About

the national charity for heritage crafts

What we do

Heritage Crafts is the national charity for traditional heritage crafts. Working in partnership with Government and key agencies, we provide a focus for craftspeople, groups, societies and guilds, as well as individuals who care about the loss of traditional crafts skills, and work towards a healthy and sustainable framework for the future.

We are a UNESCO accredited NGO for Intangible Cultural Heritage and advocated for UK ratification of the 2003 UNESCO Convention of the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which was announced by the UK Government in December 2023.

View our documents

Our Mission

To support and promote heritage crafts as a fundamental part of our living heritage.

We do this through:

  • Knowledge – researching the status of heritage crafts and identifying those crafts in decline or in imminent danger of being lost.
  • Advocacy – communicating the vital importance of heritage craft skills to the public, Government, key agencies and organisations.
  • Safeguarding – ensuring that the highest standard of heritage craft skills are passed from one generation to the next and are recorded for posterity where necessary.
  • Support – supporting heritage craftspeople to continue to practice, nurture and pass on their craft.
  • Engagement – actively raising awareness and interest in heritage craft skills with the wider public and offering opportunities to engage.

Our Values

Equity and inclusivity

Removing barriers to participation and fostering appreciation of heritage crafts across diverse communities

Credibility and authority

Reflecting the extensive expertise of our heritage craft communities

Collaboration and cooperation

Facilitating connection between makers, supporters and partner organisations

Sustainability and stewardship

Being mindful of the cultural, social, economic and environmental impacts of heritage crafts

Integrity and honesty

Operating openly, accountably and fairly

Continual learning and development

Safeguarding heritage skills by adapting to changing social, cultural and economic contexts
National Lottery Heritage Fund
Swire Charitable Trust
The Royal Mint
Pilgrim Trust
Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation
William Grant Foundation

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If you are a precious metalworker working in silver, gold or platinum who has done something to be proud of in the last 12 months, please consider applying for this year’s Precious Metalworker of the Year Award, a partnership between Heritage Crafts and @royalmintuk. Or if you know someone else who might deserve the award, why not nominate them?

There is a £2,000 prize for the winning entry to be presented at a high-profile Winners’ Reception in November. Plus, we will also award a Young Metalworker of the Year Award, chosen from nominees aged 25 years and under, with an additional prize of £1,000 provided by Heritage Crafts Benefactors Lucy and Laurence Butcher.

To apply, complete the nomination form via the linktr.ee in our bio before the deadline of 5pm on Friday 6 September 2024.

📷 2023 winner Sally Morrison @anordain
If you are a potter or ceramicist who has done something to be proud of in the last 12 months, please consider applying for the inaugural Potter of the Year Award, supported by the Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation. Or if you know someone else who might deserve the award, why not nominate them?

There is a £2,000 prize for the winning entry to be presented at a high-profile Winners’ Reception in November.

To apply, complete the nomination form via the linktr.ee in our bio before the deadline of 5pm on Friday 6 September 2024.

📷 Doug Fitch @fitchandmcandrew by James Hazlewood
Many people are dissuaded from training in endangered heritage crafts because of the cost, and therefore the make-up of the sector is not truly representative of the mix of backgrounds that make up the nation as a whole. This bursary has been set up to help cover or subsidise the cost of training for someone who would otherwise be prevented from pursuing this career path as a result of the cost.

You could be just starting out on your journey in craft or at the point where you want to turn a hobby into a career, or you could already be a maker who is looking to further develop your endangered heritage craft skills.

Applicants will be selected based on the quality of the training provided and the likelihood of continuation and gainful employment. The training will be overseen by relevant tutors or trainers as nominated by the successful candidate and approved by Heritage Crafts assessors. This can include either accredited courses or informal learning identified by the applicant, and the quality of the training will be verified by Heritage Crafts staff before any funding is awarded.

Our training bursary in endangered crafts is supported by @soanebritain and is part of a wider scheme of training bursaries currently available. Find out how to apply via the linktr.ee in our bio. The deadline is 2 August 2024.

📷 @valentine_instruments
If you are a traditional leatherworker who has done something to be proud of in the last 12 months, please consider applying for the inaugural Leatherworker of the Year Award, a partnership between Heritage Crafts and the British Leather Industry Development Trust @leather_uk. Or if you know someone else who might deserve the award, why not nominate them?

There is a £2,000 prize for the winning entry to be presented at a high-profile Winners’ Reception in November. Plus, we will also award a Young Leatherworker of the Year Award, chosen from nominees aged 25 years and under, with an additional prize of £1,000 supported by @theleathersellers.

To apply, complete the nomination form via the linktr.ee in our bio before the deadline of 5pm on Friday 6 September 2024.

📷 Michael Tunnicliffe
Many people in Wales are dissuaded from training in heritage crafts because of the cost, and therefore the make-up of the sector is not truly representative of the mix of backgrounds that make up the nation as a whole. These bursaries have been set up to help cover or subsidise the cost of training for someone who would otherwise be prevented from pursuing this career path as a result of the cost.

You could be just starting out on your journey in craft or at the point where you want to turn a hobby into a career, or you could already be a maker who is looking to further develop your heritage craft skills.

Applicants will be selected based on the quality of the training provided and the likelihood of continuation and gainful employment. The training will be overseen by relevant tutors or trainers as nominated by the successful candidate and approved by Heritage Crafts assessors. This can include either accredited courses or informal learning identified by the applicant, and the quality of the training will be verified by Heritage Crafts staff before any funding is awarded.

Our training bursaries for Wales are supported by the Ashley Family Foundation and are part of a wider scheme of training bursaries currently available. Find out how to apply via the linktr.ee in our bio. The deadline is 2 August 2024.

📷 @scarlettrebecca by @dewitannattlloyd
If you are a fashion textile maker of any type (dressmaking, tailoring, pattern cutting, hat making, millinery, glovemaking, fabric pleating, corset making, etc) who has done something to be proud of in the last 12 months, please consider applying for our inaugural Fashion Textile Maker of the Year Award, a partnership between Heritage Crafts and the @costume_society. Or if you know someone else who might deserve the award, why not nominate them?

There is a £2,000 prize for the winning entry to be presented at a high-profile Winners’ Reception in November. To apply, complete the nomination form via the linktr.ee in our bio before the deadline of 5pm on Friday 6 September 2024.
Many people in East and West Sussex and Brighton and Hove are dissuaded from training in heritage crafts because of the cost, and therefore the make-up of the sector is not truly representative of the mix of backgrounds that make up the counties as a whole. This bursary has been set up to help cover or subsidise the cost of training for someone who would otherwise be prevented from pursuing this career path as a result of the cost.

You could be just starting out on your journey in craft or at the point where you want to turn a hobby into a career, or you could already be a maker who is looking to further develop your heritage craft skills.

Applicants will be selected based on the quality of the training provided and the likelihood of continuation and gainful employment. The training will be overseen by relevant tutors or trainers as nominated by the successful candidate and approved by Heritage Crafts assessors. This can include either accredited courses or informal learning identified by the applicant, and the quality of the training will be verified by Heritage Crafts staff before any funding is awarded.

Our training bursary for Sussex is supported by the @sussexheritagetrust and is part of a wider scheme of training bursaries currently available. Find out how to apply via the linktr.ee in our bio. The deadline is 2 August 2024.

📷 @eddyartist