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Sunday, 3 October 2010

Keeping traditional building skills alive

Subsidised courses for making repairs to timber-frame buildings, cob walling and using lime plaster and render are now on offer to small businesses in the New Forest.

The New Forest National Park Authority has secured £20,000 of funding from the New Forest RDPE (Leader) programme*, to deliver two years of subsidised training for small businesses of fewer than 10 employees, who are based in the New Forest.

Kathryn Boler, External Funding Officer, said: ‘The New Forest has a rich cultural heritage with a wide range of historic buildings which require specialist skills to maintain. There is a high demand from property owners for craftsmen with traditional skills and an understanding of how to repair and look after historic buildings.

‘The subsidised courses will offer workshops for local building companies and architects who wish to specialise in this type of work. It is important that historic buildings are well restored and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

‘The training also opens up new avenues for local craftsmen, allowing them to be more competitive and take on new areas of work.

‘We have already had a number of businesses sign-up and many more are expressing an interest.’

The project provides training at a third of the usual cost and will take place at a number of local rural craft centres.

If you would like to learn more visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/buildingskills or to find out what courses are on offer contact Kathryn Boler by email at Kathryn.Boler@newforestnpa.gov.uk or telephone 01590-646690.

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