PLUMBER FROM NEWTOWNABBEY SINKS THE COMPETITION TO BE NAMED BRITAIN’S TOP TRADESMAN 2014

A plumber from Newtownabbey, Raymond McKnight,has beaten off tough competition to be awarded the coveted title of Britain‟s Top Tradesman 2014, in a UK-wide contest run by trade supplier Screwfix.

The 57-year-old was shortlisted from almost 6,000 entries and after winning his regional final he went head-to-head with 10 other national finalists at Wembley Stadium last week (21.10.14). Although Raymond faced a gruelling interview from a judging panel made up of industry experts including the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) – the judge‟s decision to crown him champion was unanimous!

As the winner, he not only takes home the title of ‘Britain’s Top Tradesman’ he will also receive a brand new Toyota truck worth £28,000, and over a £1,000 of Screwfix products, all of which will provide a real boost for his well-established Newtownabbey based plumbing business, Hillview Heating.

Upon hearing the news, Raymond comments: “I can’t believe the judges chose me as the winner of Screwfix‟s Britain’s Top Tradesman 2014, I am absolutely flabbergasted! It has been a truly amazing journey to get to this point, one which I have thoroughly enjoyed, especially meeting all the other finalists. I take real pride in my work,and I have worked hard to make sure I have a great rapport with my customers, treating every home I visit as if it were my own,I’m thrilled to receive this title and the fantastic prize.

Britain’s Top Tradesman, organised by trade retailer Screwfix, is a UK wide competition which seeks to find and recognise the best in the trade, from bricklayers to carpenters, helpful handymen, exceptional electricians and perfect plumbers that help keep homes and businesses running across Britain.

This year, the judges looked for the tradesman who impressed them most in areas such as devotion to their work, professionalism, qualifications and outstanding skills. They felt that the reason Raymond stood out from rest was his wealth of experience, knowledge, skill set and personality.

Screwfix Marketing Director John Mewett comments: “Every year we are overwhelmed by the high standard of work and willingness to go the extra mile demonstrated by tradesmen throughout the UK. We feel it is important that this hard work is recognised, and feel that this award helps us to show our appreciation.

“Raymond is a genuinely great guy who does a fantastic job day in, day out for his customers. He passes his knowledge down to younger apprentices, helping to bring them into the industry, keeps up to date with the latest technologies so he can run his business effectively, and has outstanding customer references. He is also committed to charity work and travels abroad every year to places like Kosovo and Romania to install heating in hospitals and children centres. He truly is Britain‟s Top Tradesman and is a brilliant ambassador for the trade.”