.

The accountancy practice was involved at the very beginning of the social housing movement, which addressed the needs in Moss Side and Hulme ultimately leading to the development of Mosscare. Mr Burden served on the Local Parole Review Committee at Strangeways Prison and his standing within his profession was acknowledged when he became president of the Manchester Society of Chartered Accountants.

In 1976 his father, Wilfred Thomas Burden – who founded Burdens in 1929 – established the Burdens Charitable Foundation, donating 40% of his company shares.

Arthur Burden became chairman of both the Foundation and company in 1983. In 1987 he was instrumental in introducing one of the earliest employee share schemes to be adopted by any company, laying the foundation for future corporate policy.

Today, Burdens is a leading supplier of utility, civil engineering, specialist construction and environmental products and services and the Charitable Foundation under Arthur's chairmanship continues to support causes both at home and abroad.

A recent example is the La Renaissance project to build and run a school to provide education for children, including some who are visually impaired or totally blind, in Burkina Faso, West Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world.

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