IT was a labour of love for apprentice Kyle Smith when he was challenged to make and design a piece of furniture worthy of being sold by the upmarket company that employs him.

Mr Smith, 21, from Bromham was named apprentice of the year by Smallbones of Devizes and presented with a trophy by MP Claire Perry when she visited the factory on the Hopton Industrial Estate on Friday.

He designed and made a dressing table complete with a mirror and a stool for his girlfriend Chelsea Hedges. Mr Smith, who is a former pupil of John Bentley School, Calne said: "I am very pleased to win. I wanted to make something for my girlfriend and for it to include a place for all of her make-up to go as it is always all over the place.

"I am pleased that we are allowed to take the furniture home."

His girlfriend will have to give the dressing table pride of place as the company said it would sell for between £12,000 and £15,000 if it was included in its range. Josh Scott, 25, a former pupil of Devizes School came in second place with his shoe storage design and Harley Woodman, 21 who went to Lavington School was third with a cabinet.

Ms Perry said she was delighted to visit the company which was saved from company that was saved from going into liquidation by American billionaire Gary Barnett in November.

The company, which was owned by Canburg, has been renamed SMWF to incorporate the Smallbone and Mark Wilkinson names.

Ms Perry said: "It is wonderful to hear that the company is now doing so well and is producing iconic pieces of furniture which are bought all over the world.

"It is a very important to Devizes." She praised the craft of the apprentices.

The company is about to recruit for new apprentice furniture makers which are trained under a scheme run by Didac Ltd.