ENTREPRENEUR Sir Tom Farmer has today been named as the ninth person to receive the prestigious Edinburgh Award.
Sir Tom has been selected to receive the accolade from a shortlist of nominations cast by the public, and will receive an engraved Loving Cup from the city’s Lord Provost at a ceremony within the City Chambers early in the new year.
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 Hibs and is Chancellor of Queen Margaret University.
The Edinburgh Award is in recognition of Sir Tom’s philanthropic contribution to the city. 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.
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.
“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. Most importantly for this award, he is a passionate ambassador for Scotland’s great capital city”.
“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 Farmer 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.”
Last year’s award went to fundraising veteran Tom Gilzean – the first recipient to be honoured for charity work and philanthropy.
The retired bus driver, who started collecting for charity to stave off depression following the death of his wife of 55 years, raised more than £300,000.
He has been awarded several honours, including the British Empire Medal by the Queen in 2013 but insisted that receiving the Edinburgh Award was his “proudest moment” because it was given to him by the people of his home city.