Horticultural students set to flower thanks to funding from foundation

13 February 2018

A college shook hands on a brand new partnership aimed at supporting the next generation of garden design experts.

The collaboration is between Easton & Otley College and The Cedric Morris Foundation.

The deal – worth £50,000 over ten years – will support learners who are studying on horticultural degree programmes at the Otley campus of the college.

Every year for the next decade, (thanks to the foundation) £5000.00 will be distributed to students on horticulturally related degree courses and the cash will be used to help students purchase expensive equipment such as computer programmes for design work. The bursaries will also fund organised study tours to historical gardens.

Jonathan Benson is a trustee of the foundation. He said, “The foundation was set up to celebrate the memory of Sir Cedric Morris - the famous artist and plantsman who made Suffolk his home. Sir Cedric founded the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in 1937 with Arthur Lett-Haines. Lucian Freud was one of his most famous students. As a passionate plantsman known for his work breeding irises, Sir Cedric wanted his legacy to be used to help young people studying horticulture and to ensure they could travel to develop their skills and knowledge.

“Therefore, as a foundation, we are keen to continue with Sir Cedric’s wishes. So, we are delighted that we will be making a real difference to the lives of Otley horticultural degree students. We want to provide continuity and certainty in terms of our support and this is why the award will run for the next ten years,” he added.

Acting principal of Easton & Otley College, Jane Townsend, said, “We are incredibly grateful to the Sir Cedric Morris Foundation for this very generous award. The fact that the foundation has committed to supporting our students for such a period of time, allows us to plan ahead and promote the work we do for future students, and in turn allows us to train them in the skills that will make an impact on the industry they wish to serve.”

“This is the ideal way to continue the ongoing legacy of Sir Cedric. Clearly he was a generous individual who was passionate about education, plants and Suffolk and I know that our students will be delighted with this news and they will, I’m sure, be determined make him proud.”                 

Keely Williams is a former graphic designer who started a foundation degree in landscape & garden design at the Otley campus last September.

She said, “The grant is going to make such a huge difference and the additional support is great news for all of us students.”                                                                                                                                                                          

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