The Building Conservation Directory 2020

6 T H E B U I L D I N G CO N S E R VAT I O N D I R E C TO R Y 2 0 2 0 C AT H E D R A L COMMU N I C AT I ON S Foreword Photo: ©Heritage Fund (photographer Lloyd Winters) A S THE NATIONAL LOTTERY celebrated its 25th birthday in 2019, it is an opportune moment to reflect on the hugely significant role National Lottery players have had in securing the future of the UK’s rich heritage. The impact of their support can be seen in the great conservation projects they have contributed to, from York Minster’s East Window to the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. But beyond these triumphs are countless others: investments in communities across the UK that have brought people together to secure the future of the heritage they care about. While applications to The National Lottery Heritage Fund so often come from community groups, they are supported by an army of highly skilled conservation professionals, without whom many projects couldn’t be realised. The continued availability of skilled people is fundamental to the long-term sustainability of the heritage sector and the historic environment, including everything from cathedrals to cottages, from interiors to exteriors, and from the unique to the everyday. That’s why for the last 25 years, The National Lottery Heritage Fund has invested in vitally important skills so that future generations can continue to enjoy the huge wealth of heritage held by the UK. Since 2009, when the first Skills for the Future initiative was launched, The National Lottery Heritage Fund has invested over £9 million in 18 projects where built heritage skills have been key. Covering a broad spectrum of heritage building skills, our investment has supported joinery, stonemasonry and heritage brickwork skills, it has upskilled employers to support and deliver craft skills training, and it has encouraged the heritage building skills required by local authority conservation departments. In addition to upskilling the existing workforce we have also created new opportunities to diversify routes into the sector, to ensure it is more inclusive. This has included projects such as the Women in Heritage Construction initiative led by the Tywi Centre and Carmarthenshire County Council, and the young people focused project led by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust. Built heritage is still identified as one of the top three priorities across the UK for our Strategic Funding Framework (2019–2024), and The National Lottery Heritage Fund will continue to support projects that secure new uses for under- used, derelict or ‘at risk’ historic buildings, and to foster the skills needed to conserve, adapt and find sustainable new uses for them. This focus remains core to our investment programme and an important outcome across our new open Grants for Heritage. The conservation and adaptation of St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Paddington a Grade-I-listed building is a good example of how outcomes for both heritage and people can be achieved. The scheme included new governance, a programme of heritage learning, targeting audiences typically under-represented in heritage and engaging diverse groups, providing long-term sustainability with regeneration benefits. These priorities are shared by many of the organisations and specialist companies listed in The Building Conservation Directory . Delivering on these priorities depends on a partnership approach with everyone working together across the sector. This is perhaps more important than ever as the sector begins to recognise the challenges posed by climate change, highlighting the fact that we need to be even more ambitious for the future role of our heritage. Ros Kerslake OBE, Chief Executive, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Heritage Memorial Fund