Largest Private Pledge to Heritage Skills Training in History

A HISTORIC DONATION of nearly £29 million to heritage skills training has been announced by the Hamish Ogston Foundation.

In what is the largest private single donation ever made, the pledge will allow up to 2,700 young people in the UK and across Commonwealth nations to be trained in heritage conservation, combatting a decades-long global skills shortage.

This new funding is granted to four organisations, English Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, Commonwealth Heritage Forum and Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship.

It will support a complete range of training, from hands-on practical craft skills to strategy building, administration and financial planning for projects to preserve and protect historic buildings around the world.

Heritage Skills Training

Under the instruction of heritage conservation experts, trainees will learn the centuries-old techniques required to maintain and repair historic buildings. Skills taught include roofing, stonemasonry, carpentry, joinery, flint knapping, painting and plastering.

Some of the identified buildings which will benefit from this new wave of funding from the Hamish Ogston Foundation include England’s Canterbury Cathedral and Bury St Edmunds Abbey Church Ruins and Abbey Gate, the Herbarium at the Botanic Gardens in Kolkata, India, and New Zealand’s Christchurch Cathedral.

A total of £43 million has now been committed by the Hamish Ogston Foundation to heritage skills training, which is financing the training up to 3,300 heritage conservation apprentices and trainees globally.

Historic Donation

As part of these latest pledges, the Hamish Ogston foundation has pledged:

£11.2 million to English Heritage for the establishment of the Hamish Ogston Foundation Heritage Craft Skills Resilience Programme.
£5.2 million to Historic Environment Scotland for the establishment of the Craft Your Career.
£11.5 million to the Commonwealth Heritage Forum for Phase 2 of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Commonwealth Heritage Skills Training Programme.
£535,000 to the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship for Phase 5 of the Hamish Ogston Foundation Craft Training Programme.

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