Market paint project is a winner all round

THERE is much more behind the current redecoration of Bideford Pannier Market than a lick of paint. The major project to give the historic market a facelift will provide tuition and vital qualifications for the workers who are carrying it out. Their unpa

THERE is much more behind the current redecoration of Bideford Pannier Market than a lick of paint.

The major project to give the historic market a facelift will provide tuition and vital qualifications for the workers who are carrying it out.

Their unpaid labours will also enable the local landmark to be redecorated at a fraction of the cost to the public purse of employing contractors.

It is a joint initiative by Petroc community programmes department, Bideford Town Council, the Probation Service and the Job Centre.


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Help with materials has come from local builders merchants Rawle Gammon and Baker.

The workers are drawn from the unemployed and those carrying out community service.

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They are led by Petroc painting and decorating tutor Dave Scott on a one-day-a-week basis and while redecorating the building will learn the skills and health and safety aspects needed to achieve Painting and Work Skills certification.

To further boost their prospects of finding a job, the workers will also learn job interview techniques, teamwork and communication skills and have help completing paperwork in readiness for job applications.

It is an initiative already being employed by the Petroc community programmes team on catering projects at the Pollyfield Centre in Bideford and at the Osborne Hotel in Ilfracombe, plus other initiatives with Barnstaple Poverty Action Group and the Freedom Centre in Barnstaple.

Rob Barnes, Petroc's Curriculum Business Development Manager, Directorate for Employers, said the community programmes had been developed in response to redundancies. They had been running for several years, but had really taken off in the past year. They also linked in with college courses, he said.

Richard Coombes, assistant to Bideford's town clerk, said the last time the market had been decorated by a professional firm it had cost more than �75,000. As well as providing benefits for the workers, this project would enable the market to be decorated at a hugely reduced cost.It was an all-win situation, he said.

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