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Endangered Crafts Fund for Sussex

Halnaker Windmill – restoration of windmill in West Sussex

Halnaker Windmill – restoration of windmill in West Sussex

The Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) and the Sussex Heritage Trust (SHT) are delighted to announce that they are working in partnership to provide Sussex-based applicants with grants of up to £2,000 to help save endangered crafts such as brick making, masonry flint knapping and hurdle making from extinction.

Last year the HCA published the second edition of its groundbreaking HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts, the first research of its kind to rank the UK’s traditional crafts by the likelihood that they will survive into the next generation. The report assessed 212 crafts to ascertain those which are at greatest risk of disappearing, of which four were classified as extinct, 71 as ‘endangered’ and a further 36 as ‘critically endangered’.

The Sussex Heritage Trust has recently received funding from the Ian M Foulerton Trust, alongside other donations, to fund Sussex-based grants, which will be administered through the HCA’s Endangered Crafts Fund.

Gary Campbell at Weald and Downland Museum – SHT oak timber framing bursary recipient

Gary Campbell at Weald and Downland Museum – SHT oak timber framing bursary recipient

Craft practitioners and organisations are invited to apply for small grants to fund projects that support and promote endangered crafts (the craft must be listed as endangered or critically endangered on the current HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts). Sussex-based applications will be ring-fenced, so they will only be competing for funds with projects in the counties of East and West Sussex and Brighton and Hove, not with projects elsewhere in the UK, which are also invited through the UK-wide scheme.

There is a maximum of £2,000 available for each project and the HCA will work with applicants to develop and support their work. Projects could include training to learn a new craft or technique for the applicant or their apprentice, specialist equipment that will enable them to continue practising a craft or add a new product to their business, materials and equipment to start running workshops, or other innovative approaches to supporting and promoting endangered crafts.

The Endangered Crafts Fund is now open with a deadline of 26 February 2021. An application form is available to download from www.heritagecrafts.org.uk/ecf-apply. Eligible projects will be invited to progress to the next stage in collaboration with the HCA and SHT and all applications will be judged by a panel of representatives of both organisations. Please note that this is a competitive process and not all applications will receive funding. Potential applicants who would like to talk over a project idea are encouraged to contact Mary at mary@heritagecrafts.org.uk.

Mary Lewis, HCA Endangered Crafts Officer, said:

“During the COVID-19 pandemic our craft skills are at more risk than ever before. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Sussex Heritage Trust to address the specific challenges of COVID-19 to endangered skills and knowledge in Sussex, a region renowned for its craftsmanship and material heritage.”

Simon Knight DL, Chairman of the Sussex Heritage Trust, said:

“Excellent architecture and design, traditional building skills and craftmanship are an important part of the rich heritage of Sussex. This partnership with the Heritage Crafts Association will address the particular challenges of these crafts and facilitate the transfer of endangered crafts, building skills and knowledge to the next generation.”

The UK-wide Endangered Crafts Fund is supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Dulverton Trust, Allchurches Trust, the Radcliffe Trust and individual donors.

www.heritagecrafts.org.uk/ecf-apply

Five new grants awarded to help save endangered crafts from extinction

Gillian Stewart

Gillian Stewart, bookbinder and fore-edge painter

A coppersmith, a withy pot maker and a disappearing fore-edge painter are among the recipients of the latest round of grants awarded to help safeguard some of the UK’s most endangered craft skills.

The Heritage Crafts Association (HCA), which has begun work on the third edition of its groundbreaking HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts, has awarded a further five grants from its Endangered Crafts Fund, which was launched in 2019 to increase the likelihood of endangered crafts surviving into the next generation.

