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Lewis Endowment Fund announces call for applications

The new polytunnel at Macaulay College was funded by the LEF
"The funds could be used to carry out feasibility studies, buy important equipment or develop infrastructure. Preference will be given for projects that have wider community benefits

Crofting projects on the Isle of Lewis have the opportunity to benefit from a share of £5,000 distributed annually by the Lewis Endowment Fund. The fund, managed by the James Hutton Institute, is open to applications from projects that directly or indirectly benefit crofting or other land-based enterprises on Lewis.

The Lewis Endowment Fund was set up in 1930 through an endowment from Dr Thomas Bassett Macaulay, who also endowed the Macaulay Institute for Soil Research, a predecessor organisation of the James Hutton Institute. Dr Macaulay had strong Lewis roots and the Lewis Endowment Fund is one of his enduring legacies.

Lewis Endowment Fund co-ordinator Professor Robin Pakeman said: “The Institute is looking for proposals that will help secure the viability of existing, successful initiatives or add value to new ones.

“The funds could be used to carry out feasibility studies, buy important equipment or develop infrastructure. Preference will be given for projects that have wider community benefits.”

In 2013, the Lewis Endowment Fund provided support for two projects. At the Macaulay College, the fund contributed to the cost of materials for their development project.

Macaulay College director Rebecca Engebretsen commented: “The construction of the polytunnel and the growing project that has come as a result of it has been a huge success. The benefits to the students, the college and wider community have been immeasurable.”

Earlier this year, the fund contributed to the development of new pens at the Lewis and Harris Auction Mart. Donald Macleod, secretary of the committee who run the mart, said: “We are grateful for the co-operation and financial support received over the past two years from the Lewis Endowment Fund through the James Hutton Institute.

“Without this crucial level of private sector support it would not have been possible to attract the level of public sector finance required to proceed with ongoing developments and improvements at the mart”.

For further information about the Lewis Endowment Fund contact Professor Robin Pakeman or visit www.hutton.ac.uk/lewisfund. The deadline for applications for 2015 is 16 December 2014. Applications will be judged by a panel from the institute and the Scottish Crofting Foundation, and successful applicants will be informed by the end of January 2015.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


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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.