APPRENTICES from an engineering firm have been putting their skills to the test by making and installing a new bench for their local village.

Students from Darwen-based WEC Group made the new bench for the historic tram stop in Hoddlesden village.

The tram stop was restored in 2009 after years of disrepair and neglect and is now used as a bus shelter and a place for shoppers to escape the rain.

The new bench is made from steel and was designed and manufactured by the first-year apprentices at The WEC Group training academy, who are taking part in their advanced five-year apprenticeship with the company.

First-year apprentice, James Mason, 23, said: “I really enjoyed working on this project."