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Royal seal of approval for young joiner
A joiner has received royal backing from the Prince of Wales after excelling on an apprenticeship programme.
Prince Charles awarded Jonny Briggs, from Ilkley, the Hancock Award, which rewards the best worker on the Heritage Skills Building Crafts Apprenticeship Programme, run by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.
Now the 25-year-old is hoping to build on his success after starting his own business called Jonny Briggs Joinery.
Mr Briggs had previously completed an NVQ Level 3 in site carpentry and joinery at Leeds College of Building before going on to secure one of just eight coveted places on the Prince’s Foundation programme, which now means he can work on heritage projects and tender for English Heritage work.
“There were hundreds of people originally competing for these eight places, so to be named as the best apprentice on the course and meet Prince Charles in London was a fantastic honour,” he said.
“I’ve always been interested in the heritage side of carpentry because it usually means working with top-quality materials on historic projects that several generations of craftsmen have worked on before.
“During this course, I worked on all types of fascinating projects, including restoring 400-year-old doors at Canterbury Cathedral and building a curved external staircase at the Grade I listed Buntingsdale Hall in Shropshire, so it’s given me a great portfolio of work.”
His lecturer at Leeds College of Building, Joe Clancy, said: “Jonny was a hugely gifted and very talented student and thoroughly deserves this success. Comp-etition for places on the Heritage Skills Building Crafts Appren-ticeship Programme is extremely fierce, which makes this an even bigger achievement, and he now has the potential to become one of the best craftsmen in the UK.”
Before starting the appren-ticeship programme, Mr Briggs had volunteered to restore the former Storiths Hatchery barn on the Bolton Abbey Estate.