• Summer 2018 Craft Funding

    Supporting Excellence in British Craftsmanship

    OPEN: 17 JULY 2018 – 24 AUG 2018

    Our Summer Funding cycle has now opened!

    We are currently receiving applications for funding in training and education of a Craft skill – visit our alumni page to understand what Craft categories we fund.  Funding is available to individuals for Scholarships for a particular course or training; and to businesses (in particular smaller companies) to employ Apprentices. 

    If you have any queries around eligibility see our HOW TO APPLY pages for frequently asked questions. Click below to start the application process:

    Scholarships                                         Apprentices

    All applications must be submitted online via our website, but please email applications co-ordinator or call 0207 798 1539 for any application queries.


    feature image: Mila Chielman – Spring 2018 QEST Garfield Weston Foundation Apprentice Spectacle Maker at Cubitts

    The Summer 2018 round of funding has now closed. If you would like find out more information i.e. the next cycle date please click here.

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  • Traditional Building Skills Programme

    QEST and the Prince’s Foundation 

    Traditional Building Skills Programme




    QEST (the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust) and the Prince’s Foundation are collaborating to deliver an innovative training programme in traditional building skills, linking short courses and workshops with a series of live training builds on heritage sites across the UK. Through a focus on practical, project-based, education this course will not only further develop technical skills and knowledge, but also provide site-based learning and training in business skills vital to the development of the next generation of skilled craftspeople.



    Course Overview:

    The course starts with an intensive series of workshops at Dumfries House, providing an introduction to topics such as traditional architecture, drawing, geometry and the principles of sustainable development. Hosted at the Dumfries House Estate in Scotland, this residential week long course will provide a grounding in the principles and practices of the Prince’s Foundation and QEST and provide participants with an introduction to the year ahead. Following this introductory course, participants will take part in an intensive year long programme, including:

    • Taking part in a series of ‘live build’ projects at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland, The Dumfries House Estate in Scotland and the Royal Gardens at Highgrove. Sitting at the heart of this programme, the live builds are a once in a lifetime opportunity to construct a structure from start to completion using traditional materials and techniques. An educational build, the projects are done completely by students on the programme while being overseen by skilled tutors, to guide and provide assistance as needed. With a focus on multidisciplinary learning, alongside their own trades, students will be given the chance to work on a range of other trades as well as provide design input throughout the process.
    • In addition to the Live Builds, students will be able to spend some time on short placements with craftspeople and firms in their sector, to learn first-hand from masters in the trade.
    • In collaboration with industry partners, a series of short courses will be delivered throughout the year at the Dumfries House Estate and in London, covering topics across the building crafts, decorative and applied arts, drawing and sketching, architecture and urbanism and more.
    • The opportunity to go on short specialist placements with leading firms and master craftspeople.
    • Participants will be given the option of pursuing an NVQ 3 Heritage Skills over the course of this programme, although this will not be a required element.
    • Throughout the course there will be a focus on the development of business skills, including the running of an intensive short course in this area. Mentoring support will also be provided from our network of alumni.


    Bursary, Accommodation and Travel:

    This is a free programme and all participants will be paid a monthly bursary of £1,000 a month. In addition to this, accommodation will be provided for the duration of the live builds. Students will be expected to use the bursary to cover any additional living and travel costs that may arise throughout the duration of the programme.


    Course Dates:

    The course runs from October 2018 – September 2019. The below breakdown is subject to change but is as follows:

    1st – 7th October: Introductory Course at Dumfries House

    8th October – 22nd December: Live Build at Hillsborough Castle

    23rd December – 6th January: Winter Break

    7th – 13th January: London Short Course

    14th January – 22nd January: Winter School at Dumfries House

    23rd January – 3rd May: Live Build at Dumfries House

    19th May – 30th June: Dumfries House and/or external placements

    1st July – 28th September: Live Build at Highgrove



    Application Process:

    The students we recruit for the programme usually come to us with a Level 2 or 3 NVQ or a significant amount of work experience within their chosen trade. The Live Builds will predominantly employ the following trades, although we welcome applicants from other trades: stonemasonry, woodwork (joinery, carpentry, timber framing), plastering, blacksmithing, bricklaying, thatching and painting and decorating.

    We ask for the submission of a written application alongside a portfolio – click here to download the form.

    Please send all completed applications to:

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  • Celebrating Craft at the V&A


     Supporting Excellence in British Craftsmanship


    On 6th March The Earl of Snowdon, Vice Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), hosted our annual dinner at the V&A, at  which 24 QEST Scholars demonstrated their skills, including enamelling, watchmaking, basket making, sculpting, blacksmithing and armoury.

    An auction of pieces made by QEST Alumni, as well as luxury handcrafted goods, bespoke tours and masterclasses, raised more than £150,000 which will go towards supporting the education and training of talented and aspiring craftspeople.




