Allchurches Trust’s heritage funding programme is helping to build and protect sustainable skills to care for the UK and Ireland’s historic environment. 

Five heritage partners have been selected to benefit from more than half a million pounds annually under this closed grants programme. It is not open for applications, although funding for ecclesiastical heritage projects may be available through our other grants streams. See the what we fund page for more information.

Funding through the heritage programme has enabled The Prince’s Foundation and the Strata Florida Trust to open an archaeological field school at the former Cistercian Abbey site of Strata Florida in Wales. 

The field school, which opened for the first time in summer 2019 and will run again in 2021 and 2022, provides a unique opportunity for people of all ages, from different backgrounds, with and without experience of archaeology, to take part in all aspects of an archaeological excavation at this important historical site. It is helping to address a shortage of practical training opportunities for those seeking careers in archaeology. You can find out more and how to ‘Join the Dig’ here.

An Allchurches Trust’s grant of £471,000 over three years has also enabled Historic England (HE) to create new Historic Environment Advice Assistant (HEAA) heritage apprenticeships. These apprentices are being trained and supported in researching and providing advice on a vast range of heritage assets; including historic buildings, landscapes, monuments, archaeological sites and battlefields. The programme is also pioneering the new heritage apprenticeship standards, setting best practice for recruitment and training and making it easier for young people from all walks of life to find a way into the heritage workforce. 

A grant of £114,000 to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) is funding a number of craft scholars and apprentices. Tapestry weaver, Elaine Wilson, is undertaking her apprenticeship in the expert care of the renowned Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh. A ceramicist with a passion for the natural world, Katalina Caliendo, and a talented iconographer, Alison Wootten, have also benefited from scholarships, and in October 2020, a musical instrument maker, Agnieszka Nalazek, was announced as the latest recipient. A talented stonemason is getting the chance to hone his craft at Gloucester Cathedral with the help of the heritage programme. Allchurches’ funding is supporting the newest trainee, Martin Gwilliams, during his two-year training programme through the Cathedrals Workshop Fellowship (CWF), which will culminate in a Foundation Degree in Applied Historic Building Conservation and Repair awarded by the University of Gloucestershire. 

A grant of £12,000 has also been awarded to the Heritage Crafts Association’s Endangered Craft Fund, which gives small grants to support the development of individual craftspeople. The Allchurches’ funding will provide new tools (replacing ones that are a century old!) for an apprentice working for one of the last practising basketwork furniture makers, support an apprentice sailmaker and enable a coracle maker in West Wales to pass on her skills. In the most recent round of Endangered Craft fund announcements, Allchurches has supported a coppersmith, a withy pot maker and a disappearing fore-edge painter.

Allchurches Trust chairman, Tim Carroll, said: “As a Trust, we are passionate about protecting the UK and Ireland’s rich history. Our heritage grants programme invests in future generations so that all can continue to enjoy our great past.” 

Heritage grants - Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust