European Union, through the Ministry of European Integration, Romania, Phare 2002 - Human Resources Development Grant Scheme

Title of the project
Specialising the workforce from within the building industry in historic building conservation in order to improve its competitiveness.

Transylvania Trust Foundation

Location of the project
Bánffy Castle, Bontida, Romania. With craftsmen from Gherla, Bistrita, Baia Mare, Turda, Dej

Total eligible costs
93.750 Euro

Amount requested and % of the total costs
75 000 Euro, 80% of the total costs

Aim of the project (objectives and justification)

Overall Objective
To develop the ability of the workforce to become more adaptable to the demands of the construction market and to contribute to the well-being and the social cohesion of the area.

Specific Objective
To provide a specialised workforce to satisfy the demand of the market in historic building conservation.

Prior to 1989, under the Communist regime, the maintenance and repair of the historic built environment was actively discouraged in Romania.  A legacy of this is that craftsmen and professionals are now predominantly taught about modern techniques and materials, and therefore the knowledge of traditional skills becomes lost. This limits the work remit of the construction industry  which is currently more at ease with new build than it is with regeneration through historic building restoration. This is now recognised by the construction industry as a significant constraint on their area of operation.

Target groups & justification

The main target group at which the project is directed are craftsmen already working within the building industry and those of similar background but who are currently unemployed and who would wish to retrain in a specialised field to improve their employment opportunities. The project will specifically provide training for 60 craftsmen.

The project is directed by demand led action identified within the construction industry and its associated labour market. The proposed training will directly address the skills shortage which currently exists.

Main activities from the project
It will be delivered through three main areas of activity:

  • through theoretical and practical workshop training given by Romanian and British trainers;
  • through the practical restoration of Bánffy Castle, Bontida which will provide a long term teaching facility and offices for the future sustainability of the work;
  • through the purchase of equipment to assist in the training process

Duration of the project
The total duration of the project, including preparation stages and delivery will be 9 months.

Plan of action & duration of project stages

Activity 1

  • Training of 60 craftsmen in Historic Building Conservation
  • Preparation during months 1,2,3,4,6 and 8
  • Delivery during months 5,7,9

Activity 2

  • Restoration of teaching facility and offices
  • Months 1,2,3,4

Activity 3

  • Purchasing equipment for the training process
  • Months 1,2,3,4

Estimated results and project impact (quantified indicators)
Provision of specialised training in historic building conservation for a minimum 50 of craftsmen
Improved opportunities for trained craftsmen to change workplace/seek better employment
Improved opportunities for construction companies to have more diverse tendering opportunities and increase in contracts.

Te provision of long term training facilities and equipment in a restored building which will have a sustainable future.

Experience with similar projects & management capacity
The project team has extensive experience in project management in respect of this type and scale of work. It has specifically successfully delivered similar projects through the Built Heritage Conservation Training courses at Bánffy Castle, Bontida, which has also included detailed restoration work to the buildings. This has been undertaken with Romanian Government support together with that of private funding Foundations.