Tuesday, 11 August 2009

I wish I'd had a few £'s in 1933!

Trinity’s growing portfolio
SURPRISE in some quarters that Trinity College, Cambridge, has been able to bid £20m ($33m) for the O2 arena, formerly London’s Millennium Dome, shows that not everyone appreciates the commercial sense of acadaemia wealth.
The biggest of Trinity’s numerous assets across the UK is most of the ground on which the Port of Felixstowe stands, notably Trinity container terminal.
The man still honoured by the college for this was Tressilian Nicholas, senior bursar for the years of depression between the wars when property prices were low. He had been maps officer for the failed Gallipoli landings, but never lost his optimistic outlook.
When the vast Trimley estate came on the market in 1933 he persuaded the college council to buy it for £14 an acre. Its members were not happy because they would be lumbered with an Orwell estuary salt marsh they perceived as “useless”. They argued it might have to be defended against tidal surges. It now makes £3m a year from the port and an associated industrial estate, tax-free, because the college is a benevolent charity.


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