Students at the Lichfield Centre for Master Crafts set up by stone and conservation specialists Linford-Bridgeman in conjunction with Tamworth & Lichfield College in a unique business/education partnership, proudly welcomed HRH the Duke of Gloucester and the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire to their city-centre training facility last month (April).
The Lichfield centre was chosen for the visit as one of the UK\'s leading traditional craft training facilities helping to ensure specialist skills like stonemasonry and joinery are passed on to future generations to preserve historic buildings such as Lichfield Cathedral.
During the visit His Royal Highness was introduced to a group of students aged 14 to 16 who proudly demonstrated some of the highly skilled techniques they have already learnt. He was also shown a selection of completed projects.
The Duke met Alison Churchill, Head of Lichfield School of Art at Tamworth & Lichfield College, and David Linford, Senior Consultant at Linford-Bridgeman, as representatives of the education and industry bodies responsible for establishing and running the centre in a unique partnership.
Alison and David explained to their guest that the Centre for Master Crafts was opened in 2004 as a partnership between the college and Linford-Bridgeman, and that the two organisations continue to work together closely to ensure traditional craft skills are passed on to future generations.
The College works in partnership with local schools to provide opportunities for vocational education for their pupils at the Centre.
Linford-Bridgeman also provide opportunities for work experience in their workshops to encourage the pupils to apply for apprenticeships after leaving school.
But it is not just local school children who benefit. Lichfield Centre for Master Crafts offers vocational training to students of all ages from anywhere across the county.