Apprentices go back in time to restore Hartlepool buildings

Apprentices (left to right) Marcus Lloyd, Andrew Snowdon, Aaron Weldrake, Liam Parkinson and John Ashurst, with (far left) Jamie Borthwick and (back right) Glenn Young and Councillor Robbie Payne in front of the former HSBC building in Church Street, Hartlepool.

Apprentices (left to right) Marcus Lloyd, Andrew Snowdon, Aaron Weldrake, Liam Parkinson and John Ashurst, with (far left) Jamie Borthwick and (back right) Glenn Young and Councillor Robbie Payne in front of the former HSBC building in Church Street, Hartlepool.

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A TEAM of apprentices are going back in time to help restore some of Hartlepool’s traditional buildings.

Six apprentices have now begun training for new careers under the Heritage Skills Apprenticeship Project.

The scheme has been set up to increase the number of qualified craftspeople in the Tees Valley to help conserve and restore the area’s traditional pre-1919 buildings.

The project is being piloted by Hartlepool Council in partnership with the other Tees Valley local authorities, Hartlepool College of Further Education, Hartlepool Adult Education, the private and public sector Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership and Heritage Craft Alliance – a specialist training organisation dedicated to preserving historic buildings and the crafts and skills which maintain them.

Marcus Lloyd, Andrew Snowdon, Aaron Weldrake, Liam Parkinson and Alex Page have now started as apprentices, joining John Ashurst, who was the first to sign up to the scheme.

Marcus and Andrew are working for stonemasons Borthwick Marble & Granite in Hartlepool, Aaron and Liam are with Middlesbrough builders Stick & Stone, Alex is working for Fletcher Joinery in Darlington and John is with BJS Builders of Greatham.

Marcus and Andrew’s first project will be to help with the restoration and transformation of the former HSBC building in Church Street.

Borthwick’s Managing Director Jamie Borthwick has bought the Grade II listed building and is turning the upper floors into luxury apartments and the ground floor into retail premises. The work includes repairing the external sandstone features and replacing the aluminium doors and window frames with more suitable hardwood.

As well as helping to support the future of their industry and the heritage of their area, there are other major incentives for employers to take part, including access to wage subsidies and support to help existing employees to gain the industry’s standard accreditation, the Heritage Gold Card.

Councillor Robbie Payne, Chair of Hartlepool Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, added: “In 2012 alone almost £4bn was spent on restoring and maintaining England’s pre-1919 buildings, so it’s clear there is a major market, which Tees Valley companies can tap into by getting involved in this important scheme.”

For more information about the Heritage Skills Apprenticeship Project contact Caron Auckland at Hartlepool Council on 01429 284087 or email caron.auckland@hartlepool.gov.uk