The Heritage Boatyard 


 The Heritage Boatyard is based at the National Waterways Museum, Cheshire, and has a clear vision to create a working boatyard that is sustainable within its museum settig and really brings the historic site to life.

Heritage Boatyard update - Heritage Lottery Funding

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the National Waterways Museum £110k from its Skills for the Future Fund. The grant will be used to further the work at the Heritage Boatyard, training more people in the necessary heritage skills so they can help conserving the historic collection. See footage of the boatyard and the funding announcement on YouTube for full details of the award see The Waterways Trust's website.

Update posted Dec 2012


Heritage Boatyard update - Brinklow Work Placement

The three Heritage Boatyard trainees spent some time in August 2011 working at Brinklow Boat Services in Warwickshire, which gave them the unique opportunity of trying out their budding skills in a commercial yard environment. 

They worked principally on historic narrowboat Sculptor which was recently awarded a grant of £1,000 towards its conservation work by National Historic Ships UK.  The work included the replacement of Sculptor's bottom boards with opepe, doubling the thinning metal sides and inspecting the rivets for replacement where necessary.  

In partnership with The Waterways Trust, National Historic Ships UK is managing Keeping History Afloat, the Heritage Lottery Fund project which is funding the trainees' learning experience.  Please go to our Keeping History Afloat project page, to read more about this.

Update posted Feb 2012

The National Waterways Museum holds a collection of some 80 boats, many built as working vessels in both wood and metal, utilising techniques employed by boat builders of the time.  Work on this collection has been a significant driver in setting up the Heritage Boatyard.

The boatyard offers real work-based training to students and young people, allowing them to develop a range of highly specialised heritage conservation skills, including light engineering, construction, joinery, painting and mechanics.  A significant partner in terms of developing skills has been West Cheshire College.

The boatyard is also a working yard which offers conservation and maintenance on a variety of inland waterways craft.  Externally there is covered space for up to eight full length narrow boats to be held in the water.  Hard standing can accommodate up to three full length boats of varying widths an additional space for smaller craft.  The Museum has two dry-docking facilities and a range of dedicated and well equipped workshops.  During museum opening times the yard is open and available for visitors to see conservation work in action. 

Heritage Lottery Fund: Skills for the Future

The Heritage Boatyard in partnership with National Historic Ships has been awarded £110K from the Heritage Lottery Fund's Skills for the Future programme to develop a training project focusing on historic vessel conservation.  To learn more about this, please visit: Keeping History Afloat: Traditional Boat Building.

Information on the Heritage Boatyard can be found at:

Haven Awards enables more restoration

The Heritage Boatyard is celebrating after winning a prestigious award - and £3,000 towards restoration of part of the historic dock complex.  The Boat Museum Society also scooped a £3,000 award for restoration work.

The awards were made from the new Haven Knox-Johnson Academy, a scheme set up to support the best work being done on Britian's waterways.  The National Waterways Museum impressed the judges with plans to restore the Grade II listed Victoria Arm dry dock at the site.  John Inch, Musuem Manager, said "This is a project that's vital for Heritage Boatyard conversation and also for ongoing training.  Funding has long been needed to survey the existing structure, repair the dry dock gates and renew the pumping facilities.  Thanks to Sir Robin and the Haven Academy, work can now progress."

The Boat Museum Society have won an award for their project to repair and recondition the boat Marlyn for use by Ellesmere Port sea cadets.

 Item posted 2011

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