Back to the past for restoration students

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Bedford College has been going back to the past, with opportunities to learn traditional skills and restoration.

Thanks to a partnership with the Clophill Heritage Trust, foundation degree, professional and technical trainees have been involved in the planning stages of project to restore St Mary’s Church and associated buildings.

Last month the students on site helping to restore the old lock-up and pound.

Dave Wilkins, Bedford College’s assistant director construction, said: “This is a great project for Bedford College to have been involved with from the start thus allowing our students to learn about heritage work from the planning to the build and restoration stages.

“We look forward to many more learning and training opportunities.”

And Bedford College has also been working on a ‘Townscape Heritage Initiative’ in Bedford High Street, with youngsters learning stonemasonry skills.

The project has been developed with The Prince’s Trust, Bedford Borough Council and local stonemasonry firm Riverdale Stone.

Unemployed young people took part in project work over three weeks at the Chellington Centre in Carlton, learning the basics of the trade and participating in calligraphy and stone carving.

Dave Wilkins said: “This was a great project to be involved in. It has helped to give a number of young people an opportunity to learn skills to help them enter the construction industry.

“The heritage element has shown that careers in the industry are not just about new buildings.”