The Bangladesh Centre is a National Voluntary sector organisation in Britain, devoted to serve the Community as a whole with special focus to Bangladeshis living in the United Kingdom.

It is a registered Charity and a company limited by guarantee (without share capital) based in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The Centre’s building which is situated at 24 Pembridge Gardens, London W2 4DX has a historic value for Bangladesh. This is because in 1971, during the Liberation War of Bangladesh, we established our first mission office in this building to co-ordinate worldwide diplomatic activities and acquires support for the liberation war of Bangladesh where the Ex-President late Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury started working for the Provisional Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Mujibnager. The support of British Government during the War of Liberation was mobilised by the Community leaders having a Steering Committee which was mainly co-ordinated and was functioning from this building.

On the 4th February 1972, soon after the recognition of the independent Bangladesh by the British Government, this was the building where the national flag of the independent Bangladesh was first hoisted. And from that day, in view of its historic importance, the first Bangladesh High Commission was set up in the UK in this building and continued up to 1973.

In 1974, the mission was moved to another site but the vast majority of Bangladeshis living in London area expressed their desire to associate themselves with this building which reminded them of the great unity and determination, irrespective of their political affiliation to different parties, which was demonstrated during the liberation war in 1971. That was an incredible achievement by the members of our Community. Though each had their own political ideologies and affiliations with different political parties the sense of unity for the strive for an independent state shows how great the people of Bangladesh truly are as great strength and inner belief was displayed.

From 1974 to 1983, the Bangladesh Centre was running Hostel services and other community activities concentrating mainly on Bangla School and Cultural functions.

The Centre was formally established in 1983 to promote Bangladesh and her language, culture, heritage etc. in Britain. This is an educational, cultural, community and welfare organisation which serves its members and Bangladeshis in the UK. Moreover, its services are also extended to the local community, which uses our library facilities and information services, ICT facilities, hostel accommodation etc. The local community and the Bangladeshis from all over the UK use this venue to host various cultural events throughout the year.

In 1983, TocH the original owner of the building, acknowledging the sentimental value of the building to the Bangladeshi community due to the events of the early 70’s, sold the building to the Bangladesh Centre’s newly constituted Council of Trustees. The first Chairman of the Council of Management was Mr. Fakhruddin Ahmed, the then High Commissioner for Bangladesh to the UK.

The Government of Bangladesh, headed by the then President H M Ershad, contributed approximately £130,000 towards the purchase price of the building. A further £29,000 was raised by 29 Founder Members contributing £1000 each. Three Corporate members (namely Sonali Bank [UK Ltd], TocH & Bangladesh Medical Association in the UK) had also donated £2500 each. Subsequently, towards the renovation and modernisation of the Centre building further contributions were made from time to time by 87 Permanent Members and 64 life Members in addition to the General Members. It may be mentioned that His Excellency the High Commissioner for Bangladesh to the UK is the Chairman (Ex-officio) of this Historic Centre.

In order to facilitate the integration of British Bangladeshi’s into British society, The Bangladesh Centre being a sizeable national voluntary sector organisation has tries to maintain an effective rapport with the indigenous white British community and has frequently participated in the community development activities at local, regional and national levels.