In the past decade there has been a growing recognition that there is a shortage of people with the skills necessary for repairing and maintaining Britain’s historic buildings. Heritage building skills cover a wide gamut of crafts and materials, ranging from thatching and smithying through to plaster restoration and lead lights renewal via masonry and leadworking, with many other crafts in between. Those who do have the necessary skills are increasingly reaching retirement age, and even fewer people are following in their footsteps, the result of which could threaten the integrity of many of the nation’s finest buildings.
The CRRI, on behalf of the National Heritage Academy (South West), undertook research to establish the supply of, and demand for, heritage building skills in Gloucestershire, the first time such research has been brought onto such a specific focus. Matt Reed and Owain Jones combined desk research, with telephone and face-to-face interviews to provide the NHA with a timely and unique picture of the situation in the County.
The project completed in December 2007.