QEST - Supporting Excellence in British Craftsmanship

Our Mission

QEST is a charity dedicated to supporting excellence in British craftsmanship.


Investing in talent

Since 1990 QEST has awarded more than £6million to almost 800 individuals. Almost 90% are still practising their craft today and many are recognised leaders in their field.

Marcia Bennett Male hands (2) Photo credit Julian Calder

celebrating Diversity

We celebrate diversity in all its forms and welcome applications from talented craftspeople across the UK regardless of socio-economic background, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality or disability.


Sustaining skills

We are proud that 65% of QEST alumni are currently teaching or training future craftspeople and passing on their skills. There is a constant focus on excellence in their work, and they demonstrate a strong commitment to the British craft industry.


Supporting education

Education comes in many different forms and as such we welcome applications for funding traditional college courses, vocational training, apprenticeships, one-to-one training with master craftsmen and more.


QEST offers scholarships of up to £18,000 for the training and education of talented and aspiring craftspeople. We want to sustain vital skills in traditional and contemporary crafts and contribute to excellence in the British craft industry.


QEST offers funding of up to £6,000 per year towards an apprentice’s salary, for an apprenticeship of up to three years. QEST apprentices have trained in glassblowing, pottery, beekeeping, shoemaking and more.

Emerging Maker Grants

The Emerging Maker Grant is a new funding opportunity for talented early-career craftspeople. The grant provides funding of up to £10,000 to committed makers to enhance their craft skills and advance their careers.

building arts programme

A collaboration between The King’s Foundation and QEST, this 9-month programme is aimed at students or practitioners who have at least three years' experience in practicing their craft to explore the multifaceted nature of the built environment.

This Programme is applicable to people who work in industries such as architecture, design, carpentry, metalwork, painting and stonemasonry.


Our directory of alumni has details of QEST Scholars, Emerging Makers and Apprentices working in a broad range of crafts. Whether you are an interior designer researching a project, a craft lover looking to commission work or a maker looking to collaborate, we are sure you will find creative inspiration here.


There are many ways to support the work of QEST from donations to sponsorship or collaborations with our scholars and apprentices.

Winch Design appreciate that the success of their projects is wholly reliant on not just the skill of their talented design teams, but also on the dedication and skill of the craftspeople and artisans who bring their projects to life.  They are committed to supporting British craft and in 2020 sponsored their first QEST Scholar, Max Bainbridge.  In order to expose their whole team to craft and the work of QEST, they organised an away day at which nine QEST Scholars ran workshops for their staff, ranging from stone letter carving and ceramics, to sculpture, stained glass and leatherwork.

Banner image (guitar) © Asia Werbel for the John Smedley 235 campaign

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