Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project leading in Leadwork

Tutor demonstrates leadwork techniques Seven construction industry contractors now know more about lead working techniques thanks to training from a master craftsman, in Fife. This is all part of the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project.

The skills that the lead bossing and welding course teaches are in very high demand, but unfortunately, Lead Sheet Training Academy courses are not often offered in Scotland, and are very expensive.

Developing these traditional building skills in the construction sector means that preventative maintenance, and repairs, can be appropriately and successfully carried out on the wealth of heritage buildings in Fife.

Most rainwater is carried away across pitched slated roofs, but there are almost always tricky edges and corners. Next to chimneys, where two roof slopes meet, and around dormer windows. Rain water great at finding any tiny gap and leaking inside. Then it can rot structural timbers – disaster!

Lead details, worked by craftsmen, is the answer to keeping the weather out, and keeping buildings dry inside.

This is the first time a Conservation Area Regeneration Project/Townscape Heritage project has arranged for a lead course teaching these vital craft skills, to be offered to contractors in Scotland. The Scottish Lime Centre Trust, based in Charlestown, worked in partnership to provide a training venue, and promoted the opportunity to the construction sector.

Fife Council’s Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project, generously funded by Historic Environment Scotland and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is a 5-year programme, committed to heritage-led regeneration in the historic town. A small surplus generated through the initiative, will support more training in traditional skills. Course participants were delighted to train in Fife, to develop their traditional skills, increase their range of technical expertise, receive a recognised qualification in lead working.

One course participant said “A great opportunity, I’ll be using these skills next week on our range of 18th century farm buildings”

Emma Griffiths, Training and Development Officer for the Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project said: “It's great we were able to support craftsmen and women to develop their traditional skills on this course. Lead details are critical for roof maintenance and repairs. We don’t need too many Storm Arwens and Barras to remind us what roofs need to withstand, and how important it is that the details are secure, and do their job! The course came just in time.”

Councillor McGarry, Convener of the South and West Fife Area Committee, said “We have an outstanding built heritage in Fife, and the concentration of listed buildings in Inverkeithing is remarkable. It’s excellent that the project has enabled seven people to develop their traditional skills in this way.”

Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration scheme is delivered by Fife Historic Buildings Trust on behalf of Fife Council.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please email inverkeithing@fifehistoricbuildings.org.uk or visit www.fifehistoricbuildings.org.uk/inverkeithing