Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Final grants available from Manx benefactor's £1m legacy

Mr Collister Image copyright Manx National Heritage
Image caption Donald Collister was a keen gardener who exhibited at the annual parish fair

A heritage programme set up in memory of an elderly man who left £1m to the Manx nation is looking for projects to help.

Donald Collister, of Colby, handed his entire estate to Manx National Heritage after his death aged 93 in 2007.

The Donald Collister Heritage programme has so far given £140,000 to community projects to help attract visitors and boost various good causes.

Groups now have until 31 March to apply for a final round of grants.

The programme's director Edmund Southworth said trustees want the "very significant bequest "to benefit the whole island".

He added: "In many ways he was an ordinary man but this is an extraordinary story."

Image copyright MNH
Image caption Mr Collister served in the Manx Regiment during WW2

Mr Collister worked as a painter and decorator after serving with the Manx Regiment in Crete and north Africa during World War Two.

So far money has been given to gardening, building, conservation and wildlife projects.

About £860,000 is still to be handed out, with groups able to apply for a maximum of £5,000.

Manx National Heritage is responsible for protecting and promoting the Isle of Man's heritage and culture.

Key objectives of the grant programme include:

  • Maintaining and improving access to heritage sites
  • Increasing the sustainability of heritage activities
  • Commemorating the military history of the Isle of Man
  • Recording of collections at risk

Source: Donald Collister Heritage programme

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