THE Grosvenor Estate, in partnership with Chester Renaissance and local colleges, hosted two successful heritage skills days which gave students the opportunity to experience traditional building techniques.
Demonstrations from specialist contractors and the estate’s own workforce provided an insight into stone walling, bricklaying, plastering, roofing and thatching.
The students were given practical experience of the heritage construction industry and shown how traditional skills should be applied properly to the historic environment.
The Duke of Westminster said: “At Eaton we are incredibly fortunate to have skilled craftsmen who are happy to teach our apprentices. What they are doing is a great benefit to society and to our young people’s future.
“I am determined to continue and where possible enlarge our Apprentice Scheme. We must live up to our responsibilities whether social or otherwise and instil that all important “can do”Šattitude in our young people.”
Rita Waters, chief executive of Chester Renaissance, said: “Providing this commitment to training young people is crucial to maintain and improve the built environment in historic cities like Chester.
“We are proud to be part of the national drive for increasing heritage skills awareness and activity.
“Through our projects, like the Townscape Heritage Initiative, we are committed to promoting learning and training opportunities in heritage crafts.”
The days were attended by students presently undertaking construction based courses from West Cheshire College and Cheshire West and Chester Skills Academy.
West Cheshire College construction manager Dave Pritchard, said: “Visits like this are an essential part of the learning process for our students. It’s important for them to see how the skills they are developing in college will be used in a work environment.
“The visit to the Duke’s estate was particularly enjoyable because it also showed the importance of continuing with traditional building skills.”
The events are part of the Cheshire Heritage Skills Initiative, which is being driven by Chester Renaissance in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and other stakeholders.
The shortage of heritage skills is a major challenge nationally and has been recognised as important for Cheshire.