The specialist skills used to build the nation’s waterways are to be taken on by a new generation, as we’ve successfully secured a major grant to train 42 new heritage workers.
£607,000 of the overall £811,000 grant comes from the Heritage Lottery Fund – Skills for the Future programme and will be used to train recruits in lime mortaring, stonemasonry and carpentry and other heritage skills.
The training project – called Waterway Heritage Skills - will keep the traditional techniques that were used to construct the canals and rivers across the country alive.
Fourteen trainees will be recruited each year for three years, with each post lasting 12 months. They will work alongside our staff across the country on projects such as the winter stoppage programme that this year saw 141 new lock gates replaced and major work to lock chambers and masonry. Through this work current experts will pass on their experience to the next generation of heritage workers.
Nigel Crowe, head of heritage at the Canal & River Trust, said: “For the Heritage Lottery Fund to award us such a significant amount reflects the enduring popularity and importance of our canals and rivers. The intricacy and robustness of our locks, bridges and other structures continues to inspire, and it’s great that we can now train new recruits in the heritage skills needed to restore, repair and improve them into the future, so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come.”