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Awards and Loans

The Trust offers financial assistance to individuals or groups to carry through restoration or improvement projects to completion. The Trust also invites enquiries about sponsoring one or more Awards.

Karl Carter

Karl Carter1 

In this category the National Transport Trust usually recognises people who have undertaken a specific restoration project. But there are also those who work to assure the very basis on which the future of preservation of our transport heritage rests. Preservation cannot happen without ongoing stream of people with the right skills, and these people need to have an established career path.  There can be few people, if there is anyone, who have been more influential and effective in this area than Karl Carter.

Karl has been immensely important in establishing the United Kingdom as a leader in the field of heritage engineering training and skills.  Starting off in 2013 from his appointment as Technical and Skills Director of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC), Karl has been at the centre of the two arms of this achievement.  On the one hand he was pivotal in laying the groundwork for what is now the Heritage Skills Academy (HSA), and on the other he was a leading participant in establishing, at a time of major upheaval in the structure of apprenticeships in general, a recognised accreditation and a structure for the syllabus for the Heritage Engineering Technician Apprenticeship, covering Classic Vehicles, Historic Aviation, Historic Marine and Steam.

The founding of the HSA comprised involvement, first with colleges and then, with a standalone, FBHVC-backed facility to be based at Bicester Heritage.  Karl was central to everything about the setting-up process of the Heritage Skills Academy; obtaining funding, agreeing leasing arrangements with Bicester Heritage, working on the practicalities of a block-release based course, and on  the fitting out of workshop premises; the planning process, connectivity, even the position of electrical outlets and plumbing.

Initially the HSA was exclusively mechanical in focus but over the years the skills being taught are being expanded to include bodywork and trim. The HSA is currently focussed on vehicle apprentices, which reflects its funding and support sources, but there is no reason why the equivalent skills and the experience gained by the HSA cannot be made available to apprentices whose involvement is in aviation, marine or steam.

Starting modestly in 2016 with a mere 12 apprentices, HSA has grown exponentially so that it now has over 100 apprentices and is planning to expand to new premises on the premises of Brooklands Museum.  In collaboration with others in the field, Karl worked to set up a framework for a "Trailblazer" scheme to meet these ambitions and comply with Government requirements as to what an apprenticeship should comprise and achieve.  Meanwhile, the Government's approach to apprenticeships was evolving, including a transfer of responsibility between departments, leading to changes in the format of documentation, a change in the delivery of funding, and as to how much funding could reasonably be requested. While of course many others were involved in these efforts, there is no doubt that Karl's endless efforts and enthusiasm were a major driving force in bringing both the Apprenticeship and the Heritage Skills Academy to their current position of leading the way into the future of the preservation of mobile heritage.   A worthy National Transport Trust Preservationist of the Year.



The National Transport Trust makes loans to groups, associations and individuals at advantageous rates for the restoration of artefacts - whether mobile or part of the infrastructure.  Applications must be supported by a simple business plan which demonstrates the financial viability of the project. A sample business plan is available on request from the Treasurer.


The Trust does occasionaly make Awards for schemes which further the preservation movement. Again if you wish further information please contact the Treasurer.


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