At The Furniture Makers' Company's annual Young Furniture Makers exhibition last week, Colin Wade, MD of leather manufacturer Andrew Muirhead & Son, launched the Muirhead Leather Design Competition for students.

The winning student will be given the unique opportunity to gain valuable experience within real furniture businesses, receiving a three-week work placement at Muirhead in Glasgow; an additional work placement at a furniture company; plus a £1000 cash prize. There will be up to two runner-up prizes of £500.

Part of the Scottish Leather Group, a privately-owned company with five specialist subsidiaries aiming to achieve the highest standards of quality and innovation, Andrew Muirhead & Son has been at the forefront of leather manufacturing since 1840. Over the last 175 years, Muirhead has supplied leather for many high profile projects including the Houses of Parliament, Burj Al Arab and the Boeing 307 Stratoliner. Its high performance, low carbon leather is supplied to airline, coach, rail, marine, automotive aftermarket and furniture industries across 60 countries.

Muirhead has developed the ground-breaking capability to print high resolution digital images onto leather and is inviting UK furnishing students to submit designs for an upholstered piece of furniture using this technology while also being sympathetic to the quality and appeal of leather.

Colin Wade says: "There is such a wealth of young talent out there in our colleges and universities. We’re excited about seeing which students can create the most innovative and potentially iconic use of printed design on leather. We’re keen to see them push the boundaries of what this exciting new technology – and leather – can do.”

Applications are accepted from students who are over 18 and in full time education at any college or university that is registered for the competition. The information pack and application form can be downloaded here.

The competition is open until 31 January 2016.

Entries will be judged early in 2016 by industry experts including David Dewing, master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, Colin Wade, MD of Muirhead Leather, Charles Vernon, chairman of the Training & Education Committee, Rupert Senior, chairman of the Guild Mark Committee and senior design academic Trevor Keeble.

The winner will be announced during Clerkenwell Design Week in London, in May 2016.