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City of London funds

How the City of London Corporation manages the City Fund, City's Cash and Bridge House Estates.

The City Fund

This Fund meets the cost of the City of London’s local authority, police authority and port health authority activities. The Fund generates rental and interest income to help finance these activities. In addition, in common with other local authorities, it receives grants from central government, a share of business rates income and the proceeds of the local council tax.

The City of London retains only a small proportion of the business rates collected from its area, in accordance with the national arrangements. The remainder has to be paid over to the national non-domestic rates pool and is redistributed to local authorities throughout the country by central government.

Because of its special circumstances – notably its very low resident population and high daytime population – the City of London is allowed uniquely to set its own business rate. It may set this rate, subject to certain constraints, at a higher or lower level than the National Non-Domestic Rate determined by central government for the rest of the country.

City's Cash

This is an endowment fund built up over the last eight centuries. Its incomes are derived mainly from property, supplemented by investment earnings and the fund is now used to finance activities mainly for the benefit of London as a whole but also of relevance nationwide. The management and conservation of over 10,000 acres of open space, all of the Lord Mayor's activities, Smithfield, Billingsgate, and Leadenhall markets, three of the highest achieving independent schools in the country and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – all these are paid for by City's Cash at no cost to the public.

Bridge House Estates

The City of London is the sole trustee of Bridge House Estates which reaches out across London in many important and diverse ways. This includes its grant-making operation, City Bridge Trust, but the core business of the Estates, for many centuries, has been looking after its bridges. Bridge House Estates in some cases built, and now maintains, five of the bridges that cross the Thames into the City of London – London Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Tower Bridge and the Millennium Footbridge. The maintenance and replacement of these bridges remains the prime objective of this ancient charity.

The latest Bridge House Estate Annual Report and Financial Statements are available from the City Bridge Trust's website.