A GROUP of students from a county college have been given a sneak preview of Hereford’s new Old Market development.

The 18 students from Herefordshire and Ludlow College visited the site to watch the oak pavilion being erected by Hereford-based specialist contractor, Oakwrights.

The students – second year woodcraft apprentices – were given a talk from Oakwrights inside the newly raised oak building, hearing about the woodcraft involved and the processes involved in the creation.

Colin Prothero, from Herefordshire and Ludlow College, said: “The students thoroughly enjoyed the time spent at the Old Market site and Oakwrights’ workshop; the visit added to their experience by providing them with an opportunity to see other methods of construction and how these methods can be used to allow new and old to merge successfully on a modern commercial project.

“The students commented on how much they had learnt during the visit and were engaged fully during the site visit and we would like to thank the team at Sir Robert McAlpine and Oakwrights for the invitation and their efforts during our visit.”

Another key milestone in the creation of Old Market, the oak building will form part of the gateway to the new development at Widemarsh Gate, linking the historic city core with the new stores and restaurants being constructed.

Oakwrights has been undertaking the specialist work on behalf of Stanhope, the developer of Old Market, and their main contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine and when finished it will be a Costa Coffee.

Bill Keir, Oakwrights general manager, added: “I don’t think the students expected to find the world’s most sophisticated CNC beam processor nestling in a Hereford cider orchard. They seemed most impressed and it was wonderful to be able to show them what is being produced right here in their home county.”