The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee
Commonwealth Heritage Skills Training Programme
Fig. 1. Lord Crathorne KCVO, Hamish Ogston CBE, Founder of The Hamish Ogston Foundation, and Philip Davies, Chair of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum, are photographed here signing the agreement for The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Commonwealth Heritage Skills Training Programme.
In May 2022, the Commonwealth Heritage Forum launched the largest ever Commonwealth heritage programme: The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Commonwealth Heritage Skills Training Programme. The programme is generously funded by the Hamish Ogston Foundation, which has made £4.5 million available over 5 years to support training in heritage skills across the Commonwealth.
The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Commonwealth Heritage Skills Training Programme will support Commonwealth countries to develop the range of specialist skills they need to protect valuable heritage sites. Over an initial five-year period, the programme will train up to 600 people in a wide range of heritage and craft skills. It will focus on those countries where local stakeholders tell us the need is greatest, and where there is little existing capacity to manage or restore heritage at risk.
Fig. 2. Sir Rodney Williams, Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda and Patron of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum (centre right), was in attendance with his wife, Lady Williams (centre left), to honour the launch of this ambitious conservation initiative.
Managed by the Commonwealth Heritage Forum, delivery support will come from a broad network of UK and international partners including Oxford Brookes University, The Prince’s Foundation, Tulane University, the University of the West Indies, the World Monuments Fund, and several leading architectural and conservation private practices.
The Programme has a two-pronged approach to training, aiming to engage the entire heritage ‘eco-system.’ Through academic and professional programmes, it will build local capacity and resilience—nurturing the heritage champions of the future. Additionally, through on-site training projects, the Programme will help to secure the future of up to 20 important but threatened buildings and sites across the Commonwealth.