Rory took the opportunity to sit in on a creative wood carving workshop, run by local Cumbrian artist Alister Neville, whilst supporting the craft training done by Brampton Community Centre, and The Hut.

Brampton’s The Hut provides regular workshops, ranging from embroidery to woodwork. It has an excellent set of woodworking equipment and a ceramics’ kiln, in a purpose built workshop. It has brought leading Cumbrian craftspeople together to teach a new generation of students. And it offers the local community the opportunity to engage in an array of arts and crafts that wouldn’t generally be available to a town of its size otherwise.

Rory, who himself set up a crafts education programme within The Turquoise Mountain Foundation charity he established in Kabul in 2005, emphasised the enormous potential of crafts within an economy. Rory emphasised that 80,000 people in Britain are employed in crafts and that Cumbria’s history, reputation for tradition and beauty, and economy put it in a strong position to take a national lead in crafts. “Countries such as Italy,” he said, “have proved that crafts are not merely a hobby, but can be a major component of manufacturing and economic growth.”

Heather Tipler, who runs Brampton Hut said: “We are lucky to have this fantastic art and craft space in Brampton, which acts as a vital central hub for all sorts of activities for local, and even some not so local people. It means people don’t need to travel into Carlisle to take part in recreational activities and these days, when we need to think about sustainability, good local provision is really important for a community. The Hut is a wonderful resource, but the challenge remains to get it known and used more widely.  Any help Rory can offer in this respect would be very welcome.”

Rory said: “This is such a fantastic project, and provides Brampton community with something very special. There is a huge potential for craft education in Cumbria, and I am very keen to ensure stronger links are put in place with the local school and other community groups, to really make the most of this valuable resource. I am looking forward to working with Heather Tipler to see if a development plan can be put in place – be it Summer classes or further weekly sessions – to open up The Hut to as much of Brampton and the surrounding area as possible.”

For further information on The Hut, please visit:

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