Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust awarded £3.75 million grant to support traditional boatbuilding

By Sarah Jackson | 07 October 2013

The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust has received a £3.75 million grant for its Boatbuilding and Heritage Skills Training Centre Project from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A man works on a historic boat.
Volunteer Ricky Wheatley works on a historic boat.© Reproduced by kind permission of Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust
The project, which focuses on celebrating and preserving traditional skills, will be delivered by the Trust and the International Boatbuilding Training College at its new south coast branch at Portsmouth.

The training school and Highbury College will offer intensive practical courses in traditional boatbuilding and other skills. A Boatbuilding and Heritage Skills Training Centre, housed in the historic Boathouse 4, will also give Heritage Bursaries to local people who unemployed or not in education, offering a year-long full time course in traditional boatbuilding, leading to a City and Guilds qualification and an IBTC Portsmouth Diploma.

Graduates will have the potentital to develop careers in boatbuilding and the wider heritage and marine sectors.

“Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, as the centre of the nation’s maritime heritage, is the best location in the UK to deliver traditional boatbuilding skills training," said Nat Wilson, of the Training College.

"We are looking forward to opening our doors in April 2015 and are already receiving enquiries from those wishing to take up our range of courses.”

Short courses and family weekend programmes will also be available alongside sessions with local schools, a summer festival and a volunteer scheme that promises to offer extensive mentoring and skills training.

Boathouse 4 should prove an inspiring setting for the centre, which will also host exhibitions about the building and the history of small boats in the British Navy. The Boathouse was used during World War II to construct the secret three-man X-Craft submarine.

“HMS Victory depends on traditional craft skills for her very survival," reflected Dominic Tweddle, the Director-General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which owns HMS Victory.

"It is splendid that there will be a centre at the Dockyard which can train the people Victory desperately needs.”

The Centre will open to the public and begin its training programmes in April 2015.

More pictures:

Aerial view of Boathouse 4, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Aerial view of Boathouse 4, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.© Reproduced by kind permission of Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

A young man works on a historic boat.
Volunteer working on a historic boat.© Reproduced by kind permission of Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust
Volunteers working on restoring a boat.
Volunteers restore the Green Parrot.© Reproduced by kind permission of Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust
What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Sarah Jackson on Twitter @SazzyJackson.

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Coastal Motorboat Heritage Trust has been given for restoration; Panther 111, a 1927 Scott-Paine Speed boat, which is currently being shipped to Hampshire from the US.
A Scott-Paine Seaplane Tender, one of the first batch to be built at Hythe before WW2.
And the third boat a Scott-Paine Air Sea Rescue Launch
from WW2. John Cook Secretary, 'phone 079078 95281
email johngarthcook@aol.co.uk web johngarthcook
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