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crafts at local council level.


When I joined the HCA earlier this year (as their first employee), they had already begun an ambitious project to back the above statement. Greta Bertram, HCA Trustee, had identified 354 councils in England and was contacting each one with a short survey. With the help of two more volunteers, Kimcha Rajkumar and Pat Southwood, we managed to make initial contact with every council on the list. Data collection was not easy; often the hardest part was getting beyond the disenchanted switchboard staff. Once through to the right person, we asked each council how they supported traditional crafts in their region.


After months of calls, emails and follow up calls, Greta collated the research. The report showed that fewer than one in five responding councils had a named person responsible


for traditional crafts. Often our sector was unintentionally 93 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2011


Dave Allison Metal Spinner, copyright HCA overlooked, falling between the


remits of arts and built heritage. Some councils, however, were doing great things to value and promote this important part of their local cultural heritage and those examples could serve as a model for others. For example, Westminster Council has a positive attitude towards heritage crafts. They recognised the important cultural heritage of Savile Row tailoring and their planning department conducted a detailed


survey, ‘Bespoke Tailoring in London’s West End’. This identified issues and they have been working with the Savile Row Bespoke organisation in addressing these. Whilst high rents and market forces could have led to workshop space changing to retail, the council has opposed that trend and actively supported tailoring as part of the cultural heritage of the area.


Sadly, not all councils were as


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