New report reveals growth for UK heritage crafts

First published on Thu, November 22, 2012.

A major new study of England’s Heritage Craft sector is published today, 22 November, with key findings presented at the launch of the Craft Skills Awards in London. The report entitled, ‘Mapping Heritage Craft’ reveals that:

• The total annual turnover generated by the Heritage Craft sector is £10.8 billion, with £5.5 billion being directly attributable to the Heritage Craft elements of the business.

• The Heritage Craft sector contributes £4.4 billion in GVA to the UK economy.

• The sector is expected to grow in employment terms by 12% in the period 2012 – 2022.

• Heritage Craft workers are cautiously optimistic about their economic prospects over the next 2-3 years, with 72% of businesses indicating that they expect demand to either grow or remain stable.

Mapping Heritage Craft is the first comprehensive study to define, categorise and examine the size and shape of the Heritage Craft sector in England, a disparate and largely under-examined area of the economy. In the process, the project has developed a new methodology for defining and measuring the Heritage Craft sector. This has included a survey of over 700 Heritage Craft businesses and the creation of a forecasting model to anticipate future trends in employment in the sector.

The study highlights key issues including, the difficulties of engaging the next generation of Heritage Craft workers (due to typically long vocational routes, and the tendency for skills to be passed on through family businesses); the lack of formal qualifications and routes available into Heritage Craft; the struggle to expand businesses, and the use of new digital technology.

Catherine Large, Joint CEO, Creative & Cultural Skills, said: “This report clearly demonstrates the importance of Heritage Craft and its vital contribution to our economy. It also underlines how its future depends on the continuation and transference of skills to future generations. We are committed to working with the Craft sector as a whole, to provide the necessary training, education and support to make sure that it continues to prosper.” The full ‘Mapping Heritage Craft’ report can be viewed at with ,an executive summary at:

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