Published: 8th May 2013

As public funds diminish, philanthropy is returning to its roots and focusing on local issues. But can the UK follow the US and embrace mission-related local investment, asks David Boyle. It only took a couple of decades for Islington to change its image in the public mind – from being a byword for poverty and local government incompetence to the ground zero of the trendy and comfortable middle classes. By 1994, it had risen in the world enough to provide the backdrop for the famous concordat between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown at Granita restaurant, not because Islington was symbolic of Labour heartlands but because it was where Blair lived. Two statistics about the London borough today serve to explain why it has become the crucible of a new kind of philanthropy: Islington is one of the spots in the UK most divided by extremes of wealth and poverty.  It … (To read the full article, subscribe below)