History to attract youngsters

A scheme which will see disadvantaged youngsters learning new skills while working at heritage sites will be launched today in Northumberland.

A scheme which will see disadvantaged youngsters learning new skills while working at heritage sites will be launched today in Northumberland.

The Getting into the Past project kicks off at the National Trust's Wallington estate as a partnership between the National Trust and The Prince's Trust, backed by a £1.2 m grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

The first Prince's Trust Team to take part in the scheme will be carrying out conservation work - which will include scrub clearance - on the Wallington estate this week.

The scheme comes as efforts in the North-East to tackle the growing shortage of heritage skills will be the subject of a free symposium on June 14 at Beamish Museum in County Durham. It is being run by the North East Historic Forum and the North of England Civic Trust.

The region is home to 12,148 listed buildings but 8.5% of Grade I and Grade II-star buildings are at risk, compared to the national average of 3.6%

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage, it is the first regional event to explore the shortage of skills and solutions.

The Wallington project is part of a 12-week personal development course for the youngsters who will stay at a base camp at the property.

The project will run until 2010 and involve nearly 700 disadvantaged young people across England who will be able to learn new skills such as conservation and customer services at heritage sites.

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