GUY Armitage became the managing director of the award-winning York Handmade Brick Company, based at Alne, near Easingwold, last year.

Aged 40, he is the sixth generation of the Armitage family to work in the brick industry, a record which dates back to 1824.

He has taken over as managing director from his father David, who remains chairman of York Handmade.

Educated at Edinburgh University, Guy has been IT manager and, more recently, operations director of the company for nine years, previously working as a business analyst for HBOS in Leeds.

He is a keen sportsman and was the senior cross-country winner at Radley College in Oxfordshire. He is also an accomplished point-to-point rider.

Mr Armitage, who is a past president of the International Clay Technology Association, lives with his wife Lucy and their two children at Husthwaite, near Easingwold.

He said: “I am privileged because my appointment came in the wake of one of our most successful years. In 2015 we had a turnover of £2.5 million, an increase of 14 per cent on the previous year, and we now employ 30 staff.

“We also won a major award for our work at Dumfries House in Scotland in the Brick Development Association’s awards, the Oscars of the brick industry.

“This is a very proud time for me. I have loved every minute of my time at York Handmade, even though the period between 2008 and 2012 saw a massive slump in the construction industry and put huge pressure on the smaller independent brick-making firms across the UK. Indeed many didn’t survive.

“We pulled through and I am delighted to say the company is prospering again. It is my job to ensure that this progress is maintained and enhanced.

“I feel honoured to do this, because York Handmade reintroduced the art of brick-making to the Vale of York and we now run the most modern small brick-making factory in Britain. It is a privilege to work here,” he added.

What job would you like to have other than your own and why?

I am awe of the architects who design some really amazing buildings. I would love to work in a top architectural practice designing prominent buildings in the big cities that will help evolve the character of the city for generations to come.

Greatest achievement

I am incredibly proud of the some of the projects that I have been involved with where York Handmade have supplied bricks to some amazing buildings. Bricks we made on the Chetham School of Music or the York Racecourse redevelopment or at the base of the Shard were both challenging and totally unique in character. The bricks are a major ingredient of these wonderful and successful buildings.

What do you need to make life complete?

It is hard to think beyond my loving wife and our two lovely daughters. It would be great to round off a good year for York Handmade by winning this year’s Supreme Award at the Brick Development Brick Awards 2016.

Why do you make a difference?

Energy and enthusiasm for challenging brick specifications is a trait that I believe I share with several of my colleagues at York Handmade, and that enables us as a team to make products beyond the scope of our competitors, as well as helping designers build buildings of which both present and future generations will be proud.

What makes you most angry?

People who can’t appreciate anything beyond the homogenised mundane.


I will hope my enthusiasm for bricks and life rubbed off on those I met.