Spence Agricultural Scholarship

The Spence Agricultural Scholarship grants recipients £1,500 a year for three or four consecutive years, when studying at the University of Nottingham. The scholarship has been launched in recognition of the work of John Spence, a former Senior Warden of the Trust and reflects the educational aims of the Trust to support agricultural education in addition to its long-standing work within civil engineering education.

The scholarship was first awarded for the 2018/19 academic year, and scholars must pass each year of study at their first attempt and provide a report (500 words) to the Rochester Bridge Trust on their academic and other achievements at the end of each academic year.

The scholarship is available to students studying for a BSc Hons in:


  • Agriculture
  • Agriculture and Crop Science
  • Agriculture and Livestock Science
  • Integrated Agricultural Business Management
  • Integrated Agricultural Business Management with Industrial Placement Award

The qualifying areas are: Medway, Kent, London Boroughs of Bexley and Bromley, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and West Yorkshire. Students must live or study in one of these areas at the time of their application.

Eligible candidates will be invited to apply, with an assessment made based on their UCAS personal statement. Potential students who wish to apply for the scholarship will be asked to submit a two minute video explaining why they wish to study agriculture and how they might use the scholarships.

For the duration of their three or four-year degree course, the Trust provides not only financial and practical support for the scholars, but also seeks to organise unique enrichment opportunities, thanks to its strong connections with agricultural producers and affiliated organisations within the industry. Scholars are invited to visit Rochester on a regular basis throughout the term of their scholarship, where they will get the opportunity to meet Mr Spence, current court members and also visit agricultural land owned by the Trust, and its tenants, who work in a range of agricultural areas. Events so far have included a diverse programme – from vineyard tours for those interested in viticulture to a trip to a pumpkin farm hosting seasonal events. Because of the Trust’s unique connections with tenants working in cereal farming, farming dairy herds and soft fruit production (to name a few!) it is able to support a wide range of agricultural interests for the scholars.

Scholars are also requested to produce regular blogs (250-300 words) for use on the Trust’s websites and social media channels. Scholars are asked to reflect on student life, their studies and their experiences of life in agriculture – a great way to inspire other young people to follow in their footsteps. Scholars are also invited to support significant events in the agricultural calendar such as the Kent County Show and the educational Living Land Show, to further engage and enthuse young people in understanding more about how much we all rely on agriculture and the farmers, scientists and engineers who make it happen.

To find out more visit the University of Nottingham’s website.