Captain Tom Foundation halts donations and payments amid charity watchdog probe

The Captain Tom Foundation said it was not presently seeking any funding from donors (Jacob King/PA)
The Captain Tom Foundation said it was not presently seeking any funding from donors (Jacob King/PA)

The Captain Tom Foundation has stopped taking money from donors after planning chiefs ordered that an unauthorised building in the home of the daughter of the late charity fundraiser be demolished.

Central Bedfordshire Council said a retrospective planning application had been refused and an enforcement notice issued requiring the demolition of the “now-unauthorised building” containing a spa pool.

On Tuesday, the foundation put out a statement saying it would not seek donations, and was closing all payment channels, while the Charity Commission carried out an inquiry.

Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin applied in 2021 for permission to build a Captain Tom Foundation Building in the grounds of their home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

The L-shaped building was given the green light, and in a design and access and heritage statement it was described as to be used partly “in connection with the Captain Tom Foundation and its charitable objectives”.

Hannah Ingram-Moore
Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore (Jacob King/PA)

A subsequent retrospective application in 2022, for a larger C-shaped building containing a spa pool, was refused by the planning authority.

In supporting documents, it was described as “a new building for use by the occupiers” of the home of Mr and Mrs Ingram-Moore.

In a design and access and heritage statement, it was referred to as The Captain Tom Building.

Sir Tom raised £38.9 million for the NHS, including gift aid, by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday at the height of the first national Covid-19 lockdown in April 2020.

He died in February 2021.

A spokesperson for Central Bedfordshire Council, the planning authority for the area, said on Tuesday it received a planning application in August 2021 for the erection of a detached single storey building by the occupiers of the home of the Ingram-Moores and the Captain Tom Foundation.

It said this was approved.

Captain Sir Tom Moore
Captain Sir Tom Moore raised millions of pounds for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic (Danny Lawson/PA)

In 2022, planners subsequently received a retrospective planning application for a “part retrospective erection of detached single-storey building (revised proposals)”, which was refused, the spokesperson said.

The council spokesperson said: “An enforcement notice requiring the demolition of the now-unauthorised building was issued and this is now subject to an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.”

The foundation said: “At this moment in time, the sole focus of the Captain Tom Foundation is to ensure that it co-operates fully with the ongoing statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission.

“As a result, the Captain Tom Foundation is not presently actively seeking any funding from donors. Accordingly, we have also taken the decision to close all payment channels while the statutory inquiry remains open.

“Once the findings of the statutory inquiry have been communicated, the Captain Tom Foundation will be in a better position to make a decision in relation to its future, but for now, our main priority is to assist the Charity Commission with its inquiry.

“In the meantime, on behalf of the trustees of the Captain Tom Foundation, we wish to extend a warm thank you to all our supporters who have enabled us to help charities that were close to Captain Sir Tom’s heart.”

Efforts have been made to approach Hannah Ingram-Moore for comment.

The foundation previously said, in a statement to a national newspaper: “At no time were the Captain Tom Foundation’s independent trustees aware of planning permissions made by Mr and Mrs Ingram-Moore purporting to be in the foundation’s name.

“Had they been aware of any applications, the independent trustees would not have authorised them.”