The best achievements in technical innovation and professional development have been recognised in six of the joinery and woodworking industry's most prestigious awards.
The annual British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Woodworking Awards took place on Tuesday 4 October at the National Motorcycle Museum, co-located with the W16 show and hosted by one of Great Britain’s most famous Olympians, Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards.
The longest standing award, the Technical Excellence and Innovation Award, was set up in 2010 in memory of John Hedgecock, the former technical director of the BWF. It was presented this year to Deacon and Sandys for the design and installation of a breathtakingly complex carved and hand finished oak staircase for a Tudor mansion, Crosby Hall on Chelsea Embankment in London.
A new award this year for Product Design in Wood recognised excellence in technical expertise, application and innovation in joinery product manufacture and design. The award went to Howdens Joinery and Norma Doors for a brilliant innovation, a quick fit internal door system that halves the time to fit a traditional joinery door.
Two Twenty Stairs was the recipient of the Process Efficiency Award. The company re-located to a state-of-the-art purpose built facility which was designed to transform productivity and energy efficiency, including a renewable heating and boiler system, solar PV and 20% more daylight. The results have included a 20% increase in sales, 60% increase in profit and increased employment.
Now in its third year, the Health and Safety Hero Award was born out of the BWF’s campaign of the same name. Kierson Ltd won the award, impressing judges with its robust approach to all aspects of health and safety, making full use of the support provided by external monitoring and auditing services and the advice provided by the BWF.
The joinery and woodworking industry consistently ranks first in construction for apprentice numbers and claiming grants for training. Recognising the importance of new talent in the industry, two awards were again given to young people working within the joinery and woodworking sector.
Imogen Davies of Law and Lewis of Cambridge was awarded Apprentice of the Year. Within just six months, Imogen had demonstrated exceptional skill as an apprentice joiner, quickly graduating to tasks that require a great deal of skill and attention to detail.
The Trainee of the Year was presented to Greg Kasowicz of Gowercroft, who initially joined the company as a sales administrator but quickly showed his true talent in production planning and control.
Iain McIlwee, chief executive of the BWF, said:
“The BWF awards provide us with the opportunity to showcase some of the most gifted businesses and individuals in our industry who make some of the most exciting products and projects that can be achieved using wood. All winners and those who were shortlisted for the awards deserve our respect and recognition.”
The BWF Woodworking Awards were sponsored by Accoya, CITB, Didac, Teknos, BC&E and the W16 Exhibition.
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Finalists for the Woodworking Project of the Year award (sponsored by Accoya) were:
- Gowercroft Limited for the Jurgen Teller Photographic Studio;
- AJ Laminated Beams for the Cockfield Windmill;
- Houghtons of York for a newly constructed private chapel;
- **WINNER** Deacon + Sandys for the Crosby Hall Staircase; and
- SPS Timber Windows for their orangery, French doors and sash windows project.
This award recognises outstanding and innovative projects in the joinery manufacturing and woodworking industry and was set up in memory of John Hedgecock, the former technical director at the BWF.
The new Product Design in Wood category (sponsored by Teknos) was launched this year to recognise excellence in technical expertise, application and innovation in joinery product manufacture and design. The finalists were:
- Future Heritage Sash Windows Limited for their Prestige Sash Window;
- Howarth Windows & Doors Limited for their Town & Country Concealed Balance Sliding Sash Window;
- **WINNER** Joint entry from Howdens Joinery & Norma Doors for their Quick Fit Internal Door, and
- JELD-WEN UK for their Moulded FD30 Glazing Innovation
Shortlisted entries firms vying for the BWF process efficiency award (sponsored by W16) were:
- Leitz Tooling UK Ltd for their ThermoTech Window System, and
- **WINNER** TwoTwenty for their new Zero Light, Heat and Power Head Office
This category rewards new, efficient processes in the industry which boost business performance and provide customers with the best possible products at the best price, quality level and delivery time.
The BWF Health & Safety Hero award (sponsored by Didac) was contested by:
The award is in memory of Michael Lee, former membership director at the BWF, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Part of BWF’s broader Health and Safety Hero campaign, this award acknowledges individual or collective efforts which have a notable difference to the health and safety practices and culture of a joinery business.
Two of the other categories, the awards for apprentice and trainee of the year (both sponsored by CITB), have also attracted very strong shortlists this year.
Up for joinery apprentice of the year, rising stars included:
- Jamie Jarrett (John Weaver Contractors),
- **WINNER** Imogen Davis (Law & Lewis Joinery of Cambridge Ltd), and
- Jotham Williams (Barr Joinery).
Shortlisted for trainee of the year were: