Cash boost for heritage sector in Leeds

Leeds City Council has received over £845,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a new Re-Making Leeds Project.

The money will be used to support a heritage construction skills project that will focus on providing the practical heritage skills needed to maintain, repair and refurbish pre-1919 residential, commercial and institutional properties in Leeds.

The funding comes following a nationwide call for measures to improve the training and employment prospects for those within the heritage sector.

The council has received initial support¹ for an £845,200 bid, including development funding of £34,900, from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under its Skills for the Future programme².

By helping to address specific and identified skills shortages within the city, it will allow construction SMEs to compete for and deliver effective and sensitive repair and maintenance contracts on the city’s extensive stock of traditional buildings.

Paid work-based training placements, alongside experienced heritage professionals, will be offered for trainees who will receive off-the-job bespoke training and on-site assessment towards achievement of the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Heritage Skills (Construction) and gaining the CSCS Heritage Skills card for those not in receipt of one.

The project will develop fully rounded heritage craft professionals able to work adeptly within construction teams. In addition to basic heritage skills including stone masonry, trainees will also be offered project management and building information modelling skills. For those wanting to set up their own firms business administration and marketing skills will also be included.

In addition, the funding will be used to provide discrete shorter courses for construction SMEs to address specific skills gaps as well as training the trainers, construction specifiers, housing managers and building control officers.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsbility for leisure and skills said:

“This is a great boost for training in Leeds. Working in partnership with training providers, this much needed funding will be used to address skills shortage by expanding existing and securing new quality training for the construction sector so that many of Leeds important heritage buildings are secured for future generations to enjoy”.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, chair of HLF, said:

“Nurturing skills – of all types – continues to be a hugely important part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s portfolio of work. Skills for the Future is one of our most successful and over-subscribed programmes with fierce competition to secure funding. The 39 projects that have won through reflect the wide range of training and opportunities on offer in the heritage industry. We’re delighted that through this significant investment 876 new placements will be created right across the UK and hope that this additional funding will help encourage growth and build resilience within the sector.”

Leeds City Council will work in partnership to deliver the project with a number of partners including, Leeds College of Building, York College, Cskills and the Federation of Master Builders.

Notes to Editors

• ¹ Launched in July 2009, Skills for the Future is an HLF programme supporting organisations across the UK to develop vocational learning programmes. HLF has awarded grants totalling £47m under this programme enabling high-quality work-based training, the development of new qualifications and capacity building in the sector.

• Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 35,000 projects with £5.4bn across the UK. www.hlf.org.uk. For further information, please contact Katie Owen, HLF press office, on tel: (020) 7591 6036 out of hours mobile: 07973 613820.

Only 1 in 4 applications to the Skills for the Future programme were approved and Leeds’ award is one of the largest nationally.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk