What is the William Morris Craft Fellowship?

“Knowledge is the key to success and that's what you gain on the SPAB Fellowship” 2013 Fellow Johnnie Clark.

Since 1986 the SPAB has offered a Fellowship programme designed to broaden the skills and experience of craftspeople, from any trade, who are employed in the repair of historic buildings. Each year the Fellows spend six months travelling the length of the country together, making site visits and meeting expert craftspeople, contractors and architects working in building conservation. Take a look at the Scholars' and Fellows' blog to get a better idea of the programme. Please download our Fellowship flyer.

Who can apply

We welcome applications from craftspeople employed in the repair of historic buildings on site or in workshops and studios. Candidates must have completed their apprenticeship and demonstrate a high degree of competence, as well as an enthusiasm to engage with other trades and disciplines. Successful applicants will be travelling in a group with the other Fellows and Scholars; the schedule will be intensive but rewarding so potential Fellows must be able to work as part of a team and be willing to spend long periods of time away from home. Strong spoken (including technical) English and a UK base is a necessity. Three or four Fellowships will be awarded, depending on funding. For more information and to apply, download the Fellowship information pack. The closing date for applications is 1 December. Interviews will be held early February and the Fellowship programme start date is mid March.

The Fellowship Programme
Practical training is divided into three blocks of two months, enabling the Fellows to return to their employment in between each block. The programme is full time so it is impossible to combine it with any other form of work or study. For the first two blocks the Fellows experience traditional techniques and sympathetic repair in situ and will visit structures of every age, size and style. The site visits can range from brickworks to cathedrals to garden grottoes.

We favour a hands-on approach and thatching, masonry, flint-knapping and pargeting are just some of the crafts the Fellows may try. On site they are encouraged to discuss traditional building construction, causes of decay and repair of materials. Through these experiences we hope that each Fellow will develop an appreciation of our philosophy of conservative repair and bring what they learn back to their workplace. The third block of training is devoted to the individual needs and interests of the Fellows. The programme runs from mid-March to Christmas. There are no course fees as training and administrative costs are borne by the SPAB. Successful candidates will receive an award to cover basic travel and living costs. CITB grant funding may also be available for employers registered with the CITB at least 12 months prior to the Fellowship programme. Please see the CITB website for more details.

The 2016 Fellowship programme blocks will run as follows:
Block I: 14 March – 13 May 2016
Block II: 3 July – 26 August 2016
Block III: 17 October – 9 December 2016

The 2016 Fellows are:
Peter McCluskey slater/roughcaster from Glasgow
Thom Evans stonemason from Ceredigion
Lizzie Hippisley-Cox stained glass conservator from York
Heather Griffith stonemason from Stirling

Get in touch

If you have taken part in the Fellowship in previous years and haven’t received an email from us in a while or if you have recently changed your details, please get in touch so we can update your contact details (education@spab.org.uk). We're also always keen to hear from prospective applicants, so if you are thinking of applying to the Fellowship in the future and would like more information, let us know.

The SPAB is grateful to the following supporters of the 2016 Fellowship:

Historic England
William Morris Craft Fellowship Trust
William Morris Society
Historic Environment Scotland
Carpenters’ Company Charitable Trust
Robert Kiln Charitable Trust
John S Cohen Foundation
Churches Conservation Trust
Carrington (1953) Ltd
Norman & Underwood