Unique course provides cathedral employment opportunities

The potential to create more jobs locally in the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral is the clear aim of a new course about to be provided in Longford. CEO of the local funding body, LCRL, Adrian Greene said the course has the potential to provide one of the largest boosts to local employment in many years.

The potential to create more jobs locally in the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral is the clear aim of a new course about to be provided in Longford. CEO of the local funding body, LCRL, Adrian Greene said the course has the potential to provide one of the largest boosts to local employment in many years.

The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government have given Longford Community Resources Ltd (LCRL) the go ahead to issue a contract for €199,500 under the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme to Longford Revamp Homes Ltd in order to undertake a unique Building Conservation Skills and Traditional Construction Skills Training Course in Co Longford.

Adrian Greene, CEO with LCRL, said the new course will be the only dedicated conservation and restoration training of its type in Ireland.

“Initially we funded a feasibility study in 2011 to look at the potential job opportunities in the areas of conservation and restoration skills. This study clearly identified and showed the needs and opportunities for restoration and conservation training in the county in relation to sites of historic and national importance.

“With the award of this contract Longford Revamp Homes Ltd will be facilitating 200 days training for 30 people here in Longford.”

On completion, participants will be suitably trained and qualified as conservation operators and will be in a position to avail of employment or self-employment in the conservation and restoration sector including potential employment possibilities such as St Mel’s Cathedral Restoration.

“The possible work placements on the St Mel’s Restoration Project here in Longford will be one of, if not the largest boosts to local employment for many years,” said Mr Greene. “This training project will allow for optimum use of local labour. The accredited training will also provide positive future opportunities in specialised fields at home and abroad for training participants.

“This is a highly innovative training course and there is no similar course taking place or available in Ireland. It will give a considerable boost to the much needed requirement for the conservation of the local built environment, particularly in Co Longford, which has many stunning examples of buildings of particular historic value.

“The uniqueness and the outcomes of this course could be the initial steps to Longford becoming a Centre of Excellence in Conservation and Restoration Skills Training. The funding for this training project is provided under the Training and Information measure of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013,” he added.