Bursaries and Award Schemes

Bursaries can vary in length of time from a few weeks to 12 months or more. A trainee is paid a monthly tax-free bursary whilst being trained within a company. Alternatively, bursaries are paid by an organisation to an individual to complete a specific training programme, often involving travel either in the UK or abroard. Check the Heritage Alliance Funding Directory to search a well-maintained database of funding programmes.

See the Jobs and Careers section for current schemes.

Building Skill in Craft Apprenticeship (Prince's Foundation for Building Community)

The Building Craft Apprenticeship gives practical experience in traditional building crafts and an opportunity to gain a Heritage Skills NVQ Level 3. This course is designed for craftspeople looking to bridge the gap between basic qualifications and becoming a master craftsperson working within the heritage sector.

What you will be doing
The Building Craft Apprenticeship programme offers something for everyone. Over the course of this eight-week programme, you will work with a wide range of building crafts and expert craftspeople to learn all of the subtle nuances of the craft, taking your skills to the next level.

The Prince's Foundation for Building Community believe it’s crucial to preserve these valuable skills, which are gradually being lost. With the average age of worker in the Historic Buildings sector reaching 55, and approaching retiring age, it is important we pass on the wisdom and knowledge that we’ve built up over hundreds of thousands of years.

Further details and to apply click here.


European Earth Building and Assessment Training

Mobilities are an opportunity to travel to Partner Organisations across Europe for Training in Earth Building and Training in Assessment of Earth Building Training funded by the Erasmus+ programme.

Understanding the nature of the National Vocational Qualification for Earth Building and Plastering, each based on the PIRATE ECVET project UNITS is another step towards an earth building industry backed by a trained and qualified workforce. To gain that understanding and to disseminate it EBUKI applied for funding from the Erasmus+ programme to allow Earth Builders in the UK as well as Assessors in allied trades to travel to Partner organisations already training, assessing and issuing ECVET certificates. This exposure to eco-construction individuals and organisations facing the same issues we have in the UK is an excellent opportunity to disseminate new thinking on a range issues facing earth builders in the UK and across Europe.

The mobilities offered cover travel and expenses but not time. They offer an excellent opprotunity to network and learn about earth as a material, its use and ways to teach about it.

Mobilities are offered in different European countries. Find out more and apply here.


Gus Astley Student Award (IHBC)

The award is presented for an outstanding item of taught-coursework accepted as part of either under-graduate or post-graduate courses. The subject should relate to one or more aspects of ‘Historic Environment Conservation’, including its evaluation (eg history, research or surveying), management (eg policy and finance) or implementation (eg design and technology). The IHBC’s Membership Standards and Guidelines for Applicants provides further information on historic environment conservation, and the IHBC’s membership criteria to which these relate (see www.ihbc.org.uk). More details

Lethaby Scholarship (SPAB)

Since 1930 the SPAB has offered the Scholarship to support architects, surveyors and engineers. The nine-month full time programme is intensive but rewarding. Each year the Scholars travel the length of the country together, making site visits and meeting expert craftspeople and architects working in building conservation. SPAB Scholars are now among the leading conservation experts in the UK, looking after some of the foremost buildings in Britain. More details

Weald and Downland Museum Bursaries for 16-25 year olds in Building Conservation Techniques

The Sussex Heritage Trust Bursary scheme offers educational opportunities for young people based in Sussex, who are or hope to be in the construction industry.

Funded by the Historic Houses Association and supported by the Weald & Downland Living Museum, we have a programme of bursaries available to support young people attending courses on building conservation techniques.

The Trust will provide funding for the course and also support successful students in contribution to any travel and accommodation costs they may incur. If you are between the ages of 16-25 and would like to be considered for a Bursary, please go to www.sussexheritagestust.org.uk or email info@sussexheritagetrust.com


William Morris Craft Fellowship (SPAB)

The William Morris Craft Fellowship is an advanced training scheme run by The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). It is awarded each year to three or four highly skilled craftsmen or women. The training scheme is spread over a year and in that time the successful candidates will be able to widen their experience in a range of traditional building skills, repair techniques, materials and also prepare them for a position of responsibility. More details and applications


Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust funds British citizens, resident in the UK, to travel overseas to study areas of topical and personal interest, to gain knowledge and bring back best practice for the benefit of others, their profession and community, in the UK. In partnership with the Heritage Crafts Association the WCMT funds those working in Heritage Crafts. Find out more and apply here.

York Consortium for Conservation and Craftsmanship

This was created to raise funds tax-efficiently for those heritage-related objectives of the Consortium which can be considered charitable. It was designed to make a contribution to remedying the worrying and increasing shortage of the skilled craftsmen and conservators necessary to ensure the conservation and restoration of the nation’s heritage. The Foundation’s Trustees therefore set out to:

  • Create a fund capable of generating annual bursaries to assist the training of craftsmen and women, and conservators
  • Encourage existing experts to take on new apprentices/trainees.

For more information and application forms go to the York Consortium for Conservation and Craftsmanship website

Young Heritage Apprentices (Prince's Foundation for Building Community)

The Young Heritage Apprentices programme is a new programme aimed at helping 16-18 year olds into a career in the heritage sector. We will help train you in a variety of craft skills, including: stonemasonry, land crafts, carpentry and plastering. You will be able to try your hand at different crafts at our Summer School and specialise in the one you like most during training placements. By combining a Summer School with placements with some of the country’s leading master craftspeople, as well as short courses such as Business Skills, you will be taking the first step towards a career in a sector that is currently suffering from a skills shortage. CLosing date for completed applications is first Friday in May.
£765 per month bursary will be provided to all participants. Full details

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust

QEST was established to help support craftspeople of all ages and from all backgrounds, at a critical stage in their careers and thus sustain traditional British craftsmanship.

To be accepted as a scholar or apprentice of QEST is much more than receiving financial support for your training. It means being welcomed into a unique family of craft, where the alumni are as interested in the work that you have achieved as indeed the holders of Royal Warrants of Appointment.

If your application captures the attention of the QEST Trustees and Skills Advisors, you will be invited to attend an interview, where you will be given the opportunity to show samples of your work, highlight what you would like to achieve should you be given the opportunity of funding and display a passion for your chosen craft. Scholars will have already been practising their craft and demonstrate a level of excellence. Apprentices must apply for funding in partnership with their employer or master.

Find out more and apply here.


Zibby Garnett Travelling Fellowships

ZGTF is a charity giving financial help to individual students and apprentices to broaden their understanding of conservation worldwide. The students travel to relevant countries of interest, studying regional heritage craft and conservation techniques, and bring these skills back to the UK. More details


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