Teen paint and decorator is best in the UK

Axel Cartmell
Axel Cartmell
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A painting and decorating apprentice from St Annes has been heralded as the UK’s best wallpaper maestro.

Axel Cartmell was named Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year at a gala dinner hosted by leading trade body the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA).

The 18-year-old, an apprentice with Busy Hands Décor in St Annes and a student at the Skills Construction Centre, Preston claimed a £300 cash prize.

He was also presented with a trophy and certificate by former Manchester City and England footballer Peter Barnes at the glittering event - part of the PDA National Conference at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel, Manchester.

Axel said: “The competition recognises the best young apprentices in the country, so to come out on top is a massive honour.

“I can’t believe I’ve won it to be honest, but I’m obviously delighted.”

The Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competition, open to apprentices from across the UK, was held at Doncaster College in October. Each entrant was asked to wallpaper a scaled-down living room including fireplace, window and chimney, then decorate a booth which involved ‘cutting in’ around a ceiling rose.

Neil Ogilvie, Chief Executive of the PDA, said: “Axel has done extremely well to have won this award, he was up against some tough competition.

“The standard of workmanship and professionalism demonstrated by all of the apprentices was incredible and they were all a credit to themselves, their college and employer.”

Each participant was judged against set criteria by PDA North East Regional President Dave Woods and Alan Pearson, PDA North East Regional Past President.

Simon Walmsley, national account manager at Brewers, said: “The Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competition provides apprentices with the opportunity to demonstrate just how talented they are and we are proud to have been the main supporter for the last six years. I would like to congratulate Axel on their success of being named the top three wallpaper hanging apprentices in such a skilled group of students.”