Proposal For Traditional Building Skills Course

Islands’ builders could be trained in the special skills needed for refurbishing listed properties or cottages.

An English Heritage-funded course was offered over a decade ago but now the Duchy of Cornwall has approached the Council’s Lifelong Learning team so see whether training can be offered again.

Adrian Smith from the Duchy has spoken with Trish Peacock about running a workshop on hedge laying, granite stone walling, lime rendering and scantle tiling, the traditional roofing method in Scilly and Cornwall.

Trish says she would need around half a dozen people to express interest before she could arrange for mainland tutors to come over. If there is demand, the sessions would most likely run over two days on St Mary’s in October or November.

Either the Rural Skills Councils in Dorset and Devon, or Cornwall College, could provide skills tutoring.

Trish says there’s an added incentive for small businesses. Any employers with under ten staff can receive a 50% reduction in training costs through the ‘skills in business’ scheme. And she says most island firms would fall into that category.