Bridge Trust Calls for Community Grant Bids

The Rochester Bridge Trust is inviting applications from charities and charitable organisations to the first round of its 2012 community grants programme.

Applications are welcome from across the historic county of Kent including the boroughs of Greenwich, Bromley, Bexley and Lewisham. Grants are also available to organisations in Holme with Conington, Cambridgeshire, where the Kent-based trust has significant land holdings.

The Trust is particularly seeking requests for grants of £4,000 or less for projects related to research and the study of civil engineering, particularly bridges, and proposals to preserve or improve the River Medway or develop a greater understanding of the history of the river and its crossings. Smaller sums will be available for the purchase of equipment and resources to assist schoolchildren in the study of engineering, for example, at after-school science or technology clubs. Other applications that match the Trust’s interests, such as the conservation of churches and heritage buildings, and education activities for young people with severe disabilities will also be considered.

All applications must be submitted before June 29 and follow the terms and conditions governing the Trust’s community grants.

Founded in 1399, The Rochester Bridge Trust is one of the oldest charities in the country. The Trust is responsible for providing a bridge over the River Medway at Rochester at no cost to the public. The Trust’s income is wholly derived from careful management of its 14th- and 15th-century endowments and assets. These are used to pay for bridge maintenance and are invested for new bridges to be built in the future.

Over the centuries the Trust has also supported many community projects. Last year the Trust made community grants to MidKent College, Brogdale National Fruit Collection, and Rochester Art for Life, as well as to restoration and conservation programmes at four historic Kent churches. This year the Trust is continuing its support of the Universities at Medway Boat Race and is planning to sponsor two more Arkwright Scholars during their sixth form studies in Kent schools.

Other major projects currently backed by the Rochester Bridge Trust include Orchestra ONE with Kent Music, and Growing Scientist with eight Maidstone secondary schools. Orchestra ONE is a two-year-programme of workshops and public performances for young people who do not regularly have access to shared music-making experiences. Growing Scientist aims to engage up to 2,000 pupils over two years in science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities in a bid to encourage further study and careers in those disciplines.

Notes:

1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.

2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For more information:

The Rochester Bridge Trust
5 Esplanade
Rochester
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125