Irvine’s maritime museum is set to benefit from a new nationwide project addressing a decrease in conservation skills and ensure the country’s most important and at risk industrial artefacts are saved for future generations.

The award-winning Scottish Maritime Museum, which is home to the nationally recognised collection of maritime heritage and art, is part of the two year Powering Our People project launched by Industrial Museums Scotland.

The £230,000 Powering Our People project will ensure all 14 members of the federation of Scotland’s independent industrial museums, including the Scottish Maritime Museum, have a trained and knowledgeable workforce, best equipped to care for their Nationally Significant collections, now and into the future.

The move comes after a skills review led by Industrial Museums Scotland, and engaging employees and volunteers, confirmed that funding cuts over recent years have led to fewer staff and an increasing shortage of specialist training.

Through the project, Industrial Museums Scotland will employ a conservator and industrial conservation intern to work alongside 100 employees and volunteers to develop skills, particularly in the care of large industrial objects, important paper archives and innovative and historic engines.

The project, which will also benefit the wider industrial heritage sector, will centre on training, workplace exchanges, a conference and shadowing a conservator, as well as creating online resources to benefit the future workforce.

The Powering Our People project has been generously supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Museum Galleries Scotland, the Pilgrim Trust, Historic Environment Scotland, the Headley Trust and the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust.

David Mann, Chair of Industrial Museums Scotland and Director of the Scottish Maritime Museum, said: “We are grateful to funders for supporting this major legacy project for Scotland’s industrial museums.

“Key skills will be gained and shared within the workforce and the care of Scotland’s amazing and nationally important industrial heritage will become more sustainable into the future.”