The Re-Making Leeds (RML) Project has been delivered by Leeds City Council since 2014 as a training initiative to embed heritage construction skills in the construction sector. The project has been delivered in partnership with Leeds College of Building and York College, focusing on the development of skills to maintain, repair and refurbish pre-1919 properties in Leeds. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through the “Skills for the Future” Programme
Belmana, appointed by Leeds City Council, conducted the evaluation to assess process and delivery, and gauge early impacts where possible. The evaluation identifies lessons learned and provides recommendations to inform future projects. To supplement the process and delivery focus, early impacts were assessed, pulling together findings from interviews with key stakeholders and participants in the project and integrating wider research. Throughout the evaluation wider impacts, including understanding of local heritage issues amongst the local community, were probed.
Triangulating monitoring data with interviews of beneficiaries and stakeholders, a few key findings emerge:
- The main impact on participants of the bursary trainee scheme has been employment;
- Where trainees engaged with the mentors and additional training activities, they benefited from valuable complementary skills that can further career progression and skills development;
- The networking element of the programme has emerged as a critical component in the scheme.
The project has delivered its intended outcomes on time and within budget, meeting all its contracted outputs and has overachieved on all of them. The proactive management and willingness of delivery partners to take on board lessons learnt throughout the three years of implementation has been critical in achieving this success. The attention to best practice capture and proactive management meant that issues and lessons learned were captured in a timely manner, and consulted individuals across the scheme emphasised how delivery had improved throughout the programme’s lifecycle.