A Boost for Heritage Crafts Skills in Bolton

Six individuals have been selected for the All Souls, Bolton heritage conservation bursary placements, part of the projects training, outreach and education programme.

The regeneration of All Souls church has begun, turning this historic building into a modern, multi-purpose space for the local community and people of Bolton. As well as extensive conservation work, innovative new structures in the form of pods will be positioned inside the church creating "a building within a building" to house modern facilities. The construction work is being led by Walter Carefoot & Sons, supported by the conservation and restoration specialists Lambert Walker.

Part of this exciting project is to encourage and develop an interest in traditional craft skills.‹ÛÛ There are six paid training placements being offered on the project, funded by the National Heritage Training Groups (NHTG) ‘Building Traditional Skills’ - a Heritage Lottery Funded programme:

  • Heritage Glazing - one placement which will be based both on site and is a workshop repairing the plain and stained glass windows.
  • Heritage Masonry - three placements which will provide training on the repairs to the buildings brick and stone structure.
  • Heritage Roofing - two roofing placements which will combine the excitement of working at height with the satisfaction of repairing one of the most important components of the building.

This opportunity for craft skills training is something we wanted to encourage the local community to get involved with, especially the surrounding Black Minority Ethnic (BME) group.  Five out of the six selected for the placements are locally situated to All Souls - with one almost on the door step.  The placements vary in age, from under 20 to over 50, and have been successful in accessing hard to reach groups.

Having had over 50 people apply for the bursary placements, the selection processes was a hard job for Lambert Walker, NHTG and Alan Gardner (historic buildings and traditional materials consultant).‹ÛÛ The lucky six begin their placements this month and run to February 2014.

This pioneering step for The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) is an experiment into how we procure craft skills training. By the end of it, we hope to have a body of research, which will help us structure craft skills training as an essential part of our future projects.