The Shipshape East Anglia Project (SEA) was delivered at the International Boatbuilding  Training College, Lowestoft (IBTC) between 2014 and 2016 in partnership with National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK). The project was funded with a £624,950 grant from the Department of Local Government’s Coastal Communities Fund set up to create and support skills training and employment opportunities in coastal areas across the UK. The SEA Project aimed to improve training facilities at IBTC, provide training courses, create job opportunities centred around boatbuilding, and establish a mobile saw mill. An historic vessel was restored for use as a tourism business in the form of a Water Taxi, promoting Lowestoft’s marine heritage. A second stage of the project saw the initiation of a regional HUB bringing together the historic vessel sector, maritime businesses and learning providers in the wider area to support skills development and employment.

The specific aims of the project were to:

• Create collaborative opportunities between IBTC and the wider maritime sector, local economy and other skills providers.

• Create new jobs for a shipwright, a shipwright’s assistant and 2 apprentices employed on the restoration and fit out of a craft on the National Register of Historic Vessels.

• Operate the restored historic vessel as a water taxi for use in the Oulton Broad/Lowestoft water transport network creating a tourism business which promotes the boatbuilding heritage of the area and creates new jobs for 4 members of the crew.

• Set up and run a sawmill at IBTC to supply specialist timber to the maritime sector, training and employing a sawyer and sawyer’s assistant.

• Provide a skills mapping activity for the area identifying changing needs of the historic vessel and maritime sector.

• Begin positioning IBTC as a Shipshape Hub as part of the national Shipshape Network, providing a focus for training, events and skills sharing in boatbuilding, ancillary services, work experience, apprenticeships etc.

To read more about the Shipshape East Anglia (SEA) project and its outcomes, please download the following documents:

SEA Business Plan

SEA Outcomes Leaflet

SEA Evaluation Report

SEA Evaluation Report - Appendix One - Appendix Two

To find out about the SEA legacy projects including the training bursaries and small grants for vessel owners / Shipshape businesses, see: