Hands-on learning for Moulton students at historic Chester House Estate near Wellingborough
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Students at a Northamptonshire college will be given real-life work experience opportunities at a soon-to-open Irchester tourist attraction, venue and educational facility.
Moulton College has partnered with Chester House Estate to allow students to get hands-on learning experiences at the historical site.
Chester House Estate, located between Wellingborough and Rushden, is a £14.5 million project funded by Northamptonshire County Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The students will use the attraction to learn the practical side of their studies while working on all aspects of the entire estate as it develops – from land management to social media, from finances to wildlife habitat starting this September.
Jack Pishhorn, business manager of Chester House Estate, said: “We are delighted that Moulton College Students will be based here as a part of their campus.
"There’s an educational aspect to all of our commercial aims and objectives, and we’ll be welcoming them to get involved in every single aspect of what we are doing here.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has wrought havoc on the job market, so we will be doing our bit by training up young people and providing really relevant work experience to enable them to be successful in securing worthwhile jobs.”
On-site work opportunities will be in all aspects of the estate which combines history with agriculture, education and visitor experience
Due for competition by autumn 2021, the site, which sits on the remains of a Roman town, aims to become a popular heritage visitor attraction, educational facility and archaeological archive centre.
Mr Pishhorn said: “We want them to get involved in the farm business and its diversification, so that means having trainee chefs in the café, students creating educational programmes, becoming tour guides, and carrying out market research, for example.”
Students will be actively involved in helping the site progress on from the clearance work funded to the tune of £35,000 last year by the Countryside Stewardship which created access across the estate, work which is due to finish this month.
They will be assisting with the running of the estate, including the Natural England Stewardship scheme and wildlife areas.
Moulton College is a further education college's curriculum to covers a wide range of subjects including agriculture, animal welfare and management, countryside management, and horticulture to support education and training for the land-based, construction and leisure industries.
Vice principal at Moulton College John O’Shea said: “We are absolutely delighted to be forming a partnership with Chester House Estate.
"The opportunities the partnership opens for our students to gain real hands-on experiences across the whole project are incredible and we look forward to developing these further, and contributing to the development and evolution of the project.”
Among the first buildings on site set to open this summer is the education centre which will offer educational programmes focusing on heritage, history, archaeology, geography, farming, sustainability and farm business diversification.
Mr Pishhorn added: “There is no shortage of ideas and enthusiasm from heads of department. Moulton College even has its own microbrewery and artisan bakery run by the students, so produce could potentially be sold in the café and our wedding venue.”
Chester House Estate is currently recruiting full-time staff, including an education and heritage officer, details of which can be found on the website chesterhouseestate.org.