YOUNGSTERS in Ellesmere Port are putting their free time to good use by getting involved in the refurbishment of an empty shop.
Young people currently not in education, employment or training have been rolling up their sleeves to help transform the derelict shop on Whitby Road into an art gallery.
Community interest company Access2Training&Employment has moved into the empty premises to carry out the refurbishment works and is working with The Vocational College in Wallasey to ensure young people can benefit from the project.
Qualified teachers supervise the young people while they learn in a ‘live classroom’ as they progress training toward employment or future apprenticeships in the construction industry.
Along with a Level 1 diploma in construction skills, they will also achieve qualifications in maths, English, employability skills and health and safety in the workplace.
The council-funded project is the first long-term vacant shop being brought back into use in Whitby Road and the art gallery will open its doors to the public in May.
Cllr Pat Merrick said: “The work that the team at Access2Training&Employment CIC is doing is fantastic and it’s great to see young people becoming involved with such a worthwhile project and gaining skills that will enable them to look to the future.
“I look forward to them making a huge contribution to the town’s young people as they settle into Ellesmere Port.”