Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways secures National Lottery support

July 20th 2017

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways has received a development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under its Skills for the Future programme for the Heritage Trainees project. The project aims to share the rich vein of railway heritage skills with a wider community.

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Young trainees working at Boston Lodge
The project aims to introduce a diverse new audience to a heritage organisation of national importance. This will culminate in twenty people being offered year-long traineeships to develop their heritage skills, gain a greater understanding of the broader heritage scene and act as messengers for heritage within communities not normally associated with strong heritage links. The program is expected to commence in the spring of 2018 and the first ten trainees to be in post by the autumn.

The National Lottery is investing £10.1m in 18 projects across the UK to help train a new and more diverse generation of heritage craftspeople, digital specialists and entrepreneurs.

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), said:

“There is no quick fix to this problem. The heritage sector has been slow in widening the profile of its work force and as a consequence is on a long-term learning curve.

“We wanted to build on the legacy of our existing targeted skills funding – £47m to date – and make a further financial commitment of just over £10m. Why? Because we know the Skills for the Future programme can drive successful and lasting change. It’s simple yet highly effective: trainees paired with experts gain access to knowledge plus practical, paid, on-the-job experience.”

This funding is part of a wider commitment made by HLF in the Government’s Culture White Paper. It will address specific skills shortages to ensure our buildings, landscapes, species, industrial heritage and museum and archive collections are sustained for the future, as well as developing important public engagement skills.

Tracey Crouch, Heritage Minister, said:

“Investing in new heritage talent will ensure we build a more sustainable sector, protect our treasured history and continue to attract visitors from across the globe. I’m delighted to see money raised by National Lottery players being used to train and develop people’s skills and deliver on our promise in the Culture White Paper."

Paul Lewin, Director and General Manager said:

“Our railway thrives because of the tremendous range of skills that our team has built up over many decades. We are very pleased that we have the opportunity to share those skills with others for the benefit of the wider heritage sector in Wales. We are also looking forward to the positive impacts on our own organisation that opening our doors to the wider community will bring”

First launched in July 2009, Skills for the Future is an HLF grants 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 heritage career pathways and qualifications, and capacity building work.

For further information, see http://www.hlf.org.uk

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