Chesterfield woodworking business sets up awards scheme to encourage young people into industry

A Chesterfield woodwork business hopes to encourage young people into the industry by setting up an award scheme in which their ideas can become real products.

Sunday, 10th October 2021, 8:42 pm
Mick Pursglove hopes to inspire the next generation of woodworkers and joiners.

The winners in each age category will see their product become a permanent part of the company’s range, and will be named after them.

Mick Pursglove, owner of Live With Wood, said the idea was inspired by his own childhood experiences of working in the industry.

He hoped that, along with training courses, the awards would increase interest in these kinds of trades.

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Live With Wood occupies a 4000 sq ft manufacturing unit at Ace Business Park off Derby Road.

“I’ve been in the woodwork industry since I was very young. I was in my father’s joiners shop when I left school, so it’s probably from when I was about 12.

“I left school with very little qualifications, I was just mad about woodwork – we need to encourage young people to learn hands-on skills rather than just sitting behind computers.

“Before Covid we had planned to do training courses so we could actually teach woodwork skills- once the Covid situation disappears we can start sharing our skills with people.”

The business, which produces handcrafted, custom-made furniture and joinery supplies, is certainly an example to follow for any budding local entrepreneurs.

Sustainability is a key principle for Live With Wood. Even the smallest materials are reused to avoid waste, and the business only works with environmentally-conscious suppliers.

Live With Wood may have had humble beginnings, with Mr Pursglove starting the business from scratch, but it now occupies a 4000 sq ft manufacturing unit at Ace Business Park off Derby Road.

“I started it back in 2007, in my dad’s garage at home in Chesterfield. I started it with basically nothing and built it up from there.

“We’ve had four different premises since then, and moved into our new premises in 2020. We want to keep expanding and maybe look at exporting products too.”

Mr Pursglove believed the businesses owed some of its recent success to its return to Chesterfield, following a spell in Alfreton. He said business prospects in the town were increasing, and this has provided a real boost to Live With Wood.

“Chesterfield is a good place for a business, there’s a lot of potential. We had a premises in Alfreton but we had grown as large as we could there and I live in Chesterfield, so I wanted to move the business back here. Since coming back it has gone from strength to strength.”

Sustainability is a key principle for Live With Wood. Mr Pursglove said even the smallest materials are reused to avoid waste, and the business only works with environmentally-conscious suppliers.

“The environment is really important to us - we recycle all of our wood shavings for animal bedding, and we try to use all of our off-cuts of timber to make small items rather than wasting wood.

“Anything we can’t turn into something is used for fuel, and we purchase all of our wood from sustainable sources.”

Submissions for the Live With Wood awards scheme will run until the end of the year. There are three age categories: 10 years and under, 10-15 years and 15-20 years. Contact details for submissions can be found here.