A SCHOOL will offer students the chance to learn a traditional trade after receiving £150,000 from a county couple.

The new Vocational Studies Centre at Bromyard's Queen Elizabeth High School will allow students to work towards a career within tiling, plastering, bricklaying, animal care and the motor industry.

It has been funded by philanthropists Clive and Sylvia Richards through the Herefordshire couple's charity.

Martin Farmer, the school's headteacher, says Queen Elizabeth sees a "greater than national and indeed local number of students" progressing to both vocational college courses and apprenticeships.

"As a county, Herefordshire has long been a place where practical skills are valued highly in the range of professions young people progress on to," he added.

"This provision will help Queen Elizabeth to play their part in ensuring that for years to come those skills will be protected and developed."

The centre will consist of three buildings, a double garage and vehicular maintenance area to enable students to work towards a career within the motor industry.

There will also be a refurbished construction room where students can develop skills, in tiling, plastering and bricklaying and an animal care room for pupils.

Work will begin on the buildings imminently and will be concluded in time for the return of students in September.

Mr and Mrs Richards have been supporters of education within Herefordshire for many years – and their cash investment in Bromyard will fully fund the project.

Mr Richards said: “There are several different pathways which students can take for long term success.

"Not everyone, including myself, is suitable for university.

"I am delighted to be part of this vocational initiative."

An official Opening Ceremony will be scheduled for late September when the centre will be formally named and dedicated.

Visitors will be able to see the centre during an open evening on Tuesday, September 24, between 6pm and 9pm, and the following two days which will be open to the public.

Mr Farmer said "governors, staff and students" would like to publicly thank both Clive and Sylvia Richards and the trustees for "enabling this very important initiative for the students of Bromyard and the surrounding areas to become a reality".