Students to help with historic city centre revamp

Budding builders are learning traditional craftsmanship as part of a scheme that will see a city centre street restored to its former glory.

The students, from City of Wolverhampton College, are learning conservation skills before helping to repair historic buildings along Queen Street.

They are joining volunteers from across the city on The Queen Street Gateway Townscape Heritage Scheme, after City of Wolverhampton Council secured a £864,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project will make grants available to owners and tenants of properties in Queen Street to help with essential repairs and improvements, focusing particularly on the reinstatement of historic shop fronts.

To aid the work, City of Wolverhampton College is hosting a number of day workshops exploring a variety of conservation skills at its Construction Innovation Centre. Students are joining other volunteers and building professionals from across the city to learn traditional techniques including lime mortars, decorative plasterwork, sash and casement window repair, lead soldering and welding and terracotta maintenance.

Curriculum Manager for Construction Joel Dalhouse said: “The college is delighted to be involved in this project, and helping to restore an historic Wolverhampton street.

“By getting involved in these conservation training days and learning how to repair pre twentieth century buildings, our students are gaining invaluable skills which will set them apart from others when applying for jobs.”

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “An important part of the Queen Street Gateway Townscape Heritage Scheme is community engagement to highlight these wonderful historic buildings in our city.

“The training days are free and really bring home the vast array of traditional skills involved in restoring these properties.

“As a council, preserving the rich heritage and conservation areas in the city is as important to our regeneration plans as the millions of pounds being invested in new development.”

The Townscape Heritage Partnership includes Wolverhampton BID Company, the Wolverhampton Civic and Historical Society, Wolverhampton Cultural Arts Organisation, Wolverhampton Partners in Progress, Wolverhampton Society of Architects, The Friends of the Archives, Wolverhampton Building Regeneration Preservation Trust and Wolverhampton College. The five year project will also involve the local community in undertaking research into the history of the street which will eventually be made available through a series of new initiatives, including digital media.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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