Applications open for Heritage Skills Festival taking place in Gainsborough

Carpenter works with a tree

Applications are being welcomed from those working in traditional construction trades, decorative art, conservation and restoration to demonstrate their skills, and possibly allow visitors to try for themselves, during Gainsborough’s Heritage Skills Festival 2023!

On Saturday 16 September 2023 from 9am until 3pm, West Lindsey District Council will be holding a Heritage Skills Fair in Gainsborough followed by a week of bookable workshops. They are interested to hear from anybody who would like to book a place as a demonstrator at the fair which will have zones for construction skills, decorative arts and traditional makers.

Taking place in Gainsborough, the Heritage Skills Festival is part of the National Lottery funded Townscape Heritage Initiative which is underway to restore Gainsborough’s historic shops. Skilled craftsmen are vital for such schemes so to bring them into the public eye, there will be a week of activities headlined by the Heritage Skills Fair to showcase rare traditional crafts that are thriving in our region.

It’s FREE to take part!

It is FREE to join the Heritage Skills Fair, in return traders are asked for a willingness to demonstrate their skills, and possibly allow visitors to try it themselves.

A covered market stall with a 9ft x 5ft footprint can be available for your display, where you are also welcome to sell items you have made yourself. Alternatively, you may pitch your own tent/marquee or request an open space for your bespoke display.

Cllr Paul Howitt-Cowan, member champion for heritage and leisure at the Council is delighted the Heritage Festival will be coming to West Lindsey.

He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our local traditional trades and craftsmen and women to be able to showcase their work and encourage people to participate and learn how to carry out these heritage trades”.

Townscape Heritage Activity Co-ordinator and organiser of the Festival, Theresa Workman said: “Lincolnshire is blessed with an astonishing range of specialist craftsmen and women carrying on age-old traditional skills. We want to showcase these individuals and companies to a wider national audience and offer visitors a chance to see their work close-up, to book onto a class and try it themselves.’

The festival continues throughout the following week with bookable workshops for adults to learn a heritage skill. Workshops also are being planned at other heritage venues and organisers are particularly interested in hearing from tutors experienced in working with lime mortar, repair and maintenance of traditional sash windows, or stone-masonry.

How get involved

If you are interested in being a part of the Heritage Skills Festival, please contact Theresa Workman by emailing [email protected] with an outline of your proposed demonstration or workshop, accompanied by a photograph or web address, including your contact details. You will receive communication to discuss your application individually before making a formal offer of a place.

This free event has been made possible by Gainsborough’s Townscape Heritage Initiative which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and also by the Government’s Levelling Up Fund. We would like to thank all players of the National Lottery.

For more information about out Townscape Heritage Initiative visit West Lindsey District Council’s website.

Come Discover Gainsborough

Gainsborough is a market town brimming with history. From its 500 year old Medieval Manor House to its industrial heritage. Find great places to visit and things to do, plus great ways to extend your stay.