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Building Conservation receives Funding Boost

By August 7, 2023No Comments
Crawley College Students, Ian Vassell and James Law at Weald and Downland Living Museum. The chap on the right drills into a piece of wood while the one on the left sits on the other end of the plank offering support.

The Sussex Heritage Trust has received funding for young people and those looking to retrain in building conservation. On the 31st July, the Foyle Foundation and the Radcliffe Trust announced funding towards full or part-time bursaries to cover the costs of historic building conservation courses.

Courses from Oak Timber Framing to Structural Repairs of Historic Buildings and Blacksmithing are offered through West Dean College of Arts and Conservation and the Weald and Downland Living Museum. The Sussex Heritage Trust will cover the cost of the course as well as contributing to travel and accommodation costs.

This funding offers a lifeline to help to continue to preserve and encourage traditional building crafts and skills. In May 2023, Heritage Crafts published the ‘Red List of Endangered Crafts 2023’, which unearthed more traditional craft skills on the verge of extinction in the UK. Many building conservation crafts, so important in preserving and conserving Sussex’s historical buildings feature, including the making and restoration of historic stained-glass windows which has recently been added to the Red List.

In addition, with generous funding from The Ian Foulerton Charitable Trust, the Sussex Heritage Trust works with Heritage Crafts to provide small grants to fund projects that support and promote endangered crafts in Sussex. There is a maximum of £2,000 available through the Endangered Crafts Fund with the deadline for applications on Friday 6th October 2023 at 5pm.

Since January 2023, the Sussex Heritage Trust has awarded eight young people with building conservation bursaries and three Sussex-based craftspeople through the Endangered Crafts Fund.

A recent Bursary recipient said –

“The course has helped me develop unique skills and techniques and I think it is a great opportunity for young people to learn new skills when they wouldn’t necessarily afford to pay.”

Helen Reeve, CEO of Sussex Heritage Trust said –

“Without important funding from trusts like The Foyle Foundation and The Radcliffe Trust, these fundamental craft skills are in danger of dying out. The Sussex Heritage Trust is very grateful to all our funders and supporters for continuing our important charitable work to preserve and protect our future heritage.”

For further details on how to apply for a Sussex Heritage Trust Bursary or the Endangered Crafts Fund please go to

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