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York Handmade Brick Company celebrates 25 years
THE north of England’s largest independent brickmaker is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
York Handmade Brick Company is marking the transformation from a derelict factory in Alne, near Easingwold, to an award-winning operation with a £2 million annual turnover.
Over the last quarter of a century the business, which employs 25 people, has worked on landmark buildings across the country such as the Shard in London, Highbury Football Stadium and Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.
Previously known as the Alne Brick Company, based near Easingwold, York Handmade was founded by chairman and managing director David Armitage in 1988.
Mr Armitage said: “It has been a hugely enjoyable, though challenging, 25 years.
“We have grown from a very small brick factory in a North Yorkshire village to a successful and award-winning brick company that is well-known and respected on the national stage.
“The progress we have made in the last 25 years would not have been possible without the loyal service and dedicated expertise of York Handmade’s management team and our skilled employees in the factory and we owe them all a great deal.”
When York Handmade started in 1988, the company inherited a derelict factory, which was not making bricks at all but was primarily engaged in the production of drainage tiles for agricultural purposes.
Mr Armitage explained: “When I bought the factory in 1988, the prime objective was to create a strong local business, employing local people and boosting the local economy.
“Now, more than £2 million of investment later, the company boasts a dedicated modern handmade brick factory and my objective has been achieved.”
Mr Armitage said the business, like many others in the construction industry, has had to fight over the last five years to remain operational, but is now “well placed” to go forward for the next 25 years.
Over the past ten years York Handmade has enjoyed many successes in the national Brick Awards, run by the Brick Development Association.
The buildings which won the awards for York Handmade were Four Oaks in Little Bedwyn, Wilts (Best Single House); Tupgill Cellar, near Middleham, North Yorkshire (Best Craftsmanship); and Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester (Specialist Brickwork Contractor).
Meanwhile in 2009 the company was short-listed for the Best Educational Building award for its work on De Grey Court at York St John University.
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