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Here at North Lancs Training Group we’re delighted to see the return of the Soapbox Challenge, we’ve participated in previous years and absolutely loved designing and building our own Soapbox.

The Soapbox Challenge is held in Accrington Town Centre, and the course starts on Blackburn Rd and ends at the Town Hall. 2019 saw 26 contestants and over 9,000 spectators! Soapboxes must have a form of steering, the ability to brake, and helmets must be worn, but aside from that anything goes.

Our MD, Gareth Lindsay, was on BBC Radio Lancashire live with Graham Liver recently, and challenged Graham to create his own soapbox. Listeners Emma and her son Leon won the competition to design it, and NLTG’s apprentices have taken on the challenge of developing and building it, in our COVE – Centre of Vocational Excellence. The COVE has apprentices with all the right skills, as it is a hub for training people in joinery and furniture making – there are only two in the UK, and ours is the only one in the North.

Graham Liver called in recently to see how the soapbox was progressing, and also to take a look at the competition – ours has a furniture theme, and features an armchair, standard lamp and coffee table!

Graham was impressed with how it’s coming along – and requested we make him the winner, as he prepares to race with his co driver, Parin Begum.

Gareth said, “What a brilliant event – last time we came third but this time we want to win. It’s such a great day for the town, bringing huge crowds to come down and watch.”

Graham commented, “I felt like I was in a Formula 1 garage – it was magnificent!”

The Soapbox Challenge is on 27th August in Accrington town centre. Last time’s winner was Emerson and Renwick’s Chicken Run – come down and watch to see if we bring home the trophy this time!

You can see more about our Furniture skills training at

You can see more about the Soapbox Challenge at