National lottery boost for skills training

A million pounds of lottery cash is helping train people in skills needed to preserve the UK’s historic buildings.

The money is being channelled through the Traditional Skills Bursary scheme. It will help pay for those with transferable skills, such as plastering, and those who want to change careers to acquire historic skills in leadwork, stonemasonry, blacksmithing, lime plastering and other areas.

The first trainee, Matthew Broderick, has recently been placed at York Minster where he will work on the building’s east front which needs restoring. Other placements due to start shortly include stonemasonry work at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire and pargetting [decorative external plasterwork] in East Anglia.

ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the construction industry, will help run the scheme along with English Heritage and the National Trust. Its heritage and conversation manager Seamus Hanna said: “There is a need for more skilled craftspeople in the built heritage sector and this scheme offers practical training opportunities to those wanting to work in traditional building skills.”

Broderick said: “The bursary scheme will help people like me develop our skills so we can help preserve our fantastic built heritage.”

The scheme is open to businesses as well as individuals. Detailed information can be obtained from the Traditional Skills Bursary Scheme online.

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