    The Earl of Snowdon said, ‘It was an honour to host the ‘Celebration of Craft’ dinner and auction at the Victoria and Albert Museum in support of QEST. The Victoria and Albert Museum, the home of ‘manufactures’, is the perfect setting to showcase the importance of British craftsmanship. It was great to see so much generous support and enthusiasm for QEST from so many people. I would like to thank everybody involved in organising this special event and all who came along to help continue the important work of QEST. British craftsmanship has a bright future!’


    QEST Hand Loom Weaving Apprentice Libby Kates QEST | Garfield Weston Foundation Sculpture Scholar Thomas Merrett


    Lance Patterson, CEO, at Penhaligon’s, the event’s principal sponsor, said, ‘As a luxury brand and Royal Warrant holder, Penhaligon’s are reliant on the highest level of craftsmanship. QEST’s mission to support excellence in craft in the UK is synonymous with our brand values and our reputation for supporting British Craftsmanship throughout our 147-year history. Penhaligon’s are delighted to be supporting a QEST scholar – showing our commitment to training the next generation. Fundraising is of the utmost importance to allow QEST to continue the significant work it does and Penhaligon’s are proud to continue helping the charity and sponsor the 2018 gala dinner at The Victoria & Albert Museum.’

    QEST | D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust Basket Making Scholar Annemarie O’Sullivan
     QEST Millinery Scholar Jane Fryers Bespoke Suit of Armour made by QEST Blacksmithing Scholar Graham Ashford


    A huge thank you to all our sponsors, supporters and partners for making such a fantastic event possible.



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  • 2018 QEST Funding


    Supporting Excellence in British Craftsmanship

    NOW OPEN: 8 JAN 2018 – 16 FEB 2018


    We are currently receiving applications for funding of training and education in a Craft skill.  Funding is available to individuals for Scholarships for a particular course or training; and to businesses (in particular smaller companies) to employ Apprentices. 

    If you have any queries, particularly around eligibility, please visit our alumni page to understand what craft categories we fund and see our HOW TO APPLY pages for frequently asked questions:

    Scholarships                                         Apprentices

    All applications are submitted online via our website, but please email or call 0207 798 1539 for any application queries.


    The Spring 2018 round of funding has now closed – if you would like find out more information for the current cycle please click here.


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  • 2017 QEST Apprenticeships


    2017 Apprenticeship Funding


    QEST financially supports companies wishing to employ Apprentices, helping to pass on skills to the next generation of craftspeople. If you are an aspiring craftsperson or seeking to engage an Apprentice we could help! 

    QEST are offering financial support of up to £18,000 over a period of 3 years – funding equipment, training or helping to provide the Living Wage.

    If you have any queries, particularly around eligibility, please visit our how to apply or alumni page to understand what craft categories we fund. Alternatively, for more information please email or call 0207 798 1535.

    We will be receiving completed applications until 5pm 3rd August 2017 – all submissions are to be submitted online: APPLY NOW 


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  • His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales becomes Patron of QEST

    His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales becomes Patron of QEST


    The Prince of Wales surrounded by the Spring 2015 QEST Scholars and Apprentices at a Reception at Clarence House. (Photography by Paul Burns)


    His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has become Patron of QEST (The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust) – the charity sustaining excellence in craftsmanship.


    QEST, the Charity of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, was founded in 1990 to celebrate the 90th birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and the 150th anniversary of the Royal Warrant Holders Association. In 2016 HM Queen Elizabeth II agreed to become Patron of QEST during her 90th birthday year.


    Chairman of QEST, Nick Crean, says, “We are honoured that the Prince of Wales, a longstanding advocate of the importance of heritage skills and craftsmanship, has agreed to become Patron of QEST.  His Royal Highness’s commitment to transforming lives through his charitable interests, particularly youth opportunity and education, is well known and respected.  Becoming our new Patron underlines the importance of QEST’s work in supporting the nation’s craft industry which contributes £4 billion a year to the economy.  By promoting and supporting excellence, opportunity and creativity in traditional, endangered and contemporary crafts, QEST helps to champion and nurture the skills which sustain Britain’s cultural heritage.’


    QEST supports the education and training of talented and aspiring craftspeople through its Scholarship and Apprenticeship Schemes, Since1990, QEST has supported more than 400 craftspeople of all ages and backgrounds in over 130 skills.  Many of these skills were on display during the recent successful London Craft Week which brought together organisations and makers in a celebration of craft.


    QEST continues to go from strength to strength and has just announced another 20 new Scholarships for 2017, who, with the 2016 Apprentices, will be showcasing their extraordinary talent at the Annual Luncheon of the Royal Warrant Holders Association and QEST on 6 June at the London Hilton Park Lane, where the guest speaker will be one of QEST’s Vice Patrons, the Marquess of Salisbury.


    Struthers of London Watch by
    2017 QEST Johnnie Walker Scholar Craig Struthers


    Stone finial by
    2017 QEST Howdens Scholar
    Lily Marsh


    Enamel pendant by
    2017 QEST Bendicks Scholar
    Harry Forster-Stringer



    For further press information please contact:
    Eve or Alasdair at The Ideas Network
    on 020 7351 4719, or email


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