Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and South West College are working in partnership to undertake the restoration of the Enniskillen Workhouse. The project has gained new momentum as bursary holders have enjoyed their first opportunity to work on the site.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the Enniskillen Workhouse project will see the Workhouse Entrance Block restored to create an entrepreneurship and heritage hub. This will ensure that it maintains its history and plays an important part in the local area’s future. From the outset the project is providing opportunities for 12 individuals to achieve an NVQ Level 3 heritage skills (construction) qualification, meaning news skills and qualifications will be created and carried into the future.
So far, bursary holders have been matched with an employer or organisation committed to the heritage, with whom they have been given a paid placement position. Now, the second stage of the placement can begin, as the bursary holders are given the opportunity to get on site and play their part in restoring the workhouse, a project which is due for completion in August 2022.
Sean Allan, from Kinawley, studies level 3 heritage skills stone Masonary and is employed as an bursary holder with Enda Monaghan . Sean said, ‘The opportunity to
finally get on site to work on this project is very exciting. My experience with my employer so far has been fantastic, but the Workhouse project is unique both in terms of the significance of the building and the skills and experience that can be gained from working on it. It’s something that all of us can’t get wait to get started with.’
Robert Fitzpatrick, Heritage (Construction) Education and Skills Co-ordinator at South West College, added: ‘From the outset of the workhouse restoration project, both FODC and SWC have recognised the importance of educating young people with practical skills and knowledge to secure future full-time employment in the local area. It’s fantastic to now have local bursary holders onsite to play their part on the restoration of a building that will sit alongside the wonderful new South West College Erne campus, as a centre of historical significance and of future opportunity for the entire community, as well as a fantastic location that local people and tourists will want to visit. Getting these bursary holders onsite to begin the restoration process is a fantastic step in this journey.’
Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Diana Armstrong, said: ‘I am delighted that we now have a contractor appointed and onsite for the Enniskillen Workhouse project, enabling the bursary holders not only to commence the next stage of the development of their skills and knowledge, but also to play a key role in the delivery of a unique and worthwhile project. Indeed, there is a striking alignment between the aims of the Enniskillen Workhouse project and the work of our heritage skills bursary holders, both are respecting and honouring the past while at the same time looking to the future.”
Angela Lavin, Senior Investment Manager, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“Thanks to National Lottery players, the Enniskillen Workhouse project will not only preserve the important heritage of the building, but provide opportunities for people to become truly involved in it. It’s exciting to see the restoration works progress and we wish the bursary holders all the best as they put the skills they’ve learnt in to practice.”
Applications are still open for four remaining bursary positions (two plastering and two joinery). Successful applicants will have the opportunity to achieve an NVQ Level 3 heritage skills (construction) qualification and become heritage registered. They would also receive a bursary of £165 per week as part of the course. These bursary positions are designed for anyone over the age of 16 who has attained an NVQ Level 2 qualification or has significant on-site experience. You can find out more and apply at: swc.getgotjobs.co.uk
For further information please contact:
Robert Fitzpatrick at Technology & Skills Centre, South West College
Tel: 02882250109 (ext 2594)