£2.3million for Cathedral Workshops as the Hamish Ogston Foundation continues its support

Jordon Cliffe at Canterbury Cathedral
Jordan Cliffe is one of stonemasons working at Canterbury Cathedral and currently studying for a foundation degree with the Cathedral Workshop Fellowship. He says: "This experience is only available to me due to the funding opportunities provided by the Hamish Ogston Foundation.”

The Hamish Ogston Foundation is continuing its support of the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship (CWF) and is awarding £2.3million over a three-year period from 1 September this year to 31 August 2025.

The CWF runs a foundation degree course for training conservation craftspeople, most of whom have been stonemasons. It was founded for the benefit of the then nine (now 10) cathedrals with their own workshops, but now also accepts students from commercial companies.

The partnership between the Cathedrals’ Workshop Fellowship and the Hamish Ogston Foundation is helping to secure the futures of English cathedrals and the craftspeople who care for them.

The grant will fund the employment and training of 29 stonemasons, carpenters and joiners and one electrician from the 10 CWF cathedrals currently undergoing the training.

The grant forms part of a five-year partnership project between the Hamish Ogston Foundation and CWF in which the Hamish Ogston Foundation is contributing £3.5million to expand heritage craft training and maintain the flow of skilled craftspeople at English cathedrals, despite the devastating impact of Covid-19.

The funding means heritage skills continue to be passed from one generation to the next through the CWF’s wide-ranging and comprehensive training programme.

The Workshop Fellowship gives trainees the opportunity to learn their crafts from the best heritage professionals in cathedrals across the country as they help to conserve and maintain these magnificent buildings.

Frances Cambrook, The CWF’s Executive Director, says: “The funding and support we have received from the Hamish Ogston Foundation over the past two years has enabled our cathedral craft training scheme to withstand the shock of the pandemic.

“With this new round of funding from the Hamish Ogston Foundation cathedrals will be able to plan ahead and recruit new craftspeople for at least the next three years.

“We are incredibly grateful for this support from the Hamish Ogston Foundation and the opportunity it gives our cathedrals to continue to develop the specialist craft and conservation skills they need.”

Robert Bargery from the Hamish Ogston Foundation says: “We are delighted to continue working with CWF to help ensure that England’s finest buildings are properly conserved for future generations.

“Our cathedrals may look immortal but they require constant care and that can only be delivered if we maintain a flow of people with the necessary craft skills.”

Jordan Cliffe from Canterbury Cathedral, who will shortly complete the first year of his CWF foundation degree course, says: “The best part of the CWF degree programme is visiting different cathedrals and experiencing how differently the workshops operate. This helps to apply new techniques to our own workplace. This experience is only available to me due to the funding opportunities provided by the Hamish Ogston Foundation.”


The Hamish Ogston Foundation is a UK registered charity that provides strategic support for heritage, health and music initiatives, with the objective of securing long-term viability for projects and promoting sustainable employment.

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