National Historic Ships UK secures Heritage Lottery Fund support

National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK) has announced that it has received initial support for a £261,100 bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The grant was applied for to assist in funding the Skills for the Future programme for the Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership - a project that aims to prevent the loss of the traditional skills and techniques involved in conserving, handling and maintaining historic vessels. Development funding of £12,200 has also been awarded to help NHS-UK progress its plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.

Martyn Heighton, director of NHS-UK said, “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The funding will help to arrest the decline in the traditional seamanship skills that are integral to the future of the UK’s operational historic vessels.  It will also aid the development of specialist training across five regions via the Shipshape Network. A skills mapping exercise, coupled with the development of an assessment framework in traditional seamanship skills, will ensure a legacy which will endure beyond the length of the two and a half years project”.

The project will host ten 12 month training placements at five partner sites ranging from Scotland to the West Country. Trainees will be working with a variety of historic vessels, receiving specialist training in the significance of these crafts and how to operate them safely and effectively. They will also undertake a tailored course in historic vessel maintenance at the International Boatbuilding Training College and an interpretation placement at the Scottish Fisheries Museum.

National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK) is a government funded, independent organisation which carries a wide remit, looking not only at the immediate issues concerning historic vessels in the UK, but also addressing their support infrastructure. NHS-UK maintains the National Registers which identify and promote some 2,000 vessels of historic significance to the UK and is the initiator and manager of the Shipshape Network, which was set up to promote the regeneration of traditional maritime skills, encourage regional activities and improve communication amongst heritage training schemes.

For more information please visit www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk.

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