Tony Platten is the founder of the innovative Blyth based telecare business Tynetec. He is perhaps better known as chairman of Blyth Spartans Football Club, famous for its FA Cup exploits in recent seasons. Tony is married to Anne and they have two daughters, Jill and Alison.
Tony was owner-manager of Tynetec for 34 years. He sold the business to Legrand Electric in 2013. It was a small-to-medium-sized enterprise – £13 million turnover and 120 staff – that packed a big punch, credited with important innovations in telecare, telehealth and telemedicine. Following the sale to Legrand, Tony and Anne established the Platten Family Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. The purpose is to make grants to support engineering education and training in the North East. When established, half of the fund was invested as an endowment and half made available immediately for grant-making. Recognising the growing shortage of engineering talent in Britain, the fund is intended to help remedy the situation.
The Platten Family Fund makes grants of £100,000 a year. In 2015, the fund made a £50,000 grant to the Ignite Centre for Engineering and Innovation at TyneMet College in North Tyneside. A number of smaller grants have been made to primary schools which allows them to offer ‘code clubs’. These clubs use raspberry pi computers to engage children in technology and engineering. Tony is actively involved in the grant-making process. Explaining his motivation he said:
“I am passionate about education and I’d like to encourage young people in particular to think about engineering as a career. This was the driving force of our philanthropy. The North East led the world in engineering for over 150 years, it’s time to re-establish that position.”
Ryecroft Glenton. (2018). News - Shining a spotlight on the Community Foundation, Available here (Accessed: 04/08/2018).
Scott, S. (2014). Blyth entrepreneur starts fund to help young people following sale of company, The Journal, Available here (Accessed: 07/07/2018).
Whitfield, G. (2015). Philanthropist Tony Platten on his mission to sculpt the next generation of North East engineers, The Chronicle, Available here (Accessed 07/07/2018).