The Ridge Foundations CIC started work in earnest on 16 October, with 4 new employees, training in masonry skills under Stockdale and Lyall, our ongoing partners.

The team is supervised by Pete Smith, the team is tackling a number of jobs on site in the Backlands, including:

  • completion of hot-lime pointing of repaired boundary wall sections
  • digging out an access trench for work on Mason’s Close boundary wall
  • dismantling Mason’s Close wall, prior to rebuild in December.

The Foundations CIC provides employment for local people who face significant barriers to work. All have shown commitment and potential through extended involvement in volunteering to repair the Backlands boundary walls, and have benefited from a range of supports from the Ridge, which we can continue to offer as part of their ongoing employed involvement, enhancing their chances of sustained success.

Some will progress next year to Modern Apprenticeships in Masonry, potentially in collaboration with Historic Environment Scotland. In the meantime, all are accessing a number of less formal training opportunities, both as part of their day-to-day work, and through external input (eg HES clay mortar course, Scotland’s Urban Past Heritage Heroes Award, First Aid, Manual Handling, visits to HES’ Engine Shed training centre).

We hope to see completion of the boundary walls funded shortly, allowing us to complete this project prior to progression into the first of the Black Bull Close buildings, where walls will be consolidated using traditional techniques.

We are also keen to undertake external masonry repair contracts locally, so if you have a wall in need of TLC, and would like to support our team’s progress, please do get in touch and we will be delighted to offer a quote.