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.