This round of the HCA Endangered Crafts Fund has been offered with support from Allchurches Trust and the Swire Charitable Trust. The five successful recipients are:

  • Lizzy Hughes, from London, to develop her coppersmithing skills to include joinery, so that she’s able to make objects constructed from multiple parts such as buckets, watering cans and funnels, and to teach the craft.
  • Sarah Ready, from Devon, to develop her practice as a withy pot maker, producing pots for her son to fish with off the Devon coast, and to document the craft.
  • Gillian Stewart, from Glasgow, to expand her bookbinding practice by training as a disappearing fore-edge painter, and to teach the craft.
  • Alex Ward, from Shetland, to develop his furniture making business to incorporate the production of moulding planes for fine furniture making, and to teach the craft of plane making.
  • Lois Walpole, from Shetland, to publish a book on the critically endangered craft of kishie basket making.
Alex Ward's moulding plane

Alex Ward’s moulding plane

These five projects follow 13 awarded in previous rounds, covering endangered crafts such as scissor making, sail making, damask weaving, boot tree making, cockle basket making, folding knife making, neon bending, coracle making, fan making and swill basket making.

As usual the fund was oversubscribed, and this was only compounded by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sole traders and micro-businesses that make up the heritage crafts sector. The HCA hopes to work with many of the unsuccessful candidates to identify other funding and support opportunities.

HCA Endangered Crafts Officer Mary Lewis said:

“No-one could have anticipated the impact of COVID-19 at the beginning of this year, not only on craft businesses, whose selling, teaching and supply chains have been curtailed, but on the craft skills themselves, many of which were on the brink even before the pandemic hit. We passionately believe that these skills have lots to offer a post-COVID future, as productive and fulfilling tools with which to rebuild a sustainable economy.”

The Endangered Crafts Fund has been funded through generous donations from organisations including Allchurches Trust, The Swire Charitable Trust and The Radcliffe Trust, as well as individuals who have donated sums from £5 right up to several thousands of pounds.

Paul Playford, who heads up the heritage grants programme at Allchurches Trust, said:

“We hope that our funding will help enable these talented craftspeople to further develop their skills, as well as to hand them down to future generations and share their craft with new audiences; potentially opening doors to new funding opportunities in these challenging times. We feel privileged to play our part in telling their story, raising awareness of ancient practices that are so important to preserve for future generations and hopefully inspiring others to follow their lead.”

The HCA continues to seek further donations to save even more of Britain’s most endangered crafts from oblivion. Donations are welcome at any time – for more information visit www.heritagecrafts.org.uk/ecf.

Read the full press release

HCA steps up support with the Swire Charitable Trust

Swire Charitable TrustThe Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) is delighted to announce that it has received a grant of £90,000 from the Swire Charitable Trust – to help meet urgent needs among craftspeople, step up campaigns for recognition and help transform lives through craft.

Richard Wheater, neon bender

Richard Wheater, neon bender

The Swire Charitable Trust supports heritage and the safeguarding of endangered skills as one of its three grant-making priorities, funding charities like the HCA that work hard to protect and cultivate the skills and knowledge underpinning the UK’s heritage sector.

The funding will better enable the HCA to safeguard and support traditional craft skills over the next three years, focusing particularly on increasing the resilience of craft practitioners, developing training routes for craft, promoting craft in schools, and raising the profile of heritage crafts as a key constituent of UK culture.

Patricia Lovett MBE, Chair of the HCA, said:

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Swire Charitable Trust over the next three years. This funding will allow us to build on recent successes, to further the appreciation of heritage craft skills as a vital part of the cultural life of the UK, and to help secure the livelihoods of the next generation of practitioners.”

Martha Allfrey, Trustee of the Swire Charitable Trust, said:

“The work of the HCA aligns closely with everything the Swire Charitable Trust hopes to achieve with our heritage programme. We believe that heritage crafts rightfully play a fundamental part in the UK’s living heritage, and are delighted to be supporting an organisation whose dynamic work does so much to enhance and protect the UK’s heritage craft community. We look forward to watching the HCA grow and solidify this valuable work over the next three years.”

