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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

New Forest National Park - Help for traditional building skills

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 and alter them. 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 heavily 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.’

Local resident and Architect Julia Tremain has been on two workshops and says: ‘These courses represent excellent value for money. I have found it useful to take a step back from everyday work to look at the wider picture. On the lime plaster course we discussed how the building industry is moving away from the excessive use of cement based products to ones that enable buildings to breathe. This is especially important for old buildings but also relevant to new buildings as we move to more sustainable construction.’

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

If you would like to learn more or to find out what courses are on offer contact Kathryn Boler by email at or telephone 01590 646690.


  1. If you want to specialize in that kind of work, you should definitely attend their workshop. You can really learn a lot from them.

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  2. Its great that there is a budget for fixing the historic buildings and for specialization training.

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