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850px conservation 1.1Some of the current Level 2 Maintenance Operations students at Orchard Barns (the course will offer trips such as these).

West Suffolk College will be offering an innovative new course based at the Milburn Campus, the first of its kind in the country. The Construction and Conservation in the Built Environment – BTEC Level 2 course is endorsed by Bury St Edmunds Town Trust and will be available from September this year.

The Trust has been working closely with the College since 2013 delivering an introductory course in Historic Building Conservation.

Mark Ames, Subject Leader for Construction at the College said: ‘This course is completely unique and it’s the only full time Level 2 course in conservation – there are apprenticeships, short courses, degrees and masters in conservation but what the industry needs is some practical learners entering the employment world which is what this course will deliver.’

The new course will take training to the next level providing students with the knowledge and skills that are so desperately needed in Suffolk and nationwide of how to care for our heritage buildings.

The course will involve a combination of theory and practical skills, covering the rules and regulations that apply to listed buildings, starting with brick and flint-work. Specialist conservation experts will deliver demonstrations of how to use the original materials both at the College and during site visits where the students will have the opportunity to practice.

John Popham, spokesman for Bury Town Trust said: ‘We welcome the creation of this very much needed course. In Bury St Edmunds some 40% of construction work is on traditional, pre 1919 buildings for which many of the trade skills are rapidly being lost. This training is essential if the town’s heritage is not to be eroded.’

For further information on this unique course please head to here.