Wigan training centre for chimney sweeps gets international recognition

A Wigan training centre for chimney sweeps and woodburner installers has secured an international seal of approval from a leading US industry entrepreneur.
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Byron Schramm, founder of Midtown Chimney Sweeps, visited the HETAS-approved Mr Soot Training Centre, on Great George Street in the town centre, as part of a European tour to further his expertise.

And he was full of praise for the Wigan business, holding it up as a global role model.

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Some might think that chimney sweeps are something of a throw-back, but they are still much in demand, especially with a resurgence in real fires and the increased popularity of woodburners.

Byron (left) with Sam Garrahan and David Sudworth, of Mr Soot Training CentreByron (left) with Sam Garrahan and David Sudworth, of Mr Soot Training Centre
Byron (left) with Sam Garrahan and David Sudworth, of Mr Soot Training Centre

Since September, Byron has been on a sabbatical from his company, which has franchises right across the US, and visited countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France, but wanted to see how Brits sweep and inspect flues – so he also came to Wigan.

While at Mr Soot, Byron sat in on a specialist stove installer course and also took the official sweeping course and passed with flying colours,

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He said: “I was absolutely blown away by Mr Soot Training Centre. The standard of training and the facilities are awesome.

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“In the US, we very much see the United Kingdom as the home of chimney-sweeping. Our languages may be the same, but the industry back home is very different from what you have here.

“It’s given me a lot to think about when I return home.

“I’d really like to thank everyone at Mr Soot for their warmth and hospitality during my stay. They made me feel really welcome we’ve certainly struck up a friendship which will endure.”

Sam Garrahan, owner of Mr Soot Training Centre, said: “Having Byron at the centre was not just fantastic for us, but also for our candidates who were sitting courses during the days he was there.

“So not only did they get access to quality learning regarding British standards, they also learnt, through Byron, how they differ from America in some aspects.”

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David Sudworth, founder of Mr Soot, said: “It was a real pleasure to welcome Byron to our HETAS-approved centre.

“As a company, we are very much about raising industry standards and reaching out to others to share best practice.

“To have international recognition from a leading figure such as Byron is a real honour, and we hope to see him again in the not-too-distant future.”

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