THE annual Britain's Top Tradesperson competition organised by Screwfix launched last week.

Last year, Richie Maxwell, a third-generation bricklayer from Tillicoultry, walked away with the title after successfully beating six thousand entrants.

He wowed judges with his determination to share his trade skills and his high-quality workmanship.

As the first bricklayer to win the competition, he didn’t think he had a chance against other tradesmen.

His honesty, integrity and successful business structure stood out from others in the fierce finale.

He was able to take home the coveted title resulting in new customers and a packed diary for months ahead.

He said: "Winning this competition has completely transformed my business and brought in more opportunities.

"There is nothing like Britain’s Top Tradesperson out there so it is great to get some well-deserved recognition and give my business the seal of approval it deserves.

"I would definitely encourage other tradespeople to enter, there’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain."

The competition is held to highlight and recognise the great job that plumbers, electricians, carpenters, builders and many more tradesmen and women do in the region.

This year's winner not only gets to take home the coveted title of Britain's Top Tradesperson 2017 which will transform their business, but they also win a brand new £32,000 (OTR) Toyota PROACE or Hilux.

Screwfix will select the best tradespeople to face-off in regional heats.

From there, eight finalists from across the UK will head to Wembley for the national finale in July, where they will compete in front of an esteemed judging panel consisting of industry experts.

Screwfix marketing director, Graham Smith, said: "We continue to host this competition year after year to celebrate successful tradespeople from all across the UK that deliver quality work without gaining recognition they deserve.

"In the eighth year of this highly selective competition, tradespeople from all different trades meet up to share ideas and insights into the field and industry trends.

"We continue to get more quality applicants and we’re looking forward to meeting this year’s successful finalists.

"To reward the ongoing hard work and dedication to their trade, this year’s national winner will receive a new Toyota vehicle from the All New Toyota Hilux or All New Toyota PROACE ranges and the title of Britain’s Top Tradesperson 2017."

Entries are accepted until Saturday, June 4, with regional finalists selected and facing off later that month.

In July the finalists will compete at the national finale, with the overall winner being named Britain’s Top Tradesperson 2017.

To enter, go into the Screwfix store in Stirling or head to where there are also further details of the competition.