Chester Renaissance has successfully bid for more than £100,000
of funding to ensure that the traditional heritage skills of our
ancestors continue into the 21st Century.
The grant, from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the
Future project, will allow four apprentices, over a four-year
period, to become skilled in Stone Masonry or Traditional Wood
In partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and West
Cheshire College, the apprentices will gain hands-on experience of
their craft by working with local heritage-skilled businesses
during four rotations of three months each.
They will also spend one day a week working towards an NVQ Level
3 in Stone Masonry or Traditional Wood Joinery at West Cheshire
Chief Executive of Chester Renaissance, Rita Waters, said: “We
are absolutely delighted that our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund
has been successful and we will now work to finalise details of the
course and offer the first placement in January 2011.
“I hope that the apprenticeships we have secured will revive
interest in heritage skills as well as providing young people with
the opportunity to carve out a successful and long-standing
Leader of the Council Mike Jones, said: “We have over 5000
listed buildings in Cheshire and many more that date back to
pre-20th Century, all of which will need vital maintenance repairs
and investment in the future. The truth is that there are just not
enough people skilled in the trades of our forefathers to ensure
their continuing preservation.
“Cheshire West and Chester Council, Chester Renaissance and West
Cheshire College are dedicated to working together to ensure that
these much-needed skills are not lost to future generations.”
The funding will enable West Cheshire College to develop an
accredited heritage skills course, with the aim of expanding the
course’s intake in future years.
Dave Pritchard, Construction Manager at West Cheshire College,
said: “This is a great opportunity for the College to develop a new
course that will lead to a recognised heritage skills
“The qualifications will reflect the skills and knowledge needed
to protect our historic built-environment and provide an
opportunity for young people to work within the conservation,
repair, maintenance and restoration sector.”