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Posted on Tuesday 29th October

Heritage Lottery Funding grants are awarded to sustain and transform Britain's rich and diverse heritage. A new scheme in Portsmouth is set to offer 85 people per year the opportunity to study traditional boatbuilding skills.

The new Boatbuilding and Heritage Skills Training Centre has been made possible by a £3.75 million Heritage Lottery Fund award, and will open in April 2015. It will be housed in a former WW2 naval building within Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard - Boathouse 4 - which will be restored and revamped.

The Centre will also offer opportunities for people to get involved with and learn about our maritime heritage, including short courses and family weekend programmes, sessions with local schools, a summer festival, and an extended volunteer scheme offering mentoring and skills training. Visitors will be able to watch traditional boatbuilding in action as well as enjoy fun, tactile and engaging exhibitions on the building and the fascinating story of small boats in the British Navy, including the display of several small craft from the Trust's own collection

The program will help to preserve and celebrate traditional skills by teaching students a range of traditional skills such as constructing the backbone of wooden boats and restoring metalwork on damaged vessels.

The skills the students learn during the program can then be used on new naval restoration projects such as HMS Victory, currently undergoing restoration at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, as well as being applicable in other types of employment.

Dominic Tweddle, Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which owns HMS Victory, said:

'HMS Victory depends on traditional craft skills for her very survival. It is splendid that there will be a centre at the Dockyard which can train the people Victory desperately needs.'

£35 million of the revenue that the National Lottery raises each week goes towards supporting cultural, sports, charity and community projects. For more information about National Lottery projects and how to apply for a grant, visit

Further Reading

Heritage of the Sea

Only £25.00

Heritage of the Sea

(Hardback - 300 pages)
by Peter C Smith

During the period from Sir Francis Drake to the 21st century the naval power of Great Britain rose from that of an obscure island to that of a world-wide empire. British shipping and seamen dominated the globe for four centuries and the ships that explored the world and those which guarded them represent a unique treasure-house of maritime history, unrivalled anywhere in the world.

This book lists all the major vessels, from… Read more...


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