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Erne Newsletter May Update

QMAC Construction Ltd secure Enniskillen Workhouse contract

QMAC Construction Ltd, has been awarded a £2.2m contract for the conservation and restoration of Enniskillen Workhouse Entrance Block, a historically significant Grade B2 Listed Building. Funding of £2,343,000 was awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to FODC in partnership with SWC, to undertake this major capital project to create a business enterprise and heritage hub at Enniskillen Workhouse. The project will also involve the coordination of a Reminiscence programme to capture the stories and memories of the Workhouse and the delivery of a Heritage Skills programme which is being managed by South West College. The total value of the project is £3.25m.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will see the Workhouse Entrance Block restored. The ground floor will be redeveloped as mixed-use exhibition, reminiscence and display space, where the surviving workhouse records and minute books will be displayed, and a dedicated heritage trail will be used to tell the story of the workhouse and the people who were housed there. The remaining space will be brought back into use as a business innovation and enterprise hub. The project is due to be completed in Summer 2022.

Alongside the restoration works a dedicated heritage skills and education programme will enable more than 100 local craftspeople and contractors to benefit from accredited training in heritage skills, while 12 apprenticeships will be created throughout the restoration works.

Commenting on the announcement, Michael McAllister, Chief Executive of South West College said: “We’re delighted to have reached this stage of the workhouse project, with the last few weeks providing many significant landmarks. Construction has been completed on the Erne campus, the easing of certain COVID restrictions has also allowed apprentices to begin working onsite at the workhouse, and this contract with QMAC Construction Ltd will only increase their anticipation. The bursary holders are really looking forward to joining up with the Q Mac team in restoring the building and to achieve a level 3 qualification in heritage skills and we can look forward to seeing great strides being made in the near future. There a small number of places remaining on the apprenticeship programme, and anyone who may be interested in a career in this type of work should see this connection with QMAC as further reason to apply.”

One Planet Living

The second One Planet Living workshop will take place on Wednesday 12 May 2021 from 1.30-4.30pm. This highly interactive workshop will allow us to move on from the excellent and innovative output from Workshop 1, seek to debate, rationalise and consolidate the 9 BIG IDEAS which emerged, identify possible actions and benchmarks as well as suggesting timeframes and probable champions. For more information please contact either Sharon McGrath (Head of Services) or Alan Strong (Smart Region Collaborative Officer) via email at Sharon.McGrath@swc.ac.uk or Alan.Strong@swc.ac.uk

Erne Campus sets roots for the future with native tree planting ceremony

The Erne Campus welcomed a special delivery of 10 native trees recently which were planted as part of an all-Ireland initiative to help fight climate change. The Erne Campus is aiming to become the worlds first and largest educational facility to achieve the Passive House Premium Standard and BREEAM Outstanding certifications and the building has been designed and constructed to minimise its impact on the natural environment.

The trees were gifted to the Campus by Bugs, Bees and Native Trees (find out more about them here) and the planting ceremony, the first to take place in Northern Ireland was carried out to align with the College’s sustainability strategy which is guided by the One Planet Living principles. South West College is the first Further Education College to adopt the One Planet Living approach in the UK & Ireland.

As part of the special tree planting event, 2 green beech, 2 hornbeam, 2 oak, 2 birch and 2 rowan trees were planted on-site. The project uses native trees because of their ability to thrive in the area, they are accustomed to the climate, the soil and the level of rainfall we receive each year. The trees planted will help sustain the lives of birds, bees, insects, support the food web and will assist us in managing the impact of our carbon footprint, waste and energy use.

Michael McAlister, Chief Executive of South West College joined the tree-planting ceremony and said: “I am pleased to support this wonderful initiative and honoured that South West College and specifcally the Erne Campus has been chosen as the first planting site in Northern Ireland. The natural environment plays a vital role in the life of our college and these trees which have been planted here today will serve as an important reminder of the role and responsibilities that each of us hold in managing our carbon footprint and our impact on the natural world. I would encourage everyone in our college community to do their bit to support the Bugs, Bees and Native Trees initiative and get planting for our future.”

The Education Foundation for South Sudan

The Education Foundation for South Sudan was founded with the aim to raise enough funds to build a school for children in Rumbek in South Sudan, in line with the opening of the South West College Erne Campus. On July 9, 2011, with significant backing from the United States, South Sudan became independent of northern Sudan and sought its future as the newest country – and newest democracy – in the world. However, according to the World Bank, literacy in South Sudan is the lowest in the world, and the aspirations of the South Sudan people have been made even more difficult due to internal conflict that broke out between its leaders in late 2013. South West College’s Education Foundation for South Sudan hopes to help the country move forward with the ambitions it set in 2011. Watch the video to find out more and keep an eye out across future editions of the Erne Newsletter and Front Page Friday for news of fundraising activities you can get involved with.

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