Manx National Heritage Announces Long Term Programme for Collister Bequest

– Posted on Thursday 21st January 2016

Manx National Heritage, the organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man’s heritage and culture as well as maintaining and preserving its biodiversity and natural landscapes, has confirmed details of the first beneficiaries of the ‘Donald Collister Heritage Programme’. The programme was set up with funds from the generous bequest of Colby resident, Donald ‘Donny’ Collister in September 2012.

The three year programme of activity has been established following an extensive ten week public consultation that was carried out in between April and July 2012 which sought the views of both the local community and broader associations and organisations on appropriate options for the bequest. The key responses included a heritage grant framework, national and local community benefit and that the projects were sustainable over a medium to long term period.

The Donald Collister Heritage Programme has identified key areas that the bequest will be allocated to support. These are heritage grants, local community development projects in Arbory, a heritage skills development programme and biodiversity.

The heritage grants programme will be seeking applications from 1 February 2016 to 31 March 2016 with further opportunities to submit applications in Autumn 2016. Grants will be awarded to organisations and individuals that demonstrate a measureable, sustainable contribution to the local community, attracting new visitors and protect the island’s local and national heritage.

Funding has already been granted to a number of local Arbory community schemes under the ‘Local Community Development Programme’. Initiatives receiving support include a five year ‘Root and Shoot’ project run by Arbory School to develop a heritage garden, the funding of an exhibition tent for the annual Laa Columb Killey Festival, low energy lighting for the Manx Aviation Museum, repairs to St Peter’s Church in Cregneash and the support of an Arbory War Memorial on the basis of matching funds raised.

In addition Arbory Church has received supporting funds for two projects; a new stained glass window commemorating former parish resident Captain John Quilliam, a veteran of the Battle of Trafalgar, and repairs to the church doors.

Edmund Southworth, Director, Manx National Heritage, commented:

“The public consultation that we carried out established clear guidelines against which projects and proposals seeking funding would be assessed. We have now identified and granted funds to the first round of applicants whose projects fitted the defined criteria to deliver sustainable heritage both in Donny’s own community and beyond. There will be a number of opportunities for individuals and organisations to make applications for support and funding over the next couple of years.”

Edmund continued:

“This was a very significant bequest and Manx National Heritage has a great responsibility to ensure that it results in a sustainable heritage programme that benefits the local community and the Island as a whole.”

For further information, please visit


Image caption: The late John Donald Collister, a proud Manxman who left £1 million to the Manx nation.

For further information, please contact:

Lynsey Clague
Communications Manager
Manx National Heritage, Eiraght Ashoonagh Vannin
Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 3LY
t: +44 (0) 1624 648032

Back to top