THE regeneration of All Souls Church has created traineeships in traditional crafts.
Contractors leading the £4.9 million redevelopment, which will create “a building within a building”, have offered six paid training placements, funded by the National Heritage Training Groups (NHTG), in glazing, masonry and roofing, for three months of the project.
The construction work is being led by Walter Carefoot & Sons, supported by the conservation and restoration specialists Lambert Walker.
Alan Walker, director of Lambert Walker, said: “I am a firm believer in the principle and benefits of training, and during the interview process I was looking for people with the right attitude and the potential to learn.
“On a project like this you need people you can trust: workers with the discretion to conduct themselves approp-riately on heritage sites.
“All of these trainees more than lived up to my expectations in terms of attitude and ability, and luckily we’ve got enough work to keep them on for a few months longer.
“For me, this project has been about giving a chance to individual young men who really deserve it.”
On completion of the bursary funding, Lambert Walker offered the trainees a three-month paid placement to continue with the training they had received so far and all accepted with great delight.
Work is on schedule to finish for August, with the official opening of what will be Crompton Community Centre due for the autumn.
Director of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), Sarah Robinson said: ‘We are aiming to embed training, education and craft skills into our projects so that the end result is not just a conservation success, but a push forward in creating a sustainable animated workforce for the future of our heritage.”
At the end of the project, Lambert Walker will offer one of the masonry placements an apprenticeship at the firm.
CCT has been working with All Souls Bolton — the organisation that will take over the running of the centre when it opens in autumn this year.