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New group aims to preserve leadwork skills

According to the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), there is a shortage of skilled leadwork conservation craftsmen in the UK who are capable of carrying out appropriate repairs to historic buildings.

This skills gap could get considerably worse as colleges no longer teach lead plumbing.

The Worshipful Company of Plumbers (WCP) and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) share this belief and the three organisations have come together to create the Leadwork Conservation Network Group.

The official launch of the Group took place on 15 May at the House of Lords.

CIPHE chief executive Kevin Wellman said: “It is very worrying that leadwork has been dropped from the curriculum for plumbing students. This was one way of encouraging youngsters to learn traditional skills that could progress to a career as a lead specialist.

“We will be working closely with the WCP to provide a CPD training programme for architects, surveyors, conservation officers, specifiers and practitioners engaged with the plumbing and leadworking industry.”

The Leadwork Conservation Network Group will liaise with recognised conservation groups, industry organisations and Government departments, with the aim to set a professional conservation standard.

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