Read the press release

COVID-19 grants

Shoemaking. Photo by Nick Fleming.

Photo by Nick Fleming

These grants are now closed to applications. We may open the scheme again if more funding becomes available.

The Heritage Crafts Association (HCA) is offering grants of up to £500 for craftspeople operating as sole traders and small businesses to invest in something that will help make their business more sustainable during the COVID-19 pandemic (and in the months that follow) or to ‘bridge the gap’ until future income can be secured.

Based on the result of our recent sector survey, crafts businesses are being particularly hard hit by the economic implications of the crisis, so this fund has been set up to help small crafts businesses access new markets, trial new ways of operating, or keep them afloat until they can be more sustainable.

Examples might include (but are not limited to) investing in:

  • market research and development of products suited to the emerging economy;
  • tools and equipment to make new products;
  • targeted advertising to reach out to new markets;
  • improved online presence to develop the mail order side of your business;
  • training and skills development;
  • developing online teaching/workshops as an income stream; or
  • paying the bills until a time when applicants have reason to believe that business will improve.

Applications will be considered based on the potential of the idea to develop new ways of working that will improve craftspeople’s sustainability during difficult times or to ‘bridge the gap’ until future income can be secured. As well as the grants, the HCA has some capacity to provide advice and guidance to help applicants make their idea a reality.

The initial deadline for applications is Friday 15 May 2020 at 5pm. Funds are limited, so unsuccessful applicants from this round may be contacted again in future if more funding is secured later, to ask if they want their applications to be reassessed in future rounds.

Applicants must:

  • be heritage craftspeople (practising a craft that requires a high degree of hand skill and has been practised in the UK for two generations or more, including migrant crafts);
  • demonstrate how they will use the grant to make their business more sustainable during and after the COVID-19 pandemic or to ‘bridge the gap’ until future income can be secured;
  • be HCA members or indicate in their project plan that they will allocate part of their grant to a year’s membership (£20 for members and £40 for small businesses); and
  • not have received funding of more than £500 from the HCA in the last 24 months.

These grants are now closed to applications. We may open the scheme again if more funding becomes available.

New fund inundated with proposals to save endangered crafts

Zoe Collis, apprentice papermaker at Two Rivers Paper (photo by Alison Jane Hoare)

Zoe Collis, apprentice in the critically endangered craft of commercial handmade paper making. Photo by Alison Jane Hoare.

The Heritage Crafts Association (HCA), which earlier this year published the latest edition of its groundbreaking Red List of Endangered Crafts, has been overwhelmed with high-quality applications to its new Endangered Crafts Fund, launched on 1 July 2019.

So positive has been the response that the charity is now looking for additional donations to save even more of Britain’s most endangered crafts from oblivion.

Applications to the Endangered Crafts Fund include proposals for mentoring in marketing or business development, the provision of tools for trainees, and the creation of online educational resources to pass endangered skills on… all interventions that will help ensure that endangered crafts continue into the future.

The publication of the HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts in May 2017 showed that the heritage crafts knowledge, skills and practices that form an important part of our shared cultural heritage, are – for a number of reasons – at risk of being lost. The HCA believes that these cultural assets are as important as unique heritage buildings and ancient beautiful landscapes and could provide future generations with fantastic opportunities to enrich their lives and the lives of others.

HCA Endangered Crafts Officer Mary Lewis said:

“We are so grateful for the donations we have received up to this point, which will provide critical support for some of the interventions needed… but it isn’t enough. We need more funds to prevent as many endangered crafts as possible from becoming extinct in this generation”

Donations make a real difference, with both smaller and larger amounts ensuring that craft skills are supported for the future. The Heritage Crafts Association will publicise instances of where donations are spent and the difference it has made to the survival of endangered craft skills.

Click here to donate to the Endangered Crafts Fund. For more information about the fund, email HCA Endangered Crafts Officer Mary Lewis at mary@heritagecrafts.org.uk.