Skip to navigation Skip to content

The Lewis Endowment Fund

Image showing crofting landscape on Lewis
The Lewis Endowment Fund is intended to benefit Lewis and specifically the development of agriculture and other land-based enterprises there


The Lewis Endowment Fund (LEF) was set up in 1930 as part of an original benefaction from Dr T.B. Macaulay of the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada. Whilst the major purpose of this benefaction was to create the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, part of it was to be directed specifically to supporting the development of land-based industries on the island of Lewis, from where Dr Macaulay’s family had originated.

The LEF is now administered by the Board of Directors of the James Hutton Institute, the successor to the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, and the application procedure is run in collaboration with the Crofters Commission and the Scottish Crofting Foundation.

The value of grants available

The normal annual value of all grants is £5,000.

Who can apply?

Grants are available to individuals or groups from Lewis, or elsewhere if they can establish the benefits of their proposal to Lewis. Individuals directly employed by agencies/ organisations related to the land-based industries would not normally be eligible to apply unless as part of a wider consortium. All grants are made at the sole discretion of the James Hutton Institute.

What can the grant be used for?

The Lewis Endowment Fund is intended to benefit Lewis and specifically the development of agriculture and other land-based enterprises there. Preference will be given to those areas of support where other sources of funding are not conventionally available.  Proposals that show some direct benefit to land-based enterprises on Lewis will be favoured. In addition, proposals which may be of a more general nature or related to another geographical area but can be shown to have an indirect benefit to land-based enterprises on Lewis (e.g. through training or network development) will also be considered but the means of securing this benefit must be specified. Proposals which might “add value” to new development initiatives on Lewis (e.g. related to the Action 35 programme, LEADER etc) or where LEF funding might secure or increase the viability of existing successful projects there, will also be favoured. It is also recognised that some projects or ideas may be difficult to find funding for. We would therefore encourage proposals which might be considered as “out of the box” or highly speculative, providing they are related to some aspect of land-based industry on Lewis.

How do you apply?

The annual maximum grant total will be £5000 which may be allocated to one or several projects. Invitations to bid for support will normally be requested on an annual basis. The application procedure requires the completion of a short application form which requires:

  • a brief outline of their proposal
  • who it involves
  • an outline of its benefits
  • a specific indication of its duration and cost 
  • who will be responsible for administering the funds and providing reports
  • details of referees who may be contacted to verify the experience and ability of the applicant.

The completed application forms should be sent to Professor Robin Pakeman (at the address below). The annual deadline for submission of applications is one week before Christmas.

The applications will then be evaluated by a review panel comprising staff from the James Hutton Institute and the Scottish Crofting Foundation and a short list of agreed. In some instances the review panel may require some modifications and where relevant these might involve consultation with the local staff from the Crofters Commission, the Scottish Crofting Foundation or other relevant bodies or individuals.

A final recommendation on those proposals to be offered funding will be made to the Board of the James Hutton Institute and the successful applicants informed by the following January. Funding will be on a financial year basis (April to March), and there will be a requirement on the proposers to provide a final report and evaluation. All projects will also be required to acknowledge the LEF support.

Contact details

Please send applications to:

Professor Robin Pakeman
The James Hutton Institute
AB15 8QH

Learning & Resources

Printed from /learning/lewis-endowment-fund on 19/04/24 10:26:13 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.