A heating engineer from Scotland has been named a 'runner up' in a competition to find the best tradesman in the UK, having already won the Scottish heat in Britain's Top Tradesman 2013.

Thousands entered ‘Britain’s Top Tradesman’, organised by Screwfix, with the top 10 attending a final at Wembley Stadium on 5 November to face a panel of esteemed judges. Neil Birnie, aged 35, has been recognised as a ‘runner up’ along with one other tradesman.

Britain’s Top Tradesman is a comprehensive search to find and recognise the best in the trade. Birnie, who runs NB Renewables, impressed the panel of judges with his hard work and commitment in establishing his successful business in a short space of time. After being made redundant three times he set up his own family-run business six months ago. Since starting out he has had 100% repeat business.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to receive this special recognition from Screwfix, in addition to winning the title for Scotland last month, which was very special for me,” said Birnie. “I strive for excellence in customer service and always go that extra mile for my customers. My company can design and supply the full range of renewable and supporting technology for any project. I am passionate about protecting the environment and like to help customers to do their bit, and save them money on their bills at the same time.

“When I started out I had nothing, and had no other option than to go it alone. In the early days I had just a few customer contacts and worked from the back of my car. The business has really taken off, and to get this recognition from Screwfix is a real pat on the back for us!”

John Mewett, marketing director at Screwfix, added: “Britain’s Top Tradesman is a nationwide search to find and recognise the best in the business. We were overwhelmed by this year’s finalists, and it was such a difficult decision to pick the winner. Neil goes above and beyond for his customers and demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit and passion. What’s more, he had great feedback from his customers, does remarkable work for the local community and is a fantastic example to others in the industry.”

The overall winner of the competition is Tom Ball, a joiner from Stockport. The additional ‘runner up’ is Steve Friel, an electrician from Coventry. Ball will receive a PROACE van from Toyota, while Birnie and Friel will receive a special award from Screwfix.