Raby Castle decorator to address MPs
AN entrepreneur responsible for decorating Raby Castle and other historic buildings in the region is to address MPs in parliament next week.
Stephen Nicholson, who is based in Bishop Auckland, will call for more use of sustainable products in the building, painting and decorating trades.
Mr Nicholson, who will present a speech at the Parliamentary Review Gala on October 31, established his bespoke decorating business in 2008 after receiving a grant from the Prince’s Trust.
His firm, S Nicholson & Sons, specialises in decorating older buildings, including churches, stately homes and listed buildings.
Due to the age and structure of the buildings, oil or solvent-based paints are often unsuitable, so his team exclusively uses traditional, natural paints, such as lime wash and linseed oil-based paints.
In addition to Raby Castle, the firm has worked at Rockliffe Hall and Hallgarth Manor.
Mr Nicholson said: “Following the recent climate change protests, environmental matters are at the forefront of everyone’s minds, which is why I wanted to take the opportunity to present to parliament about a need for more sustainable products to be used in building, painting and decorating.
“Oil and solvent-based paints can be harmful to the environment, and if all tradespeople pledged to reduce or, like us, completely stop using these types of paints in favour of sustainable products, we could make a real difference.
“I hope the members of parliament will consider this, and encourage others to follow our lead.”
He added: “Although my company is called like S Nicholson and Sons, my children aren’t quite old enough to wield a paintbrush for Lord Barnard, but I’m keen to build a company that makes the world a better place.
“My business is filled with skilled tradespeople who have learned traditional decorating styles that can be used to keep historical buildings in the region alive.
“I want my children to be proud of these skills and to carry on the business with a respect for both the history of the properties they decorate and the future of the planet.”