newsitem001 1

Local Arkwright Scholars Backed by Trust

The Rochester Bridge Trust is supporting two outstanding local school students hoping to pursue careers in engineering: Reece McAllister, of Chatham Grammar School for Boys, and Helen Phillips, of Bromley High School.

During their final two years at school this support will include opportunities to meet leading engineers and find out more about the profession as well as guidance on university courses and higher apprenticeships.

Reece and Helen have both been awarded the prestigious Bridge Wardens’ Scholarships through the Arkwright Scholarships Trust following a rigorous series of assessments that included a two-hour aptitude test and a university-based interview. They join more than 300 A-level and sixth-form students from across the UK who have been awarded Arkwright Scholarships this year.

It is the second time the Rochester Bridge Trust has used its discretionary community funds to assist young high-achievers during their final years at secondary school.

Sue Threader, a civil engineer and Bridge Clerk for the Trust, said: “We are very committed to supporting the education and development of the engineers of the future and the Arkwright Scholarship Trust enables us to do this. Engineering offers many exciting and rewarding careers across a range of sectors. There is a national shortage of engineers and we need talented young people, such as Reece and Helen, to come into the field. We need good engineers to build and maintain our infrastructure and to grow our economy in a highly competitive global marketplace.”

The Rochester Bridge Trust, founded in the 14th century, is responsible for providing and maintaining a crossing of the River Medway at Rochester in perpetuity at no cost to the public.

The Trust pays for bridge maintenance and plans for future bridges through careful management of its medieval endowments. In addition, the Trust runs a programme of community grants and special projects in the fields of education, science and engineering. The Trust’s Growing Scientist project, working with eight Maidstone secondary schools, is a two-year programme of science, technology and engineering events and activities aiming to engage 1,000 young people each year. The Trust also sponsors the annual Bridge Building Competition for local primary schools at the Royal Engineers’ Museum in Gillingham.


1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.

2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For more information:

The Rochester Bridge Trust
5 Esplanade
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125

Share this story