A STONEMASON from the region has been awarded a prestigious fellowship.

Gary Holliday, 32, from Consett, is one of the three newest recruits to an educational scheme designed to nurture and develop the hands-on skills needed to care for historic structures.

Gary, who works at Durham Cathedral, comes from a family of stone merchants involved in new building work, but chose to explore stone and historic buildings and joined Lambert Walker, a contractor dealing with historic building conservation.

Since 1987, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) has organised the Fellowship to foster a new generation of craftspeople to pass on essential skills for working with historic materials.

Gary said: “I hope the experience will broaden my knowledge about the importance of preserving historic fabric. I’m keen to learn more about repair techniques used by some of the leading craftspeople we’ll meet along the way.”

A Durham Cathedral spokesman said: “We hope that Gary’s experience on the Fellowship will benefit the whole works yard.”