Heritage organisations

National Historic Ships UK

National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK) is a government funded, independent organisation which provides objective advice to UK governments and local authorities, representing the interests of all those in the historic vessels sector. Its main activity is the maintenance and development of the National Historic Ship Registers which include: the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV); the National Archive of Historic Vessels (NAHV); the Overseas Watch List (OWL); and the UK Replica List. In addition, NHS-UK is the initiator and manager of the Shipshape Network which was set up to promote the regeneration of traditional maritime skills, encourage regional activities and improve communication amongst heritage training schemes. NHS-UK provides guidance on best practice in the form of the three volume series Understanding Historic Vessels and has recently successfully accredited a BTEC in historic vessel conservation via the awarding body Edexcel.

Areas of interest


  • Conservation of historic vessels
  • Maritime heritage funding bids
  • Regeneration of traditional maritime skills
  • Maritime heritage training initiatives
  • Historic vessel protection

Please note that NHS-UK cannot help with:

  • Advice on historic wrecks

Training & Education

  • Traditional maritime skills traineeships
  • BTEC in historic vessel conservation


  • NHS-UK Photography Competition Awards
  • Flagship of the Year Award
  • Marsh Volunteer Awards

Information and networking

  • Regional networking events
  • Monthly NHS-UK e-news bulletin
  • Quarterly Shipshape Network e-news bulletin


  • Strategic Development Fund offering sustainability, training and conference small grants