A team of people training to get back into employment have helped with the redevelopment of a former pencil factory.

Project Renovo, set up by CRS Facility Management, provides training for people wanting to join the industry and get back into full-time work.

The team has joined forces with Keswick Ministries to help clear the empty factory, which is being turned into a new home for the town's annual Christian convention.

The team has cleared upper floors of the factory building, stripped out offices, and cleaned ground floor and outside areas.

Its work has prepared the venue to host children's work for youngsters aged between six and 11 during the annual convention, which begins on Saturday.

The children's work has previously been hosted in marquees on Keswick Ministries' neighbouring Rawnsley site.

Murray Lawrie, facilities manager for the charity, said: “We are so grateful to the CRS team for all of their hard work in clearing areas of the building. The work they have done has made a big difference and is vital to ensuring the venue is ready in time for the convention.”

CRS said the aim of the four-week work experience scheme was to enable people to gain experience of working within the industry and as part of a team, and to develop their skills.

The four-strong team, working with a CRS supervisor, has done work for various clients, completing tasks at reduced cost.

Gavin Henry, director of CRS Facility Management, said: "This particular intake got stuck in from the outset, during training and induction they displayed a keen interest within the business and the industry we work in.

"They have successfully completed various tasks at a high standard. We look forward to continuing our work with them.”

The team is among a host of helpers brought in to clear the pencil factory building.

Liam Ryan, of Macmillan Cancer Support, gave a day of work to Keswick Ministries.

He said: “I was pleased to play a small role in cleaning up a Keswick landmark and to support three local institutions - the pencil factory, the Rawnsley Centre, and the convention. It’s great to be able to help Keswick Ministries to create a space where locals and visitors can work, play, and worship together.”

Conventioners have also offered their time to help clear the building in advance of this summer’s event.

Significant work, to refurbish the whole building, is due to start in the autumn, and it the conventions main tent marquee is due to move onto the pencil factory site for next year's event.

The 2019 convention runs over three weeks from Saturday, July 13, with a host of visiting speakers making appearances at the main tent on Skiddaw Street, the combined Rawnsley/pencil factory site and other venues across the town.

Once again Keswick Ministries has teamed up with town businesses to encourage conventioners to support local traders with its Friends of Keswick loyalty scheme and its Enjoy Keswick website.

For more details about the convention programme and the redevelopment of the pencil factory, visit