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Get hands on with historic skills as part of Queen St scheme

A number of free community engagement activities will begin next month as part of the Queen Street Gateway Townscape Heritage Scheme.

The scheme was officially launched in March on the back of a grant of £864,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help restore historic buildings in Wolverhampton's Queen Street to their former glory.

The City of Wolverhampton Council has also committed £250,000 of match funding to the overall project as part of its wider regeneration plans and £1.1 million will come from investment by the owners of the buildings who receive grants.

As part of the project, and in collaboration with City of Wolverhampton College, a number of Conservation Skills Training Days have been organised.

They will look at best practice appropriate to the repair of traditional pre 1919 buildings across a range of building elements, materials and trades.

The courses are open to all and are particularly aimed at local building contractors and building professionals and students interested in embarking on a career in these areas. Owners of property within the city centre and adjoining conservation areas, their tenants and interested members of the local community are also invited to attend.

Most days will begin with a classroom based introduction to the topic followed by a practical demonstration of materials and techniques, with ample opportunities for practical 'hands on' experience for participants.

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."

Queen Street has many important listed buildings dating back to the early 19th century.

The 6 initial days will be delivered by Mark Womersley, who was previously the Conservation Officer at Calderdale Council and is now proprietor of a specialist builders' merchants dealing in the supply and manufacture of materials and tools for the conservation trade.

The courses are free of charge and a light lunch will be provided.

Places will be limited to a maximum of 20 delegates per session and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. To reserve a place please contact John Healey on 01902 554007 or e-mail john.healey@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

The sessions take place at the City of Wolverhampton College's Bilston Campus and include:

  • introduction to using lime mortars for plastering, rendering, limecrete and pointing (Wednesday 28 September)
  • introduction to brickwork, the causes of failure and repair and repointing techniques (Monday 12 October)
  • introduction to surveying historic buildings and essential maintenance techniques (Wednesday 9 November)
  • introduction to brick, terracotta and stone repair (Wednesday 30 November)
  • introduction to repairing and conserving historic lime plaster work (Wednesday 18 January)
  • introduction to insulating old buildings while retaining their breathability (Wednesday 22 February)

For full details on these courses please visit Conservation Skills Training.

Further days are planned next year, when organisers hope to cover topics such as historic roofing skills, historic leadwork, historic joinery/carpentry, specialist historic brickwork, historic iron work, and an introduction to stonemasonry.

  • released: Thursday 11 August, 2016