Tom (19) opens furniture restoration business in Weavers’ Triangle

Tom Preston who has started his first business with the Sandygate Furniture Store.
Tom Preston who has started his first business with the Sandygate Furniture Store.

A young craftsman who transforms old into new is hoping to make a success of his first business.

Tom Preston (19) opened Sandygate Furniture Store several weeks ago after deciding that university was not the best option.

The talented teenager, whose father Kevin ran his own furniture restoration business in the 1980s, works alongside business partner Gary Cocker who sells sofas at their shop in Burnley’s Weavers’ Triangle.

It has been a steep learning curve for former Towneley High School pupil Tom who studied sport at Burnley College.

He said: “I was weighing up my options regarding university and decided to try and make a go of my own business.

“My dad has taught me a lot about furniture restoration and I have taught myself through online classes and speaking to other experts for their opinions.

“It can be tough, I do very long days but it’s something I’m really enjoying. I didn’t want to go to university, rack up a lot of debt and still not be guaranteed a job. My destiny is in my own hands now.”

Tom travels to auction where he picks up old furniture, often late Victorian pieces, and restores them to new.

He added: “It’s great working with old furniture because it was definitely built to last and much more solid than new furniture.”

Tom is confident that his business will also be built to last for many years to come.