STUDENTS are helping to open up a whole new future for a dilapidated listed building.

University of Bolton Construction and Surveying students have helped to breathe life into a century-old building by presenting their renovation designs for the Watling Gate building in Trafford to experts.

Watling Gate is a Grade II listed building that has fallen into disrepair over the years and has had to be fenced off from the public due to health and safety concerns.

It was recently made a North West Association of Civic Trust building at risk, a move which is hoped will attract funding for the renovations of the building in the near future.

It was built in 1904 for Colonel Newton, a prominent figure in the local community at the time.

Student Joe Mayo said: “It’s not something I’ve ever done before so it’s refreshing to do something residential and listed.

“The challenge is trying to appreciate how something was built originally and how we build today. It’s helped introduce and develop me with a whole new skill set.”

University of Bolton Senior Lecturer in Built Environment, Clive Robinson, is the chairman of the Watling Gate Restoration group and saw a great opportunity for students.

He said: “Watling Gate has proved to be an excellent resource for students to undertake work connected with all their associated modules and has provided an ideal project which is a real life situation.

“The students came up with some really useful alternative community uses for the building including multi use community centre and a day nursery with cafe for the public. The students who have used their professional skills for a worthwhile community project can also add this activity to their CV when applying for jobs in the industry.”

Cllr Wilkinson said: “The students have done a fantastic job of developing plans for how Watling Gate could be used once restored.

“It was very heartening to see their genuine enthusiasm for the project and the building itself.”