The Heritage Crafts Association is pleased to announce that up to £99,500 of awards and bursaries will be available for people working in traditional skills. This is the first time such a large sum of awards and bursaries has been made available to craftspeople.
People already working in their craft can be nominated for Heritage Crafts Maker of the Year, Heritage Crafts Trainer of the Year, and Heritage Crafts Volunteer of the Year.
Nominations can also be made for the Heritage Crafts Made in Britain Award. This is an award for a business which continues to manufacture in Britain, using the high craft skills of employees here.
Bursaries are available for study in stone masonry, embroidery, paper and textile conservation, calligraphy and lettering, and artisan foods. There is also one bursary without restriction as to craft.
The awards and bursaries have been made possible through the generous support of the Heritage Crafts Association’s funding partners – the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, and the Marsh Christian Trust.
Craft Fellowships for overseas travel and study, awarded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and promoted and administered by the Heritage Crafts Association, are also available for craftspeople.
The awards and bursaries will be honoured at the Heritage Crafts Association’s Annual Conference at the Victoria and Albert Museum in May 2015. The theme for next year’s conference is A Place for Craft.
Robin Wood MBE, Chair of the Heritage Crafts Association, said: “We are thrilled that, after so many years of neglect, this largest part of the craft sector is being recognised in this way. Many heritage crafts are endangered. By funding these awards and bursaries, our partners are helping people learn and preserve these craft skills and crafts.
“These awards also make it possible for us to recognise the amazing work being done by skilled craftspeople and volunteers, and contribution of the heritage crafts to the UK economy. The heritage crafts sector contributes £4.4 billion GVA in England, as much as the petrochemical industry. But for many years it has been completely ignored and is still not supported by the government. However, these awards are a real boost for heritage crafts and craftspeople and mean it is a great time to be working in the heritage crafts sector.”