Coniston slate masons goes from bust to boom during lockdown

A slate masons in Coniston that was on the verge of collapse last winter has turned its fortunes around.

Coniston Stonecraft works out of a copper mine building at the foot of Coniston Old Man.

A year ago the workshop went bust. When jobs were saved it started back up, three weeks before lockdown.

Managing Director Brendan Donnelly found sales. The business has had to diversify, and now has six months of work making lamp shade bases for an Essex company selling to America.

Coniston Stonecraft Managing Director Brendan Donnelly found new sales for the business. Credit: ITV Border

The company has hired one apprentice Liam Cartmel-Walker, who is enjoying his new role.

Liam Cartmel-Walker is an apprentice stonemason. Credit: ITV Border

Brendan says they are now looking for another apprentice, to hand this heritage skill down to a new generation:

"We want to bring the young people in and give them those skills that have been on this mountain for ever and a day and we want to give them those skills. I see in four or five years' time Liam taking over from George; where George is teaching Liam I want Liam to be teaching the new apprentices so that they can learn all those skills. If you lose them they're gone forever from this region, and this region is a slate region and should always have that."