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The Trust has an International ethos, presence and history, as well as involvement of academics practitioners and policy makers. It is therefore is in a very strong position to provide a means to bridge continuing gaps between policy makers, practitioners, rural communities, and academics as well as those between countries and groups of countries. The Trust has been innovative and hands-on in relation to its modus operandi.
Some key milestones in the Trust’s evolution have been:-
- First Arkleton Fellowship awarded in 1979;
- Support from the Ernest Cook Trust for a series of mid-career Fellowships enabling trans-national exchanges;
- First meeting of the International Advisory Committee in Uig, Lewis, Outer Hebrides in 1980;
- John Bryden took over as Programme Director on March 1 1981
- Two innovative study tours of UK rural areas by a group of third world experts on rural issues to advise on UK rural policies in 1980 and 1983;
- Bequest to the Trust from Dr Diana Conyers enabling the annual award of Bernard Conyers Fellowships (1984).
- Establishment of The Arkleton Trust (Research) Ltd as a charitable research company in 1985;
- Major EU and other funding raised for a longitudinal study of Farm Household Pluriactivity and Structural Change in 12 countries of Europe, with over 60 researchers following the recommendations of the 1983 Arkleton Trust seminar (1986-93), coordinated by The Arkleton Trust (Research) Ltd;
- Establishment of The Arkleton Trust (Rurtel) Ltd to pilot the ‘Rurtel’ Computer Conferencing and E-Mail system in 1985;
- Comparative North America-EU Rural Policy Programme developed with the Aspen Institute in the USA and the Canadian Rural Restructuring Foundation, and funded by the Ford Foundation, the Donner Canada Foundation, USDA and others, 1986-1990;
- The Arkleton Trust (Research) Ltd moved to Aberdeen University under the joint directorship of Professors John Bryden and Mark Shucksmith in 1995 and was called The Arkleton Centre and later The Arkleton Institute.
- Two seminars and study tours engaging academics and practitioners from pre-accession countries of Central and Eastern Europe to engage with peers in Western Europe on rural policy issues. These were followed by a very successful conference sponsored and run by The Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research in 2000 – European Rural Policy at the Crossroads.
- Engagement with the formative International Rural Network at the Townsville conference in 1991, and the Vancouver Island conference in 2001.
- The IRN 2003 conference in Inverness organised by the Arkleton Centre in Aberdeen and chaired by John Bryden. John Bryden was then elected Chairman of the IRN, which shares The Trust’s values and aims.
- The Trust has granted 56 Bernard Conyers Awards since 1984
- The Trust has granted approximately 50 John Higgs Memorial Awards since 1987
- The Trust has granted 28 David Moore Awards between 1980 and 2010.