Would-be applicants put off by the cost of enrolling on the famed 40-week boatbuilding course at the Boat Building Academy (BBA) in Lyme Regis, Dorset, will in future be able to apply for bursaries, thanks to a change in status from 'not for profit' PLC to registered charity in January.
Under the auspices of the Charity Commission, the BBA is now able to fundraise to help students attend the course, which has been established for 23 years. Will Reed, principal and one of the new charity trustees alongside BBA founder Tim Gedge said: "Becoming a charity is a big moment for us. The main objective is to enable us to affer assisted places to very committed applicants who would not otherwise be able to attend. We are still finalising the details, but are aiming to offer two boatbuilders and three furniture makers financial assistance every year. We would like to increase that, and will take a proactive approach to fundraising."
Fees for the 40-week boatbuilding course are just under £16,000. Classic Boat magazine's understanding is that bursaries of up to 50% are currently being mooted. Higher grants and even fully-funded places may also be a possibility in exceptional circumstances.
To celebrate its new status, the BBA is having an open day on 25th April 2020.