Grants available to save heritage crafts in Sussex from extinction

The Heritage Crafts Association and Sussex Heritage Trust are working in partnership to save endangered heritage crafts from extinction.

They are offering grants of up to £2,000 to applicants based in Sussex to help save skills such as brick making, masonry flint knapping and hurdle making.

Mary Lewis, HCA Endangered Crafts officer, said: “During the COVID-19 pandemic our craft skills are at more risk than ever before.

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“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.”

Halnaker Windmill restoration of windmill in West Sussex, copyright Sussex Heritage Trust

Last year the HCA published the second edition of its HCA Red List of Endangered Crafts.

It is 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’.

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 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.

The Ian M Foulerton Trust supports the conservation, protection and restoration of buildings of historic, architectural, artistic or scientific interest and importance.

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.

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.

Organisers explained 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 [email protected]The Endangered Crafts Fund is now open with a deadline of February 26, 2021.

An application form is available to download from UK-wide Endangered Crafts Fund is supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Dulverton Trust, Allchurches Trust, the Radcliffe Trust and individual donors.

For more information about the Fund, email HCA Endangered Crafts officer Mary Lewis at [email protected] or SHT general manager, Helen Reeve at [email protected]

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