New Beckford’s Tower bursaries available for specialist building conservation training

New Beckford’s Tower bursaries available for specialist building conservation training

Beckford’s Tower is pleased to announce a new bursary scheme, designed to help tradespeople, artisans and apprentices in Bath to develop practical building conservation skills. The bursary scheme is part of the Beckford’s Tower redevelopment project, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The aim of the bursary is to increase practical building conservation skills – particularly where these are in decline. The new funding will cover course fees delivered by third parties offering suitable training courses, plus a contribution towards travel and subsistence costs. Each applicant can secure funding for one course of their choosing, with training to be undertaken in summer/autumn 2024.

Applications for the funding are open now. Those interested in applying for the bursary should email Bursaries will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first-come, first served basis.

‘Our Tower’ Heritage Bursaries Scheme guidance is available here. 

An application form for the bursary can be downloaded here.

Patrizia Ribul, Director of Museums at Bath Preservation Trust, says: “Thanks to the generosity of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and lottery players, we are now in a position to offer help to local tradespeople and apprentices who are seeking to improve their skills in the field of building conservation. Bath Preservation Trust is committed to promoting the conservation, sustainable enhancement and celebration of this unique historic city and green surrounds, and bursaries like these enable us to shape the future of Bath, by giving means and agency to the people who live and work here.”

Built between 1826 and 1827, Beckford’s Tower was intended to house the collections of books, furniture and art that were owned by William Beckford, whose wealth was gained from his ownership of plantations and enslaved people in Jamaica. Beckford would ride up to the Tower from his townhouse in Bath’s Lansdown Crescent every morning before breakfast, and enjoyed its solitude and the panoramic views from the Belvedere at the top.

Today Beckford’s Tower is owned and run by Beckford Tower Trust, part of Bath Preservation Trust. The landmark is a Grade 1 listed monument and is the only museum in the world dedicated to the life and work of William Beckford. In 2019, the Tower was added to the National ‘At Risk’ Register, sparking a major project to raise the necessary funds to repair and restore the Tower, transform the museum, open up the landscape and create opportunities for volunteering, formal learning and community engagement. In 2022, thanks to a £3 million grant from the Heritage Fund, the fundraising target of £3.9 million was reached. £480,000 of partnership funding had already been secured, with support from Historic England, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Medlock Charitable Trust, Historic Houses Foundation, Pilgrim Trust and several other organisations, as well as £50,000 in public donations.