National Historic Ships UK Secures HLF support

Hugh Langworthy

National Historic Ships UK Secures HLF support

National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK) has received initial support for a £424,900 scheme from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under its Skills for the Future programme, it was announced today.

The grant was applied for to assist in funding a second phase of the Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership project – an initiative that aims to prevent the loss of the traditional skills and techniques involved in conserving, handling and maintaining historic vessels.   Development funding of £15,900 has been awarded to help NHS-UK progress its plans to apply for the full grant at a later date.

The project will host 16 training placements of 12-month duration each at eight partner sites across the UK.  Trainees will be working with a variety of historic vessels in both operational and museum settings, receiving specialist training in traditional seamanship and maritime curatorial skills. They will also undertake a tailored induction at Cremyll Sea School, a unique course in historic vessel maintenance at the International Boatbuilding Training College Lowestoft and a range of modules in historic vessel conservation.

This scheme is based on an earlier HLF-funded project which successfully hosted ten training placements with partners operating historic vessels at sites ranging from Scotland to the West Country.  Nine of those ten trainees went on to secure paid or voluntary employment within the maritime sector.

Hannah Cunliffe, Policy & Projects Manager at NHS-UK, said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this further support.  The funding will help young people learn the practical skills which are necessary to interpret, operate and maintain historic vessels within a museum collection or on the water to a standard in keeping with their significance.  The project includes the development of a series of short films to document skills in action, ensuring a lasting legacy which will also benefit the wider sector.”

 Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “There is no quick fix to this problem. The heritage sector has been slow in widening the profile of its work force and as a consequence is on a long-term learning curve.

“We wanted to build on the legacy of our existing targeted skills funding – £47m to date – and make a further financial commitment of just over £10m. Why? Because we know the Skills for the Future programme can drive successful and lasting change. It’s simple yet highly effective: trainees paired with experts gain access to knowledge plus practical, paid, on-the-job experience.”

SHTP was formed to deliver this Skills for the Future project and comprises the following organisations:

National Historic Ships UK (lead partner) –

Royal Museums Greenwich –

HMS Warrior 1860 –

Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust –

Dauntseys School Sailing Club –

Sea-Change Sailing Trust –

Excelsior Sailing Trust –

Trinity Sailing Foundation –

Pioneer Sailing Trust –