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New placement to safeguard heritage along the Lowland Canals

6 November 2013

Scottish Canals and Historic Scotland are investing in the future of Scotland’s 250-year-old waterways by offering a bursary training placement to a Heritage Engineer funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Skills for the Future’ project.

Utilising a range of traditional skills to maintain and repair the historic locks, bridges and other structures of the Union, Monkland and Forth & Clyde Canals, the new recruit will work alongside Scottish Canals’ maintenance teams to help ensure the rich built heritage of the waterways is available for future generations to enjoy.

The ‘Skills for the Future’ project aims to address skills shortages in the heritage sector. Now in its third year, the scheme seeks to open up access to the nation’s rich heritage and safeguard it for future generations.

Working on the scheduled ancient monuments of the Lowland Canals, the 12 month placement will offer the successful applicant an intensive training programme that will develop a deep practical and technical understanding of key traditional skills.

The post holder will be trained in masonry repair; grouting and pointing; cutting and working with stone; and timber repairs and replacement. They will also benefit from working in an area of fascinating and diverse historical significance, and guidance from highly experienced staff.

Richard Millar, Director of Heritage, Enterprise and Sustainability at Scottish Canals said: “As the thoroughfares that stoked the fires of the industrial revolution, Scotland’s canals are a key part of the nation’s history. Today, they are in the midst of a renaissance, attracting 22 million visitations every year and playing an important role in the communities that line their banks.

“Working on the locks, bridges and banks of the Lowland Canals, the Heritage Engineer will utilise traditional skills to ensure the waterways endure for another 250 years, helping to deliver the aims laid out in our Heritage Strategy and improving access to the rich built heritage of Scotland’s canals.

“Scottish Canals already hosts a Heritage Lottery Fund bursary placement and it’s fantastic that we’ll be able to offer another vitally important workplace training opportunity in these tough economic times. I’d encourage anyone interested in the post to get in touch.”

David Mitchell, Director of Conservation, Historic Scotland, said:

“This placement underlines Historic Scotland's commitment to the traditional skills required to care for Scotland’s built heritage. The ‘Skills for the Future Project’ creates vocational training opportunities and this exciting opportunity with Scottish Canals will see the new bursary holder gain practical skills within heritage engineering and valuable work experience on live projects”

The deadline for applications is 15th November 2013, with the successful candidate taking up the post in January 2014.

Those interested in the opportunity can find out more on Historic Scotland’s website or Scottish Canals’ website.

Notes to the editor:

  • Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 3,000 projects with an investment of over £611million across Scotland.  

For further information, please contact:

Chris McDonald
Scottish Canals
07917 217 608

Josie Saunders
Scottish Canals
07881 816 283