A typical 18th century vernacular building on Roebuck Street, with commercial premises on the ground floor and residential accommodation on the first floor. From left to right: Sir Trevor Carmichael, Chair of the Roebuck Street Redevelopment Trust (RSDT) and Geoffrey Ramsey, new Director of the National Trust, Barbados and Trustee of RSDT and Sarah Neville, Consultant Projects Coordinator at the Commonwealth Heritage Forum.

The CHS Training Programme has awarded 6 Commonwealth Traineeships to fund the attendance of 6 UK-based participants on the course. They will join Trainees from Tulane University and the University of the West Indies in Barbados, 3–17 January. Based at Roebuck Street, Bridgetown, the training course will develop a heritage conservation management plan for this 650-meter historic street. Trainees will develop skills in digital conservation management, including the use of drones, LiDAR, and 3D scanning. They will also develop skills in professional collaboration in a heritage context, working alongside local stakeholders and heritage groups.

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I am very excited to work with the Roebuck Street Research Studio, particularly because it will give me the opportunity to grow and develop my skills within the field. So far all of my architectural education has been very theoretical and intellectual; I am looking forward to applying my knowledge and education in a pragmatic, hands- on way.

Generally, I am interested in the relationship between architecture and sociology/ architecture and psychology; the way that the built environment effects people on both an individual and collective scale, including the ways in which this forms and shapes communities. I am also interested in heritage architecture and analysing how a building has changed over time, analysing how its use/functionality has also changed, and why. In order to deepen my knowledge of the subject I am currently completing a master’s degree in architectural theory and history.

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Sean is a student at the London School of Architecture studying his RIBA part 2 MArch degree. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Sean completed his RIBA part 1 course at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, continuing to practice at a small-scale architectural studio in Kyoto Japan, prior to commencing his current studies. Coming from one of the last British colonies on the world, Sean intends to explore parallels between Barbados and Hong Kong, revolving around the major topic of decolonialism in architecture. Additionally Sean’s interest lie in working and implementing new technology such as LiDAR, 3D scanning/printing, and drone photography to incorporate in digitising our built environment design infrastructure.

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Growing up in Shropshire, I completed an undergraduate degree in History at the University of Birmingham before beginning working at Historic England in September 2021. I am currently working as a Listing and Casework Assistant in the Midlands team, whilst completing an Historic Environment Advice Assistant Apprenticeship. My interest in the conservation traineeship with the Roebuck Street Research Studio stems from a desire to understand and partake in conservation in a location and on architecture that will be completely new to me. Equally as exciting is the opportunity to gain some hands-on experience of a range of research techniques such as drones and LiDAR, as well as the chance to meet and work with students with similar ambitions to myself in other parts of the world.


Jabir is recent graduate from the AA, an architectural assistant, photographer, writer, researcher, and oral historian who has worked on projects with the Museum of London, the UNDP and Numbi arts. He is interested in human approaches to architecture and post war rebuilding and heritage conservation in Somalia.

He wishes to use the skills and practical knowledge he will learn in the Roebuck Street Studio conservation traineeship and apply it to at risk heritage in Somalia.


I cannot express enough my excitement, and gratitude to have been offered this traineeship by the Commonwealth Heritage Skills Programme.

In 2019, I completed an MA in Museum Studies, immediately followed by an internship with Historic England, specifically in one of our Heritage Action Zone projects. This August, after a large gap from the sector, I’ve re-joined Historic England in a new role; supporting the implementation of our Carbon Reduction Plan as we aim to reach Net-Zero by 2040. Rapidly changing climates pose a huge risk to the historic environment and present new challenges to the protection and preservation of heritage, my aim is to advocate for sustainable methods of conservation in our work with the Roebuck Street Research Studio.

I have no doubt that this experience will be invaluable – not only to my own development, but also the surrounding neighbourhood; as I hope our work will pave the way to involve the local community in celebrating of their local heritage.


Hannah is currently studying MSc Sustainable Building Conservation at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. Her previous experience has stemmed from working as a Rural Surveyor for private estates across the North West and West Midlands in England and over the border into Wales. Through a variety of conservation issues seen in practice, Hannah wished to academically explore the practice further, with the intention of divulging into building surveying and specialising in the heritage built environment. Her particular interests lie within improving the sustainability of historic buildings, due to the ever increasing implications of climate change. Subsequently, she is particularly looking forward to expanding her knowledge of how the latest surveying technology is being applied to conservation principles and philosophies within an international context. Most of all, she is looking forward to gaining a greater anthropologic understanding of how a variety international backgrounds approach conservation.

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For further information on this see the Commonwealth Heritage Skills Training Programme website.

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