Prince Charles announces plans to open new craft training base at Highgrove

The Foundation will also take over the stewardship of the vast Highgrove Gardens, pride and joy of Prince Charles, by welcoming visitors to the estate.

Prince Charles, 72, bought Highgrove from Maurice Macmillan, son of former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, in 1980 and started organic farming there five years later.

His new lease of life coincides with the arrival of new tenants to his 900-acre organic farm which took over operation this month after the prince chose not to renew the lease, accepting that he could not devote the same amount of time to him when he is one day king.

The prince will instead focus on his commitment to organic farming at the Sandringham Estate, but will continue to live in Highgrove.

The new education center will be run by Constantine Innemee, who has worked with the Prince through his foundation and at Clarence House for almost ten years.

“The aim of the Prince’s Foundation has always been to provide access to training and development of craft skills and other craft activities which are very often threatened due to lack of knowledge,” he said.

“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 lot of talent but where the opportunities for them are exploit 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 field will allow this influence to penetrate every element of the programs offered.

The foundation was established in 2018 with the amalgamation of 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. It is managed by Prince Charles’ former valet, Michael Fawcett.

Classes at Highgrove will begin in a few months, with “hundreds” of trainees expected to enroll each year when it becomes operational.

Some will be there for short courses, summer schools or community workshops, others will be living locally on the Highgrove Estate.

Others will be based there for the duration of their training, for residences and furniture making courses.

Among the courses on offer will be Fine Woodworking, a bespoke course run by Prince David Linley’s cousin, the Earl of Snowdon, who is vice chairman of the Prince’s Foundation and shares his love of commerce and craftsmanship, having founded his own successful furniture business. .

A textile course, building on the success of the Dumfries House program that last year created the Prince’s first fashion brand, the Modern Artisan Project, alongside Italian label Yoox Net-A-Porter, will incorporate the design influences of Highgrove Gardens.

The base will also provide resident workspaces for emerging artisans early in their careers, while a building crafts program will oversee live constructions that will allow apprentices to practice newly learned skills.

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