June 26, 2023


William Leech Fellowships were established in 1988 with monies from the William Leech Foundation, a charitable trust set up in 1960 by the Newcastle builder and philanthropist Sir William Leech. They were a response to the report Faith in the City: A Call to Action by Church and Nation, published in 1985 by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Urban Priority Areas. Until 2010, the Trust supported five-year professorial fellowships, alternately at Newcastle and Durham Universities.  Since then, the William Leech Research Fund has used its resources to support a wider range of shorter-term research. Further information on past and current fellows and their work are available on the Current Fellows and Previous Fellows pages.  Following a review in 2021, the Fund is also seeking to build longer-term support for ongoing learning and partnerships across the networks of those working in its areas of interest.  This has included through appointing a part-time Director, Dr Andrew Orton and through holding an event to explore regional priorities and opportunities in June 2023.  The current criteria for applications are specified on the ‘What we fund’ page of this website, and applications can be made by following the process detailed on the ‘How to apply’ page.  In addition, we welcome wider approaches from other funding organisations and potential strategic partners that may share our aims to discuss potential partnerships and collaborations.  The William Leech Research Fund is a registered charity, number 1127350.