Lack of conservationist professionals and tradesmen is putting ancient buildings at risk, says report

A shortage of traditional building skills is threatening the upkeep of the UK’s oldest buildings, according to a report by the National Heritage Training Group.

The report said that there are only 507 fully accredited conservation professionals in the UK to work on pre-1919 buildings, equivalent to one accredited specialist surveyor for every 85,000 old buildings, and one engineer for every 276,000.

Almost 3,600 more professionals are needed to cope with repairing and maintaining old buildings in the UK, according to the report.

With many organisations struggling to find tradesmen such as thatchers, dry stone wall specialists and stonemasons, the report said that the level of satisfaction with repair work has declined considerably. Although the shortage has fallen from an estimated 6,600 in 2005, the organisation said that there is still a considerable skills and knowledge gap.