An MP has praised Wharton Construction’s commitment to apprenticeships during a visit to view progress on the new St Hilda’s Church.
Jacob Young, who is himself a former apprentice, took a tour of the rapidly shaping building on the corner of Mersey Road and Roseberry Road, Redcar.
He said that the new church – due for completion early next year – will provide a real focus point for the area.
“This is a real asset for this area, opening six days a week as a community hub and on Sundays for worship,” he added. “It is a building designed to enable everyone to come together in a spirit of co-operation and companionship.”
The Redcar MP also praised Darlington-based building contractor Wharton Construction for its commitment to apprenticeships – with two of its current four apprentices working on the church project.
He said: “I was an apprentice myself and it’s fantastic that they are providing young people from the Tees Valley with the valuable opportunity to gain the necessary skills to forge a career and get on in life.”
Matthew Wharton, a director of Wharton Construction, said that work on the church was proceeding well – with the roof due to be completed shortly. Elsewhere, the walls are being prepared for plastering and the finishing trades are on site.
He added: “Two of our four apprentices have been working on the church, which for them has been really interesting. We as a company aim to offer new apprenticeships every year as it’s vital to pass on these important skills to the next generation.”
Rob Nightingale, St Hilda’s church warden, said: “It’s great to see the building take shape and the amount of progress being made. The whole thing is causing a good deal of excitement, not only among our parishioners, but the wider community.”
The £733,000 church and community hub has been designed to host a café, drop-in centre, and range of social activities. It replaces the former ‘Round Church’ which dated from the 1970s. It was demolished in 2017 after several major problems were found, including water leaks and cracked floors and walls.
Featuring a standing seam roof, stained glass windows and timber fins, the new church incorporates a flexible hall and a lobby providing a street-facing gallery.