THE sun shone and there was a fantastic turnout for the first Cannington Shaw Heritage Skills Open Day in St Helens.

The event was an opportunity for local people to visit and learn about the historic No. 7 bottle shop building, its story and its unique place in St Helens' glassmaking history.

This historic Grade II Listed Structure - located near to the Steve Prescott Bridge - is being restored and conserved as part of a £1.3m construction works project funded by St Helens Town Deal.

The long-term vision is to bring the building back to life in the community, providing space and services for events and leisure.

St Helens Star: An artist's image of the restored bottle shop could lookAn artist's image of the restored bottle shop could look (Image: Cannington Shaw Trust)

As part of the redevelopment, the Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust CIC and their delivery partner Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire & Merseyside (CLM have also secured funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver a Heritage Skills Academy, that will allow local people to participate with the buildings restoration. This will include skills development and training opportunities for local people.

The open day gave people an opportunity to take part in a distanced tour of this industrial landmark.

There was also the chance to get involved in a range of skills workshops delivered by St Helens College.

These included traditional skills such as bricklaying, masonry, joinery, painting, mosaic tiling, as well as newer ones like environmental technology.

St Helens Star: Visitors to Cannington Shaw on the open dayVisitors to Cannington Shaw on the open day (Image: Cannington Shaw)

The Heritage Skills Academy aims to be a centre of excellence for heritage conservation skills, offering a mix of training, skills development and work experience.

This will include apprenticeships, heritage construction experience for local construction students, a professional development programme for architecture students, an artisan skills taster programme for the wider public and a volunteer conservation programme.

Caroline Platt, director at Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust CIC, said: “It is fantastic to see such an iconic feature of St Helens’ heritage being brought back to life.

"We’re planning more themed events like this over the coming months and we’d love even more people to come along, see the building for themselves and learn about its’ fascinating story and unique position in St Helens glassmaking history”.

Brendan Cassin, Heritage Skills Academy project manager from Groundwork CLM, added: “Today has been a celebration of heritage, artisanship and community spirit.

It has been really inspiring to see local skilled tradespeople enthusiastically passing on their skills and knowledge to a new generation of learners. This bodes really well for the future of the heritage skills academy and we can’t wait to get started in a few months’ time.”

You can find out more about the heritage academy and plans to restore No. 7 Bottle Shop by visiting: