What started as a work experience opportunity, as a teenager, has turned into a labour of love for Ludovic Potts, an antique restorer and master craftsman who devotes his working life to returning damaged antiques to their former glory. With demand for his painstaking craftsmanship at an all time high, new spacious workshops will allow him to expand his business which is so sought after by churches, universities, stately homes, insurance companies across East Anglia and throughout London. Elm Tree Barns near Guyhirn in rural Cambridgeshire is the new headquarters for Ludovic Potts Restoration. Converted from former hay and grain stores, the specially adapted workshops have been officially opened by renowned historian and television presenter, Professor Mary Beard. As she unveiled the workshops, Professor Beard told a gathered audience of some 120 guests that she has been referring restoration work to Ludovic Potts for more than 20 years.

“He is able to give the furniture a new lease of life, while retaining its old charm and character, yet still managing to give it a fresh and well cared for look.,” said Professor Beard who is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Newnham College. “Ludovic provides a service and advises when something may not be worthy of repair. He is the best restorer in the region but you will have to pay a premium,” she quipped.

Ludovic Potts Restoration specialises in disaster recovery work from white ring marks to furniture that has suffered flood or fire damage. “I was first introduced to furniture restoration as a trainee restorer at the age of 16 on a Youth Opportunity Scheme,” Ludovic recalls. “I loved the history of the work and the opportunity to make a difference and I was hooked from the outset,” says Ludovic, a member of the British Antique Furniture Restorers Association. “Whether it is a simple kitchen chair or entire collections of furniture, every piece of work is priceless for its sentimental attachment because it is a precious family heirloom that has passed through generations,” explains Ludovic. “Many items are often considered repairable by us where it was previously thought they were impossible to salvage,” he adds. “It is always worth making contact because we have been able to surprise so many clients over the years with the outstanding results we can achieve.” Ludovic says: “We opened the new workshops to give us more space, to allow us to expand into larger contracts and to work more efficiently. “Our next goal is to open a showroom one day, so that we can sell from the premises. We also plan to increase production so that we can expand and employ more local staff into a craft that I hope will inspire them as much as it has inspired me.”

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