Union’s Centenary Trust Awards Approach £100,000

Projects in Aberdeenshire, the Highlands, Forth and Clyde, Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders all get funding boost.

Total awards made from NFU Scotland’s Centenary Trust this year to rural projects around Scotland are fast approaching £100,000.

The trust, established to mark the Union’s first 100 years, is being funded by centenary events taking place throughout 2013 and via a voluntary contribution from the Union’s members. The latest round of awards saw a total of £35,550 go to successful applicants.  That brings the total amount of money awarded by the trust across three application rounds to just under £100,000.

In the latest round, awards have met all three of the Trust’s objectives for the fund – developing careers in Scottish farming, promoting our food and farming industries to schoolchildren and improving the sector’s health and safety record.  Projects from Alva, Newtonmore, Stirling and Slamannan are amongst those being supported.

The largest award this time has gone to Laurencekirk-based Ringlink to help develop its landmark internship programme, that is bringing young people into farming and the wider rural industry.

Graham Bruce, Managing Director of Ringlink (Scotland) Ltd said:

“For many years we have advocated the benefits of an entirely practical work-based programme and we are delighted to have been awarded funds from the Centenary  Trust towards the delivery of the internship programme.

“Along with other funding, this will allow us to deliver phase two of the programme where we intend to double the number of interns from six to twelve. This is a major step in our long-term aspiration to deliver a recognised method of training and development designed to encourage young people into the agricultural and associated industry.”

The majority of projects approved build on the huge work that organisations like the Royal Highland Educational Trust, the Royal Northern Agricultural Society, the Border Union Agricultural Society and individual schools are undertaking in giving children a flavour of what goes in to producing their food.  

Secretary of the Border Union Agricultural Society, Ronald Wilson said:

"We are both delighted and grateful to receive an Award towards our annual Children's Day at Springwood Park, Kelso on Tuesday 20th May 2014.     All Primary 5 children from the Scottish Borders Region schools, plus a number of schools from the Lothians, will enjoy a fun hands on-day learning all about everything related to the countryside - live animals, food, growing crops, wool, fishing, the environment, country code and much more.     

“This Award helps to underpin the financial cost of the day and means we can expand on what we managed to achieve at our inaugural day in 2013, when more than 1300 ten-year-olds came to the event."

NFU Scotland’s Centenary Trust Treasurer, George Lawrie added:

“Collectively as an industry we must make sure we do all we can to encourage the next generation of farmers and food producers. As NFU Scotland celebrates our 100th birthday, I hope that we can inspire some youngsters, wherever they come from, that farming is a career path that is open to them all, even if they are growing up in the heart of the city. Whatever they do when they leave school, I believe it’s important that all schoolchildren are given the opportunity to learn about the food, drink and other products Scottish farms produce and how farming contributes to the beautiful landscape and wildlife for which our country is famous.”

Notes to editors

  • To mark its first 100 years, NFU Scotland has established a Centenary Trust.  The Trust is being funded by centenary events taking place throughout 2013 and via a voluntary contribution from the Union’s members.  In its first year, the Trust is supporting three objectives:

-    To encourage as many children as possible to learn more about where their food and drink comes from and to visit a farm in 2013.  
-    To educate farmers, their employees and their children on health and safety in the countryside, with a special emphasis on children’s safety.   
-    To assist in bringing forward a meaningful apprentice programme that supports farmers and their employees.

  • The Trust would welcome applications from schools and other applications for the next round of grants, for which the deadline is 20 December 2013. For more information, please visit or call Colin Gordon on 0131 472 4011.
  • In the latest round of awards, the following projects received funding:

-    Ringlink Scotland, Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire for its land-based internship programme that encourages and prepares young people for a career in agriculture and the wider rural sector; provide them with practical experience, training and knowledge, mentoring and secure full time employment.
-    Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore, to purchase a fibreglass milkable cow from Horn Imports for the popular outdoor museum that helps educate 20,000 children who visit each year on where food comes from.
-    RHET Forth Valley for a life size fibreglass calf and sheep plus trailer to accompany its existing fibreglass milking cow.  
-    Borestone Primary School, St Ninians, Stirling to assist pupils currently studying farming to visit a local dairy farm.
-    Slamannan Primary School, Slamannan, nr Falkirk for incubator equipment and accommodation to raise chicks from eggs.  It is to help children understand poultry and egg production and to take responsibility for health and welfare of animals.
-    Kincardine in Menteith Primary School, Blairdrummond, Stirling to construct raised beds and the creation of a kitchen garden.  This experience of growing food would fit with opportunities to visit local farms.
-    RHET Dumfries and Galloway to support its ‘Stay Safe on the Farm’ project including the production of kidsafe DVD on the dangers in and around farms.
-    Alva Academy, Alva to help support the long-running programme of visits to local farms to look at food production.  
-    Border Union Agricultural Society to help fund its Countryside Schools Day 2014 planned for 20 May 2014 when an estimated 1500 schoolchildren will participate in an event linking pupils with the countryside in an event on the Border Union Showfield. It looks at livestock, food, access, crops, timber, renewable energy, wool and much more.


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 129/13

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