Prince Charles: Public may ‘question purpose’ says expert
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The Prince of Wales revealed a new craft training base for the Prince’s Foundation will open on his Gloucestershire estate. It is believed the education centre will welcome students studying everything from fine woodworking to textiles.
This marks the first time the Foundation has expanded its charity work into the South West following successful work at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire as well as two sites in London.
Constantine Innemee, who has worked with the Prince through his foundation and at Clarence House for nearly 10 house, will run the new education centre.
Mr Innemee said: “The aim of The Prince’s Foundation has always been to provide access to training and development in craft skills and other artisanal endeavours that are very often under threat due to lack of knowledge.
“By developing a new base in the south of England we will be able to offer new opportunities to keep these valuable skills thriving in a part of the country where there is a great deal of talent but where the opportunities to harness and develop them are not always readily available.”
He added: “Highgrove is synonymous with craftsmanship and aesthetic excellence.
“The hope is that this new base within the Estate will allow that influence to permeate every element of the programmes on offer.”
It is believed “hundreds” of trainees are expected to enrol on courses at the Highgrove estate each year when the centre is up and running.
According to the Telegraph, there will be short courses, summer schools or community workshops.
Other students will live onsite on the estate during their training in courses such as furniture making courses.
There will also be courses in fine woodworking with Charles’ cousin David Linley, the Earl of Snowden, running the course.
Prince Charles bought the estate back in 1980 and five years later he started organic farming there.
This month, Home Farm took over running the 900-acre organic farm after Charles said he would not be able to dedicate the same amount of time when he is king.
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However, Prince Charles will continue his commitment to organic farming at the Sandringham Estate, while still living at Highgrove.
The Prince’s Foundation was set up in 2018 after The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts merged together.
Training opportunities will help to preserve heritage craft skills, which Charles has previously warned are at risk of being lost to future generations.
Back in 2018, Charles said: “My hope is that by creating a place where we can teach building, design, textile and Stem [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] skills alongside food and farming education programmes, we can begin not only to create the vocational capacity to protect, regenerate and re-use our historic heritage, but also to create our future heritage, and to inspire a new generation to adopt healthier and more sustainable ways of living in their communities.
“This is the sort of practical action to which I attach the greatest importance as, I suspect, do countless other parents and grandparents.
“I have long believed in a genuinely integrated approach to the way we deal with the challenges of the world around us.
“I believe that everyone deserves a chance to succeed and that the best can be achieved through giving people the skills, knowledge and, above all, the self-confidence to do so.”
Prince Charles has been a long-standing advocate for education and during the coronavirus pandemic last year, he raised concerns about the lack of education.
He said: “When I founded [The Prince’s] Trust 44 years ago, the problems facing young people through unemployment and a lack of support were serious.
“Now, I fear, those problems have gone from serious to potentially devastating.”
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