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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Join Heritage Crafts in conversation with period tailor Zack Pinsent @pinsent_tailoring at 7pm on 11 June, for a special extended edition to mark our 50th In Conversation event.

A self-taught tailor and social media influencer, Zack Pinsent ceremonially burned his last pair of jeans at the age of 14, and has not worn an article of modern clothing since. He operates Pinsent Tailoring in Brighton, crafting bespoke items reflecting fashion of the late 17th through early 20th centuries and shares his skills and passion with enthusiasts, students and new audiences. Zack will talk about the craft that underpins his public profile, his love for tailoring rooted in history and his hope for the next generation of makers. The event will also celebrate our new partnership with the @costume_society to support UK fashion textile makers.

The session will take place on Zoom and attendees must register in advance on Eventbrite via the linktr.ee in our bio. Attendees will also have the opportunity to submit questions in advance.
‘Neon, kilts, cricket bats: artisans gather to shine a light on Britain’s endangered crafts’ in the @guardian

“’Over the centuries, crafts have ebbed and flowed; some die out but others grow to replace them,’ says Daniel Carpenter, executive director of Heritage Crafts, the charity that produces the [bi]annual red list of endangered skills. ‘But what we’re seeing now is something different...’”

Read more via the linktr.ee in our bio.

📷 Kilt maker @graemebonefashion by Iain Brown
His Majesty The King to retain patronage of Heritage Crafts

Following His Majesty The King’s Accession in September 2022, a major review of more than 1,000 Royal Patronages and charity Presidencies has been undertaken. To mark the first anniversary of Their Majesties’ Coronation, the outcome has today been shared, with Heritage Crafts amongst the charities to be retained.

Members of the Royal Family are proud to maintain close associations with more than 1,000 charities, military organisations, and professional and public service bodies, both in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth. Royal patronage highlights the vital work of these organisations and allows their many achievements and valuable contributions to society to be more widely recognised and promoted.
‘Craft comes out of the shadows’ in yesterday’s @financialtimes on the forthcoming @londoncraftweek including @lucybarlow.hats at @craftworks.show and @larapaintextiles at @roseuniacke.

“If offering courses is one encouragement, reward for excellence is another. Interior business Rose Uniacke has invited Lara Pain, winner in 2023 of the inaugural Heritage Crafts’ Young Weaver of the Year Award, to take up residence in the brand’s Pimlico Road fabric shop.”

Full article link in our linktr.ee.

📷 Thomas Pratt
Heritage Crafts will be exhibiting at the @craftworks.show @shoreditchth from 15 to 17 May 2024, part of @londoncraftweek. 

We’ll be joined by current President’s Award for Endangered Crafts holder and straw hat maker @lucybarlow.hats who will be demonstrating the skill of stitching straw plait. We will also be sharing a space with guardians of other crafts on the Red List of Endangered Crafts @whitchurchsilkmill and @clockmakerscompany.

At 4.10pm on Wednesday 15th we’ll be hosting a panel discussion on ‘Craft Endangerment and the Red List’, and at 1.40pm on Thursday 16th we’ll be hosting another one on ‘Ensuring a Future for Craft Skills in the UK’.

Click the linktr.ee in our bio to reserve your free three-day pass to join us!
Funders and sponsors are helping Heritage Crafts to make its biggest contribution to early-career craft training since the charity was founded in 2010, with over £100k worth of training bursaries launching today.

The new bursaries are intended for talented new entrants and early-career practitioners, who might otherwise be lost to the heritage crafts sector as a result of not being able to afford hands-on craft training at a key moment in their early career. Of the 27 bursaries on offer:

• 11 will be generally available to trainees facing financial hardship, which may be exacerbated by other barriers they are facing, supported by @heritagefunduk, Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation, Newby Trust, Anthony and Elizabeth Mellows Charitable Settlement, @kendrick_hobbs and Malcolm Gammie.
• 2 will be allocated to Black and ethnically-diverse trainees, who remain under-represented in the sector, supported by the @cityandguildsfoundation.
• 6 will be allocated to veterans of the British Armed Services, supported by the @armybenevolentfund and the Royal British Legion.
• 3 will be allocated to trainees in Scotland, supported by the William Grant Foundation.
• 2 will be allocated to trainees in Wales, supported by the Ashley Family Foundation.
• 1 will be allocated to decorative crafts, supported by the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.
• 1 will be allocated to rural crafts, supported by the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.
• 1 will be allocated to an endangered craft featured on the Red List of Endangered Crafts, supported by @soanebritain.

Applicants are invited to apply once using a single application form, and will automatically be considered for the general funding pot as well as all of the categories that apply to them. Visit the linktr.ee in our bio for more information and to apply. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 5 July 2024.

📷 @sunturned
Our fourth 2024 training bursary recipient in precious metal crafts, supported by the @royalmintuk, is Lily Smith.

@lily.the.smith from Dundee will train with Sheffield-based Warren Martin @wm.handmade in the craft of silver spinning – the process of shaping a flat silver disk into a hollow item on a lathe, over a former known as a ‘spinning chuck’. It is a critically endangered craft on Heritage Crafts’ Red List of Endangered Crafts with fewer than 15 practitioners in the UK. Lily will use her new skills to spin for the trade, and would like to pass the craft on to others in the future.

Lily said:
“Spinning is a craft I unexpectedly found and fell in love with. It is an honour and very exciting to be supported by Heritage Crafts, The Royal Mint and many others in continuing this passion. This bursary helps me greatly by giving me the money and motivation to develop my career and art practice that is often hard to find after graduating. This training will allow me to learn in depth and explore the world of metal spinning in a way I had only just begun at university.”

This is a part of an ongoing partnership between Heritage Crafts and The Royal Mint that also saw the presentation of the first ever Precious Metalworker of the Year Award in November 2023, to watch dial enameller Sally Morrison from Glasgow, during a special reception at the College of St George, Windsor Castle, and featuring a trophy specially made by The Royal Mint team. In addition, the two organisations hosted a symposium of precious metal practitioners from across the UK at Somerset House in July 2023 to identify the issues facing the sector and what might be done to relieve them.

Lily’s bursary is supported by The Royal Mint and is one of over thirty to be awarded by Heritage Crafts this year. The next round of applications opens later today.

Read more via the linktr.ee in our bio.