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Cathedral heritage crafts to receive essential funding

Cathedral heritage crafts to receive essential funding

The next round of lifeline funding for cathedral heritage crafts is announced, which will help secure the future of English cathedrals.

The Hamish Ogston Foundation and The Cathedral’s Workshop Fellowship (CWF) have announced the latest round of funding to support heritage craft training through the CWF.

The Hamish Ogston Foundation will be awarding £2.3 million over a three-year period, from 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2025; this grant will fund the employment and training of a total of twenty-nine stonemasons, carpenters and joiners and one electrician across the ten CWF cathedrals during that time. The grant forms part of a five-year partnership project between the Hamish Ogston Foundation and CWF, in which the Hamish Ogston Foundation is contributing £3.5 million to expand heritage craft training and maintain the flow of skilled craftspeople at English cathedrals despite the devastating impact of Covid-19.

Heather Newton, Lead Conservator for The Canterbury Journey comments:

“As a founder-member of the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship, I am delighted that HOF is to continue its support of this unique scheme. Academic and practical craft training at this level equips students with the skill and knowledge needed to be leaders within the built-heritage sector and ensures that our historic structures, especially our Cathedrals, are conserved and repaired in an informed and expert manner”.

This funding has directly benefited the training of two of Canterbury Cathedral’s stonemasons: Jordan Cliffe and Niall Horsefall-Turner. Jordan, who will shortly complete his first year of his CWF Foundation degree course, said:

“The best part of the CWF degree programme is visiting different cathedrals and experiencing how differently the workshops operate. This helps to apply new techniques to our own workplace. This experience is only available to me due to the funding opportunities provided by the Hamish Ogston Foundation.”

The Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship (CWF) is an association of ten Anglican cathedrals (Canterbury, Chester, Durham, Exeter, Gloucester, Lincoln, Salisbury, Winchester, Worcester, and York) and was established in 2006. The CWF provides education and training for the craftsmen and women who maintain our cathedrals and other historic buildings, and students include heritage stonemasons, carpenter/joiners, electricians, and plumbers.

The Hamish Ogston Foundation is a UK registered charity that provides strategic support for heritage, health and music initiatives, with the objective of securing long-term viability for projects and promoting sustainable employment.

 The CWF’s Executive Director, Frances Cambrook, said:

“The funding and support we have received from the Hamish Ogston Foundation over the last two years has enabled our cathedral craft training scheme to withstand the shock of the pandemic. With this new round of funding from the Hamish Ogston Foundation cathedrals will be able to plan ahead and recruit new craftspeople for at least the next three years. We are incredibly grateful for this support from the Hamish Ogston Foundation and the opportunity it gives our cathedrals to continue to develop the specialist craft and conservation skills they need.”

Robert Bargery from the Hamish Ogston Foundation said:

“We are delighted to continue working with CWF to help ensure that England’s finest buildings are properly conserved for future generations. Our cathedrals may look immortal but they require constant care and that can only be delivered if we maintain a flow of people with the necessary craft skills.”

Main picture is of Jordan Cliffe, Canterbury Cathedral stonemason who is completing his first year of his CWF Foundation degree.



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