Billmeir Award Scheme

'Billmeir' is the Shipwrights' name for grants the Company awards for technical education and training and comes from a Trust set up in 1957 by the late Jack Billmeir CBE, a shipowner and Prime Warden of the Shipwrights Company in 1962. Grants are primarily made to individuals to support them in their training at one of the schools teaching modern (e.g. GRP) and traditional timber ship and boat building, or to universities and colleges teaching naval architecture, and marine engineering.

Awards may also be made directly to the naval architecture and engineering faculties of universities which offer relevant courses, to support vacation outplacements in industry. These grants are then administered by the faculty.

Individual grants range from a maximum of about £2,000 to help with fees or living expenses whilst on course, down to £200 for tools. The tools shown to the left were presented to the top trainee at Borsham North Shore Boat Yard. It is the Company’s policy to make grants payable to the school and dependent on continuing good reports of performance and attendance.

The individuals who were supported by the Shipwrights were training on courses ranging from naval architecture to traditional wooden boat building at one of the colleges listed below and the Company funded their course fees or tools.   In 2019-20 over £20,000 was allocated to applicants to the Billmeir Award Scheme which supported 18 individuals and two organisations, the Clyde Maritime Trust and the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers' 'Shipwrights' Prize', both of which have been supported annually and are included in the figures beleow.

Including its support to  the two apprentices on the SV GLENLEE with the Clyde Maritime Trust and the Shipwrights Prize awarded by ICS in 2020-21 the Education and Charity Committee allocated £28,000 in grants to 22 individual applicants from six separate colleges, in 2021-22; grants totalling £25,500 were awarded to fifteen applicants from seven colleges and boat-building schools and to date in 2022-23 grants totalling £17,750 have been awarded to nine applicants from five colleges.

Clicking on a college logo will take you to their website.

City College Southampton

Clyde Maritime Trust / SV GLENLEE

Coleg Llandrillo

Falmouth Marine School

Fareham College (CEMAST)

Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy

IBTC Lowestoft

IBTC Portsmouth

Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

Paragon Skills

Pioneer Sailing Trust

South Devon College

Specific Terms and Condition are:

Under the terms of the Shipwrights' Company Educational Trust, the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights invites applications from students of naval architecture, or students, apprentices or other persons employed, interested, or concerned in the shipping, shipbuilding, boat building or related industries, who are citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for grants of money to assist the candidate to:

  • attend a post-graduate or other advanced course of study at any recognised university or college, or shipbuilding, engineering, shipping or research establishment in the UK; or
  • carry out maritime-related research or studies in any part of the world; or
  • attend an undergraduate course of maritime related study; or
  • spend a period of study or employment in a maritime related industry; or
  • engage in any approved activity designed to advance a career in the shipping, shipbuilding, boat building or related industries.

Billmeir Applications

Preference will be given to those under 25 years of age. To apply please complete the online application form using the link at the bottom of this page. Remember that the more relevant information you can provide to show why you are a worthy recipient of an award the better your application will be received. You should also demonstrate how you will be helping the Shipwrights' Company to fulfil its educational and charitable objectives so your references will be also be very important in this regard. The Education and Charities Committee meets three times a year in February, June and November.

Please be aware that the application needs to be properly assessed and references sought and received by the Shipwrights' before it will be considered by the committee.  Applications may be made at any time and will be considered at the next available opportunity by the Education and Charities Committee.

To complete the 'Billmeir On-line Application Form' please click on the link here.