Farmer to be honoured with city award
Tyre entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Tom Farmer has been named as the ninth person to receive the Edinburgh Award.
Sir Tom has been selected to receive the accolade from a shortlist of nominations cast by the Edinburgh public. He will receive an engraved Loving Cup from the city’s Lord Provost at a ceremony within the City Chambers in early 2016.
The Leith-born 75 year-old began his career at 15 at a local tyre firm before famously founding one of Europe’s largest and best known automotive repair businesses, Kwik Fit. He is the current major shareholder of Hibernian Football Club and is Chancellor of Queen Margaret University.
His handprints will be immortalised on a flagstone in the City Chambers quadrangle alongside those of previous recipients Ian Rankin, JK Rowling, George Kerr, Sir Chris Hoy, Professor Peter Higgs, Elizabeth Blackadder, Professor Richard Demarco and Tom Gilzean.
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Donald Wilson, said: “Sir Tom is not only an inspiring businessman but a champion of education, a keen philanthropist and a real believer in community spirit. Most importantly for this award, he is a passionate ambassador for Scotland’s great capital city.
“Sir Tom kindly donated a nativity scene to the city 12 years ago which, this Christmas, can be found nestled in St Andrew Square. He has constantly given back to this city and has made a significant difference to countless charities from the Salvation Army to Mary’s Meals, which provides school meals for children in deprived areas around the world.
“It is a delight to announce Sir Tom as the ninth person to be presented with the Edinburgh Award. He really has made an outstanding contribution to the capital, and this award is the city’s way of recognising all that he has achieved.”
Sir Tom added: “It is a great honour for me to receive the Edinburgh Award. Edinburgh is the city of my birth and I am overwhelmed that I have been chosen to receive this prestigious recognition.
“I wish to thank those who nominated me and the judging panel. I must also thank my wife Anne and my family and friends who have supported and encouraged me all throughout my life.”
About the award:
Nominations for the Edinburgh Award are from Edinburgh citizens and the awarding decision is taken by a judging panel chaired by the Lord Provost, with representatives from all political groups on the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.
First launched in 2007, the Edinburgh Award is a way for Edinburgh citizens to pay a lasting tribute to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the city through their achievements.
About Sir Tom
Tom Farmer was born in Leith, Edinburgh and educated at St Mary’s Primary School and Holy Cross Academy. He lives in Edinburgh.
He was the first Scot to be awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for philanthropy and continues to work with a catalogue of charities and community organisations. He was the Chairman of the campaigning pressure group Scotland Against Drugs, and Chairman of the Trustees of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. He established the Farmer Foundation to provide support to local communities in the UK and abroad, with the aim of encouraging self-sufficient development.
Some of his previous honours and awards include:
-2009 Royal Victorian Order (CVO – Commander of the Victorian Order in the Queen’s New Year Honours).
-1997 Knights Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
-1990 CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
-1997 Knight Commander with Star of the Order of the St. Gregory the Great (Pope John Paul II).
-1996 Officer in de Orde van Orange-Nassau of the Netherlands (Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands).
-1993 The Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (The President of Poland).
He has received Honorary Doctorates from Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, Napier University Edinburgh, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Edinburgh, University of St. Andrews, Stevenson College Edinburgh.
He is a Companion of the Royal College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.