The Weald & Downland museum in Chichester has been granted a coveted award by Europe Nostra.
Europe Nostra exists to promote the cultural heritage of Europe and campaigns against any threats to this heritage. Each year it awards the best cultural heritage achievements and celebrates excellence and dedication by architects, craftsmen, volunteers, schools, local communities, heritage owners and media.
A spokesperson from Europe Nostra said, "The Jury has granted this award for the exemplary initiative and long standing commitment of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum for creating a centre for training in historic building conservation. The wide range of skills taught, starting from inventory and research through to practical restoration skills, provides a fine example in creating the next generation of skilled personnel for historic building conservation. Its teaching programme on maintenance of the historic environment offered to the general public, is also of significant note. Through it they have ensured during the past 40 years, lifelong learning based on the museum`s collection and other resources. The initiative has also involved a large number of volunteers and has created an inspirational learning environment."
Learning is a core activity of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. From the earliest days, the museum has been a place where knowledge is shared. This continues today with 1340 days of student training given per year in practical workshops in a wide range of topics, including timber framing, repair of historic brickwork, lime and other issues in building conservation. The courses are made as accessible as possible through small group sizes, minimising costs and offering bursaries which enable people from all walks of life to benefit from the training. Two masters level degree programmes in Building Conservation and Timber Building Conservation are given.
Chichester's local Euro MP Catherine Bearder commented, "Europe has a very rich cultural heritage and it should be treasured."
"This is exactly what the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is doing."
"Congratulations to them for winning the award!"