Funding secures skills for the future
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.