AN apprentice has been part of an exciting multi-million pound renovation project on an historic Bury venue.

Eighteen-year-old James Owen is currently completing the Level 2 Bury College Site Carpentry apprenticeship with H. H. Smith & Sons Co. Ltd and has been involved in the renovation of the popular performing arts venue, The Met.

The newly refurbished venue, in Market Street, has recently opened its doors to the public after undergoing a £4.6 million transformation which has expanded the performance spaces and backstage areas in the hope of improving audience experience.

James said he has gained a host of new skills since joining The Met project in September 2016 and has been responsible for helping to fit the flooring, skirting boards, arches and areas of the kitchen.

The former Castlebrook High School student said: “I have really enjoyed being part of this project and like coming to work every day and earning a wage whist learning hands-on practical skills.”

James began his apprenticeship with H. H. Smith & Sons Co. Ltd, a construction company based on Bury Old Road, in 2014 and has progressed from Level 1 to Level 2 and is aiming to start his Level 3 next year.

Over the past two years James has worked on a range of exciting projects at locations such as Radcliffe Primary School, Surf Snowdonia and Leeds Pentecostal Church.

James added: “I left school knowing that I would like to pursue a career within the construction industry and that I wanted to start working straight away.

“The apprenticeship pathway seemed like the ideal route for me.”

David Smith, managing director of H. H. Smith, said: “The current crop of apprentices are the latest in a long line of home grown talent which has helped the company evolve into the success story that it is today.”