SKILLED stonemasons could be practising their trade in the city again – as a new stoneworks company builds its foundations.
Chichester Stoneworks Ltd has now set up in the premises of the former Cathedral Works Organisation which went into administration in March.
Administrators from Worthing insolvency specialist IRL laid off 73 staff, while ‘keeping a small core team on to help complete jobs’.
London stone contractor The Szerelmey Group has helped to establish Chichester Stoneworks Ltd – which has been set up by one of CWO’s former directors Adam Stone.
A spokeswoman for The Szerelmey Group said: “Under the leadership of Adam Stone, who has worked in the industry for more than 30 years, Chichester Stoneworks will expand the tradition of excellence and craftsmanship.
“Chichester Stoneworks is one of very few companies left in the UK to preserve the time-honoured skills of stone masonry and employs some of the country’s leading stonemasons.”
The former managing director of CWO, Bernard Burns, has moved to The Szerelmey Group as director of business development.
Adam Stone has worked on some of the most prestigious project in the country, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Monument in London.
Like it’s predecessor, the company will be based in Terminus Road, Chichester, and will undertake all aspects of masonry, restoration, conservation, new builds, hard landscaping, monuments, supply, design and stone production.
Skilled masons will also be carving the stone at the site.
CWO was established in 1965 by the Dean and Chapter of Chichester Cathedral to carry out repairs but became independent of Chichester cathedral more than 20 years ago.
It was a management buy out in 2006 which boosted the company away from its humble beginnings in a hut in the cathedral grounds.
Before it went into administration, Cathedral Works grew to employ 99 staff members with a turnover nearing £10m.