The Broads Authority and City College Norwich have won first prize overall at the Norfolk Constructing Excellence Club Awards as well as winning first prize in the ‘Preservation and Rejuvenation’ category.
The awards recognise the outstanding work taking place through a collaboration between the Broads Authority and City College Norwich’s construction department on the Water, Mills and Marshes programme.
The National Lottery Heritage-funded programme is preserving and restoring windmills through 38 projects on the Norfolk Broads, whilst passing on traditional skills that will create a legacy for heritage construction skills in the region.
More than 30 City College Norwich students from Brickwork, Carpentry & Joinery, Painting & Decorating, and Maintenance Operations courses have already taken part in on-site restoration work, learning and practicing traditional heritage restoration skills at North Mill on Halvergate marshes.
A further 200 students have been involved in presentations and workshops aimed at introducing them to heritage restoration as a career choice.
Opportunities to gain practical skills in heritage construction – both on-site and through a new restoration workshop at the college – will be extended to many more construction students during the 5-year programme.
Project Manager of Water, Mills and Marshes, Will Burchnall, said of the achievement,
“We are creating a model for training the next generation of heritage skills crafts people whilst simultaneously restoring iconic Broads drainage mills and pump houses. Passing on declining skills, traditions and techniques to students and tutors. We couldn’t be prouder of the students and staff who have made this endeavour possible. It is a great boost to receive such a wonderful award.”
Stephen Carr, Head of Construction Experience of Work Team, City College Norwich, added,
“Water, Mills and Marshes has been a ground-breaking partnership between the college and the Broads Authority, giving our students unique opportunities to develop heritage construction skills. It has been a real team effort to get this ambitious project up and running, and we are already seeing fantastic results. This award is testimony to the success of the partnership and the determination of staff and students to make the most of the exciting opportunities it is creating.”