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Next round of lifeline funding for cathedral heritage crafts is announced

Photo by Russell Sach

The partnership between the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship and the Hamish Ogston Foundation is essential for securing the future of English cathedrals and the craftspeople who care for them. 

The Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship (CWF) and the Hamish Ogston Foundation are delighted to announce the latest round of funding to support heritage craft training through the CWF, which will be essential for ensuring our historic buildings remain open for future generations.

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.

Not only is this funding essential for ensuring that our cathedrals stay in the best possible condition for years to come, but it will also enable heritage skills to be passed from one generation to the next through the CWF’s wide-ranging and comprehensive training programme. The trainees will have the unique opportunity to learn their craft from the very best heritage professionals in cathedrals across the country, all whilst helping to conserve and maintain these magnificent buildings.

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.”

Jordan Cliffe from Canterbury Cathedral, who will shortly complete the 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.”

About the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship

  • 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.
  • CWF provides education and training for the craftsmen and women who maintain our cathedrals and other historic buildings.
  • CWF students include heritage stonemasons, carpenter/joiners, electricians, and plumbers.

About the Hamish Ogston Foundation

  • 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 Foundation supports initiatives within health, heritage and music in the UK and abroad.