Search site

Conservation Skills Training

As part of the Townscape Heritage Scheme centred around Queen Street the City of Wolverhampton Council, in collaboration with Wolverhampton College, is delivering a series of Conservation Skills Training Days that will look at best practice appropriate to the repair of traditional pre-1919 buildings across a range of building elements, materials and trades.

May 2017 to November 2017

Carpentry Repair Day Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Carpentry Repair Day
Historic Stone Masonry Day Since last September we have held 6 day courses, including four conservation skills days (providing introductions to lime, brickwork, plaster and terracotta), together with days looking at surveying and maintenance, and the appropriate retro fit of historic buildings. The courses have attracted delegates from diverse backgrounds, including local building professionals and contractors, project managers and local people, often with an interest in a building. Construction students from Wolverhampton College, and the recently established West Midlands Construction University Technical College have also attended the courses.

Delegates have commented favourably on these courses including: - "first class tutoring", from "a very knowledgeable presenter" providing, "an excellent overview". Delegates particularly appreciated "the combination of class room and hands-on experience", and the opportunities for "team work with people of different skills and experience all working together" noting that "the interest and enthusiasm of younger people offers possibilities for the future".

Others commented on "the hands-on experience and mix of participants", and that "it's always inspiring to find and listen to talks from the heritage sector" with "the practical sessions always the most interesting as it helps consolidate the theory", and beneficial outcomes such as "more respect for historic buildings"; an  "appreciation of the skills needed to achieve the required finishes".

We have now arranged the next series of day courses up to Christmas 2017, and are now particularly keen to attract local building contractors with an interest in conservation projects and the owners of historic buildings within the city centre and adjoining conservation areas.

Most days will commence with a classroom-based introduction to the topic followed by practical sessions offering opportunities to handle materials and the demonstration of techniques, including ample opportunities for practical "hands on" experience.

The courses are free of charge and a light lunch will be provided. PPE and necessary tools will be provided, but please dress suitably and provide appropriate footwear. The courses will run from 10 am to approximately 4.30pm.

Places will be limited to a maximum of 15 delegates per course and these will be allocated on a "first come first served" basis. To reserve a place please contact John Healey on 01902 554007 or e-mail We look forward to welcoming you to these events.

Further Days are planned though the autumns including:-   


Title: Air Tightness in Historic Buildings

Date: October 2017
Venue: University of Wolverhampton
Trainers: Robert Stuart from the Becci Project (Built Environment Climate Change Innovations)


Low level interventions that improve the overall thermal performance and comfort in older buildings are usually the most effective in terms of both reducing energy consumption and the overall long term performance of the building. The day will provide an introduction to the topic through a mix of theoretical and practical sessions.

Practical: It is hoped to use one of the buildings in Queen  Street for the practical session, which will include the use of thermal imaging to track air leakage paths.


Title: An introduction to surveying historic buildings and essential maintenance techniques. (A prelude to National Maintenance Week)

Date: 18th October 2017
Venue: Wolverhampton College, Bilston Campus
Trainers: Mark Womersley

Target Audience: Commercial property owners from Queen Street, and other parts of the City Conservation Area are invited particularly to this event


  • Surveying and checking roofs, walls, the basic structure, chimneys, gutters and down pipes, windows and joinery, floor
  • A conservation approach to dealing with decay and movement in old buildings
  • Causes of failure and decay in the construction and materials
  • Dampness in old buildings, retaining good drainage and breathability
  • Timber decay and treatment
  • Appropriate yearly maintenance cycle and repair techniques to use

Practical: Walking tour of Bilston or the City centre


Title: An Introduction to Historic Joinery and Carpentry

Date: 8th November 2017
Venue: Wolverhampton College, Bilston Campus
Trainer: Mark Womersley


  • Decay and deterioration
  • principles of repair
  • repairs to structural timbers
  • sash and casement window repair
  • traditional shop fronts
  • design and repair
  • timber treatments and surface coatings
  • Hands on opportunities including repairing of sash window, and sample pieces to demonstrate other repair techniques