The Prince’s Foundation

15 October 2021

Ecclesiastical UK

Man doing woodwork - connecting for craftsmanship

Connecting for craftsmanship

“Collaboration is a big aspect of the course, as it’s about bringing different crafts together to make something that bit more extraordinary.”

“Combining traditional construction methods with modern advances in sustainability is fundamentally important in the creation of vibrant, cohesive places. The course gives you an amazing opportunity to study, work and learn with people who share these ideals. It also enables you to gain experience where you may not have been able to do so before, allowing you to focus on learning – not the financial implications of not working.” Jim Nightingale is a 29-year-old student on the Building Arts Programme from The Prince’s Foundation and Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), and Ecclesiastical UK has donated a gift to the Prince’s Foundation of £150,000, spread over three years to help support eight students to take part in this new, multidisciplinary programme.

The Prince’s Foundation supports people to create community – whether through championing a sustainable approach to how we live our lives and build our homes, teaching traditional arts and skills and restoring historic sites, or by looking after places to visit for everyone to enjoy. The new Building Arts Programme was established by The Prince’s Foundation in partnership with QEST to help preserve valuable skills, which are gradually being lost as the average age of workers in the heritage sector approaches retirement age. 

The programme takes place at Dumfries House in Scotland, where students will have the opportunity to learn new skills first-hand from master craftspeople.

Explaining more about the programme, Michael Goodger, Built Environment Education Manager for The Prince’s Foundation at Dumfries House, says: “We hope to inspire a future generation of designers, artists and makers to create a built environment which draws on a vast array of different skills, and celebrates the physical, temporal and even symbolic connections which can be realised through our buildings and places.” Deborah Pocock, CEO of QEST, adds: “We will draw on our wide network of master craftspeople to ensure the skills that they have learnt are passed on to the next generation. This course presents a wonderful opportunity for students to learn from each other, across a broad range of craft disciplines.”

In light of COVID-19 the course was extended and adapted – with online lectures, a group focus and remote working, until face to face delivery could be up and running again. Talking about the impact of the pandemic on students, Jim says: “I’ve been staying with someone else from the course during lockdown and we’ve collaborated on a bench, which has been great – we’ve learnt from each other by working together.” And this spirit of collaboration is at the very heart of the programme – giving students unique insights and future inspiration.

Grandmother and grandson - connecting for generations