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Two leading philanthropic charities have awarded £500,000 to support the development of the new Lyell Centre at Heriot-Watt’s Edinburgh Campus which will lead global research in earth and marine science and technology.

Heriot-Watt is grateful to both the Wolfson Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation for their awards, and for joining us as major partners in the development of the Lyell Centre. The awards support Heriot-Watt's belief that, through our partnership with the British Geological Survey, we can have a major impact at a global level on earth and marine sciences.
Professor Steve Chapman, Principal Heriot-Watt University

Donating Foundations

£250,000 has been awarded by the Wolfson Foundation in December 2014, with a further £250,000 donated by the Garfield Weston Foundation in early 2015. With funding proposals spearheaded by Heriot-Watt’s Development and Alumni Office in collaboration with Professors Murray Roberts and John Underhill, the Centre’s Principal Investigators, this income will act as a catalyst towards the evolution of the vital research the Centre will undertake.

Support from the Garfield Weston Foundation marks Heriot-Watt’s first collaboration with the Foundation, which has been supporting small community groups to large national institutions for fifty years. With their input, the University will advance its understanding of the balance between the energy needs of a growing global population, and the need to conserve and protect earth and marine habitats.

The Wolfson Foundation’s donation will be directed towards a key aspect of the Centre; a 50,000 litre climate change research aquarium. The aquarium will allow the University's recognised leadership in ocean acidification research to flourish, furthering its understanding of the dangers of climate change to the marine environment. 40 years ago the Wolfson Foundation helped create The Institute of Offshore Engineering, the foundation of today’s interdisciplinary research on land and marine conservation as well as oil and gas exploration and exploitation.

Professor Steve Chapman said, “Heriot-Watt is grateful to both the Wolfson Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation for their awards, and for joining us as major partners in the development of the Lyell Centre. The awards support Heriot-Watt's belief that, through our partnership with the British Geological Survey, we can have a major impact at a global level on earth and marine sciences”.

The Lyell Centre

The Lyell Centre will serve as the new Scottish headquarters for the British Geological Survey (BGS), and bring together over two hundred BGS and Heriot-Watt scientists to undertake cutting-edge research and innovation at the interface of geosciences, life sciences, computing, mathematics and engineering. With building work already underway and a completion date in early 2016, the Centre will soon be playing a key role in finding pragmatic solutions and providing evidence-based informed and reliable opinions in areas where inputs have sometimes become polarised.