Local students give riverside railings new lease of life

Published on 22 April 2016

LOCAL college students are helping spruce up a stretch of railings along the banks of the River Soar.

A group of painting and decorating students from South Leicestershire College in South Wigston are getting some real work experience by taking on the task of painting railings along the river’s Mile Straight, which runs between Castle Park and the Liberty statue roundabout.

The railings, which are in desperate need of refurbishment, are being repainted by 10 students for a part of their course requiring them to paint outdoor metalwork.

It is taking place over five days between April 18 and April 29, meaning the railings will be looking their best in time for the Leicester Rowing Club annual regatta and the Riverside Festival at the end of May.

The work is being partly funded by Westcotes ward community funding, including providing site cabins, with materials and other equipment donated by Johnstone’s Decorating Centre in Hinckley Road, which already works closely with the college’s decorating course organisers.

Westcotes ward councillor Cllr Sarah Russell said: “This is a great chance for these college students to make a real positive difference in our community, while also getting the experience and skills they need as part of their course.

“The railings haven’t been painted for many years, and are really in need of a bit of a spruce up, so this work will be very well received locally.

“We’ve made some ward community funds available to be able to provide site cabins, and Johnstone’s Paints have donated equipment and paints, so it’s a real local effort which will really help the look of the area.”

Paul Thornewell, painting and decorating lecturer at South Leicestershire College, added: “We are delighted to have been invited to participate in the River Soar re-generation project and to be using Johnstone’s products.

“This work will give our learners invaluable on-site work experience which will help them complete their end of year assessments.”

Gina Laycock, marketing manager for Johnstone’s Decorating Centres, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support such a worthwhile community initiative.

“We have always put a great deal of emphasis on supporting the next generation of professional decorators, as well as the local communities in which we operate, and the fact that this project benefits both made it an easy decision for us.

“We can’t wait to see the transformation of the area.”

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