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Gloucestershire Business News

Graduate training to conserve the nation’s heritage made possible by business

Graduates who will go on to help preserve the nation's historic buildings have been honoured by the University of Gloucestershire and the business that made it all possible.

Students from the latest cohort of Gloucester Cathedrals' Workshop Fellowship (CWF) were honoured at Gloucester Cathedral as they graduated with a Foundation degree in Applied Historic Building Conservation and Repair.

The degree offers stonemasons, carpenters, electricians and most recently plumbers a recognised career path and a route to higher-level qualifications through a two-year work-based study programme.

Run by the CWF and sponsored by Gloucester-headquartered insurance firm Ecclesiastical, the programme covers practical work-based topics including principles of stone and wood construction, historic building conservation and environmental and sustainability initiatives.

The eleven graduates received their awards from Stephen Marston, vice chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire in front of friends, family, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Masons, Christopher Radmore and this year's new students who started their degree programme the following day.

Adrian Munns OBE, administrator for the CWF, said: "Congratulations to our new graduates who have worked so hard over the past two years.

"It has been a great journey and I hope you will look back on it with pride for what you have achieved, and for the friends you have made along the way. Your achievements are excellent by any measure, and I offer every best wish to you for the future.

"To our several sponsors - thank you. We have been hugely grateful for the substantial and ongoing support we have received from you, and without that support we would not be here today."

Chris Pitt, corporate responsibility manager at Ecclesiastical said: "We are really proud to be able to continue our sponsorship of the CWF programme. We have some of the most incredible and beautiful buildings here in the UK and, without investment in heritage skills, many would be at risk of falling into disrepair.

"Ecclesiastical is committed to supporting heritage skills through its work with organisations such as the CWF to preserve the UK's historic properties for generations to come."

The graduation ceremony was held as part of Gloucester Cathedral's Evensong Service.

Gloucester Cathedral is one of nine members of the CWF programme, which also includes Exeter, Worcester and Salisbury. It has benefitted directly from the programme, with several graduates working on the maintenance and restoration of the Cathedral over the years.

Ecclesiastical is owned by a registered charity, Allchurches Trust, also based in Gloucester.

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