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Bold plan sought for £300,000 bequest


THE ICE is wrestling with a welcome but unusual problem.

It has £300,000 to spend on 'enhancing the Institution', but doesn't know what to do with it.

The money is the balance of the Marshall legacy, a £500,000 bequeath to the Institution from Gerald Marshall who died in December 1997 aged 84.

Little is known about Marshall - either where he worked or how he amassed his wealth.

All that is on record at the ICE is that he gained a BSc at Durham and his last address was in Newcastle-uponTyne. He became a Member in 1940, and resigned in 1995 when he donated £500 to the ICE library.

ICE heard of the 'no strings attached' bequeath from the executor of Marshall's will.

So far around £200,000 has been spent, with £70,000 going on renovations to the library, £88,000 on the digitisation of the library's extensive collection and £35,000 on improving the reception at Great George Street.

The most recent proposal, made in November 2000, was to spend the balance on renovating the Great Hall.

However, president Mark Whitby is keen to see the money used for bolder purposes: 'We should be seen as buying betterment.

'I have grave doubts that improvements to the reception were for the good of the Institution, and I have similar doubts about renovations to the Great Hall, ' Whitby told Council last month.

Whitby will chair a committee convened to consider how the remainder of the legacy is to be spent. But if readers have any suggestions, email your thoughts to mark. hansford @construct. emap. com who will make sure they are presented to Whitby's committee.

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