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Leeds Beckett University receives £293,000 legacy gift

Over a quarter-of-a-million pounds has been left to Leeds Beckett University by the family of two alumni.

Portland Building

Paul Anthony Neal Briggs – whose father and grandfather both attended the university - left a third of his residual estate to Leeds Beckett following his death in 2016.

The £293,000 will be used for student support and hardship and to support talented students who might have otherwise struggled with living costs while at university.

Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Slee, said: “We are both delighted and humbled by the generosity of Mr Briggs and will ensure the legacy provides an opportunity for students from challenging backgrounds to study at Leeds Beckett in the future.

“The support of Mr Briggs is a great inspiration to our staff, students and alumni.  We will ensure that his generous act is remembered and appreciated by all of the students who will benefit.”

Mr Briggs’ grandfather, William Selby Briggs, and his father Arthur Briggs, attended Leeds College of Technology in 1902 and 1920.

William Selby Briggs trained as a technical chemist and enjoyed a career in the Leeds area, while Arthur Briggs trained as a chemical engineer and worked for the Central Electricity Generating Board at Ferrybridge Power Station.

Paul Briggs, of Letchworth Garden City, grew up in Knottingley and attended The King’s School, Pontefract. He valued the local government scholarship which enabled him to attend Wadham College, Oxford.

After university, he began a career as a senior mathematician at the government’s National Physical Laboratory and Warren Spring Laboratory.

Executor of Paul’s will, Dr Melvyn Draper CBE, said: “As a long-term friend, I was extremely pleased to be instrumental in passing Paul’s gift to the university.

“By making this gift he wanted to give students the opportunity of higher education in West Yorkshire. Like Paul, I grew up in the area and appreciate the opportunity of gaining a higher education.

“I hope that Paul’s gift, through the university’s support programme will help others, in similar circumstances, to achieve great things.”

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