BASF (Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik, or, in English, Baden Aniline and Soda Factory) was founded on 6 April 1865 in Mannheim, in the German-speaking country of Baden by Friedrich Engelhorn. It had been responsible for setting up a gasworks and street lighting for the town council in 1861. The gasworks produced tar as a byproduct, and Engelhorn used this for the production of dyes. BASF was set up in 1865 to produce other chemicals necessary for dye production, notably soda and acids.

The acquisition of the Seal Sand site in 1985 was an acknowledgement by the company of the benefits and opportunities offered by establishing a new manufacturing base for the company in the UK, based on Teesside.

The company’s presence in the Tees Valley was extended in 1994 by a further acquisition at Wilton. 

To mark the company’s 25th anniversary in Teesside it was decided to set up an endowed fund within Tees Valley Community Foundation, with its' Plant Director Ian Collinson beginning a long and successful relationship with the charity. 

The Seal Sands operation was sold to INEOS, the world’s third largest chemicals company, a leading manufacturer of petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and oil products following clearance from the European Commission on 1st August 2008.

The fund continues to support the local community with an emphasis on the North Tees area, including North Stockton, Billingham, Seaton Carew, Haverton Hill and The Clarences.