It is thought that the charity dates back to the 16th century to the time of the dissolution of Burton Abbey and the craft guilds. However, the first recorded reference appeared in 1709 when there was an inquiry into the condition and administration of the Town Lands charities which were later to be amalgamated into the Consolidated Charity.
The Consolidated Charity of Burton upon Trent is an endowed charity. Amongst the early benefactors were William Finney, Abbot Beyne School, Lady Paulet, Ellen Parker, Richard Allsopp, Francis Astle, Richard Bowle, Mrs Almond, Mr Robinson, and Elizabeth (Beth) Johnson. Over the centuries the charity has gradually accumulated a number of town properties, workhouses, almshouses and financial bequests from a wide variety of sources so that it now owns over £10 million of assets.
The charity's governing document is a scheme dated 4th April 2001 as amended by a Special Resolution of 14th February 2005.
The charity has 19 trustees; 14 are co-opted by virtue of having special knowledge of the area of benefit and five are nominated by East Staffordshire Borough Council.
The objects of the Consolidated Charity of Burton upon Trent are defined in its governing document, the Charity Commission Scheme dated 4th April 2001.
The objects of the Charity are:
The provision of Almshouse accommodation for poor persons resident in the area of benefit and such charitable purposes for the benefit of the residents as the Trustees decide.
The promotion of any charitable purpose for the benefit of the inhabitants of the area of benefit as the Trustees think fit.
In exceptional circumstances the Trustees may treat, as within these objects, persons otherwise eligible who are resident immediately outside the area of benefit but in the opinion of the trustees ought nevertheless, for sufficient reason, be treated as resident therein or who are located for the time being within that area.
The area of benefit of the charity is defined as the former County Borough of Burton upon Trent as constituted on 31st March 1974 together with the Parishes of Branston and Stretton and the existing civil parish of Outwoods including South Outwoods.
In effect this includes the following civil parishes; Anglesey, Branston, Brizlincote, Burton, Horninglow & Eton, Outwoods, Shobnall, Stapenhill, Stretton and Winshill. This was extended in November 2015 to include Rolleston-on-Dove, Barton-under-Needwood, Tutbury and Tatenhill.
All Trustees sit on the Main Committee which is responsible for the management of the Charity and for awarding grants to organisations. To streamline decision-making the Trustees have set up the following Sub-Committees;
Policy & Resources – Finance, policy and governance
Almshouses – Management of Almshouses
Small Grants – Relief in Need grant scheme
Educational – Bursary scheme and grants to individuals for education and personal development (including sport and the arts)