About BCCF

The Building Crafts and Conservation Foundation was started in 2014, becoming a charitable foundation in 2018. It was founded because it was obvious from all the data about the historic environment and crafts skills in England, that there was a very real shortage of skilled crafts people to maintain the rich and important heritage to be found in both secular and ecclesiastical buildings in the UK.

English Heritage noted in 2006 that there were over 5 million pre-1919 buildings in England (hopefully there still are!) However, there is a skills gap of 76,000 in a sector of 109,000, with only 33,000 having the appropriate skills. BCCF has as its main educational partners The College of West Anglia, King’s Lynn, Norfolk and Anglia Ruskin University.

With our partners, a degree course is being developed which is both academic and practical (a first in the country) to train more crafts people. Together with the degree course there will be a range of other training courses, day, week-end and longer for the general public to learn new skills and be able to work in their communities. A Heritage Skills Centre is planned for the practical skills training on an estate in North West Norfolk.

Why do we need heritage skills?

For too long harm has been done to our built heritage through a lack of understanding and, indeed, training in the relevant skills needed.  The BCCF framework will provide opportunities to work on the repair and restoration of real buildings under the care and supervision of our building contractor partner and other trainers in the sector.

There is no better way to understand our built heritage than to work on it using appropriate materials and methods, and this ethos underpins whatever BCCF does. No amount of theory can prepare you for what you will learn on site – but we also appreciate the need to blend delivery on our programmes to provide a practical/academic balance throughout.

Watching it being done is no substitute for doing it – and our workshop and sites will allow ample opportunity for those on our programmes to experience working with a wide range of materials and techniques – all in the capable hands of those with experience in the built heritage sector.

Get involved

As you can see, we need skilled crafts people in this country. So if you like what we are planning to deliver in our courses and want to hear more, to get involved and to help, click the button below.
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