AN apprentice bricklayer is hoping to cement his place as one of the best in the country after winning a regional award.

Bishop Auckland College student David Wood, 19, of Staindrop, beat students from across the North-East to win the regional Guild of Bricklayers competition senior category.

The day-long event was held at the college where he is a level three bricklayer student.

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The junior category award went to 18-year-old Nathan Cooper, of Evenwood, who also studies at Bishop Auckland College.

David, who works for Matthew Vollans, of Cockfield, will take part in the national final at Sussex Downs College on Friday, June 20.

Bishop Auckland College bricklaying lecturer Chris Lee, who organised the event alongside the Guild of Bricklayers, competed himself in 1987.

He said: “Both lads have done the construction department and the college proud by performing at such a high level.

“I taught David’s employer, Matthew Vollans, 13 years ago and he came third in the same brickwork competition.

“This is the second year in a row that one of our bricklayers will have competed in the national competition. I am delighted.”

The Guild of Bricklayers was founded in 1932 with the aim of promoting and maintaining the highest standards of craftsmanship in brickwork.