Fund­ing se­cures skills for the fu­ture

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - ET Business - By JOHN KRALEVICH

CITY con­ser­va­tion and her­itage em­ploy­ers have been given a boost with news that Peter­bor­ough has se­cured fund­ing from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund (HLF).

The HLF grant of £182,100, awarded un­der its Skills for the Fu­ture pro­gramme, will help en­sure Peter­bor­ough has the skills and ex­pe­ri­ence needed to en­sure the city’s her­itage and nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment is looked af­ter in the fu­ture.

The fund­ing is the re­sult of a part­ner­ship bid led by green char­ity Peter­bor­ough En­vi­ron­ment City Trust (PECT), with sup­port from Op­por­tu­nity Peter­bor­ough and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s cen­tral fund­ing unit.

The project will pro­vide 10 trainees seek­ing a ca­reer in en­vi­ron­men­tal and her­itage con­ser­va­tion with the prac­ti­cal skills needed to pur­sue a ca­reer in the sec­tor. Each trainee will re­ceive a tax-free bur­sary, and will be placed within a host or­gan­i­sa­tion. Con­firmed place­ment hosts in­clude Peter­bor­ough Mu­seum, Nene Park Trust, and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil.

In line with the ob­jec­tives of the Skills for the Fu­ture fund­ing the project will build on the the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge trainees al­ready have, with the prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence needed. It will also help lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions and busi­nesses by pro­vid­ing ex­tra staff at no ex­tra cost.

Alice Ker­shaw, her­itage re­gen­er­a­tion of­fi­cer for Op­por­tu­nity Peter­bor­ough, who is de­lighted that Peter­bor­ough is ben­e­fit­ing from this fund­ing, said: “There are some fan­tas­tic peo­ple in the city look­ing af­ter our her­itage and nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. How­ever, there aren’t the younger gen­er­a­tions com­ing through the ranks to pass on this wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence. We want to en­sure we con­tinue to fo­cus on the en­vi­ron­ment and pre­serve our rich her­itage so this project is re- ally im­por­tant.

“The project will re­ally ben­e­fit the trainees par­tic­i­pat­ing of­fer­ing an in­valu­able op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther their ca­reers. It is well recog­nised as a dif­fi­cult sec­tor to break into, par­tic­u­larly for low in­come groups, be­cause a great deal of un­paid work ex­pe­ri­ence is ex­pected to even get a foot on the lad­der – not some­thing that ev­ery­one can sup­port. We hope this project will level the play­ing field and be a real as­set for the city.”

Hugh Cripps is chief ex­ec­u­tive of PECT, the or­gan­i­sa­tion that will be de­liv­er­ing this project in the city. He be­lieves that Peter­bor­ough is an ideal place for the project to take place.

He said: “Peter­bor­ough will of­fer a rich ex­pe­ri­ence for the trainees thanks to the city’s var­ied her­itage and green spa­ces, keen fo­cus on pro­tect­ing our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment and, of course, our many en­vi­ron­men­tal busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“Con­ser­va­tion and devel­op­ment of our her­itage and en­v­i­ron- ment is cur­rently done by ex­perts from a range of or­gan­i­sa­tions. It is from the 660 hectares of land in the city’s Nene Park and Peter­bor­ough’s 1,000 listed build­ings, to the city’s 29 con­ser­va­tion ar­eas and im­por­tant sched­uled mon­u­ment sites such as Flag Fen, one of Europe’s most im­por­tant bronze Age sites.

“As a city we recog­nise that the knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence of our ex­perts should be recorded and passed on – we need to ad­dress this now to avoid skills short­ages and the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of our nat­u­ral and built his­tor­i­cal as­sets. This project also sup­ports the city’s grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion as the UK’s En­vi­ron­ment Cap­i­tal.”

The two-year project is cur­rently be­ing de­vel­oped and will be de­liv­ered by PECT, which hopes to re­cruit the trainees in De­cem­ber this year.

Or­gan­i­sa­tions in the con­ser­va­tion field wish­ing to ben­e­fit from a trainee should call Nyree Am­barchian at PECT for more in­for­ma­tion on 01733 567159.

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