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Saturday, May 18, 2019

Students learn on the job at Old Town Hall refurbishment

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Renovation and repurposing work on Mansfield’s Old Town Hall is progressing well and providing valuable learning experiences for local students.

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The £1.4m scheme is a flagship project in Mansfield District Council’s regeneration strategy to encourage the town to be seen as a destination for visitors, shoppers and businesses looking to invest in the district.

It will create three new retail units on the ground floor and two medium-sized offices on the first floor, and redevelop two existing retail units at the side of the hall. It is anticipated that the prestige building in a prime location will encourage new independent retailers and create at least 20 new employment opportunities within the town.

The old Council Chamber at the front of the building on the first floor is also be refurbished with the intention of making it available for hire for functions, business use or weddings.

There will be no significant changes to the exterior of the building to preserve the historic character of the property.

Executive Mayor of Mansfield Kate Allsop this week caught up with two of the students working on the building to find out how the scheme was helping to support their studies.

She said: “This scheme is not only breathing new life into a beautiful and important historic building that has been idle for more than 30 years, it is also helping to bring on the next generation learning a trade at our fantastic local college.

“The building is looking great and the work is progressing well. We already have interest from businesses wanting to rent space there.”

As part of the contract to refurbish the Grade II* listed building, building firm Rosslee Construction pledged to ensure that students were offered the chance to do work experience during the scheme.

It contacted Vision West Nottinghamshire College in January to offer work placements for a total of about 30 students who are studying at the college’s construction centre in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. To date, five have completed placements which will be offered until work on the scheme ends in spring next year.

Paul Hodgson, Commercial Director of Rosslee Construction, said: “There are lots of jobs which the students are supporting. Mostly they have been shadowing renovation professionals involved in painting, decorating and fitting.”

Glynn Statham, head of construction and building services at West Nottinghamshire College, said: “Our students are really excited about the fantastic opportunity they’ve been given to support Rosslee Construction with the renovations of Mansfield’s Old Town Hall.

“The placements are giving them industry-specific work experience and allowing them to develop their skills working with trade professionals on a live construction site, which is extremely beneficial for them both academically and professionally.

“We’re extremely grateful for the chance for our joinery and painting and decorating students to work on such a prestigious heritage scheme, refurbishing a local landmark within the community, especially as it is a listed building.”

Among the students to benefit from the scheme are 17-year-old  Luis Page-Morley,  who is studying the Level 2 Technical Certificate in Architectural Joinery and Alana Coupe, age 18,  who is studying the Level 1 Diploma in Painting and Decorating.

They both began a two-week placement this week and are thrilled to be involved in such a prestigious scheme.

Luis said: “It’s been really good and I have really enjoyed it so far. Property renovation is something I have been wanting to go into so It has been a great experience.”

Alana said: “It’s a fabulous experience – I love it. It’s just a gorgeous building to do up and it’s been great to work with people in your trade.”

The council is contributing £775,000 towards the scheme with £700,000 being delivered by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its £7.63m N2 Town Centres Programme.

Anyone interested in potentially becoming a tenant of the new and exciting property should contact FHP Nottingham  on 0115 950 7577.

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