OFFENDERS who are serving community payback orders have been signed up for a local Time Team-style archaeological dig.

They have been helping out with efforts to unearth more information about the historic Stanley Copper Works.

Located at Stanley Bank, the copper works is believed to have been established by Thomas Patten in 1772, and at its peak was producing roughly 30 tons per week.

Past efforts to locate the site of the copper works have been unsuccessful and no physical remains have been recovered.

However, in a fresh attempt to uncover some evidence and learn more about a historically important building in St Helens heritage, offenders are helping dig test-pits, along with an archaeologist from the Museum of Liverpool.

The findings from the dig will then be analysed by archaeologists at the museum and used to piece together more of the history of the Stanley Copper Works.

The offenders are giving back to the community in conjunction with Sankey Bank Project, which was established to find any remains of the 18th century slitting mill and the corn mill that later replaced it.

Visitors to the Sankey Valley Country Park, Blackbrook Road, can see the slitting mill, which has now been restored.

Find out the opening times of the visitor’s centre, which features findings from recent excavations, by calling 01744 677772.