Town picks up a hat-trick of awards

Vela Group chief executive Cath Purdy (second right) celebrates with staff after picking up awards

Vela Group chief executive Cath Purdy (second right) celebrates with staff after picking up awards

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PIONEERING partnerships and prosperous performances were honoured at a prestigious ceremony in which established Hartlepool firm Gus Robinson Developments picked up two construction sector awards while the town’s college and a housing association were honoured.

 The three award winners were held up as examples of excellence at the plush Constructing Excellence in the North East Awards ceremony.

From left, Gus Robinson Developments marketing and business development manager, Sarah Harris, with Nicki Clark, Business Enterprise Group chief operating officer, and Gus Robinson Developments chairman Daniel Robinson

From left, Gus Robinson Developments marketing and business development manager, Sarah Harris, with Nicki Clark, Business Enterprise Group chief operating officer, and Gus Robinson Developments chairman Daniel Robinson

Constructing Excellence in the North East is a business support organisation for the North-East construction industry, dedicated to delivering improved industry performance in order to achieve a better built environment.

The annual awards showcase excellence and reward achievement from organisations and projects around the region.

Firmly established as one of the highlights of the business year, the awards play an important role in raising the performance of those involved in delivering the built environment of today and tomorrow.

West View Road-based Gus Robinson Developments was named SME of the year while one of the firm’s apprentice plumbers, Caroline McCarroll, 25, who studies at Hartlepool College of Further Education, was named as young achiever, trade section, for her dedication to her career.

Apprentice plumber Caroline McCarroll receives her award from Garry Burton, president of the Northern Counties Builders' Federation

Apprentice plumber Caroline McCarroll receives her award from Garry Burton, president of the Northern Counties Builders' Federation

The award recognises top students from both the professions and college sectors.

The apprentice plumber, who was nominated by her employers and Hartlepool College of Further Education, added the accolade to her ever-increasing list of awards.

Last year she picked up three awards from the college when she was named plumber of the year, apprentice of the year and student of the year.

CENE awards judges said: “She is testament to what can be accomplished by an individual who works hard and shows commitment. Her drive and determination are unmatched.”

Judges said the West View Road-based company puts people and employees at the heart of their business.

The company prides itself on specialising in urban regeneration working with some of the region’s leading social housing organisations to carry out Decent Homes standard refurbishment works.

The development of its people and the broader value that it adds to the community is testament to a long-standing commitment from the company founder, the late Gus Robinson MBE, who believed his company should add positive value to the community.

Many staff joined the company as apprentices and are in senior management positions. More than 20 per cent of the workforce are apprentices or in training. The national average of seven per cent.

Gus Robinson Developments’ chairman, Daniel Robinson, said: “This is a proud moment. As we continue to grow, we will continue to put people at the heart of everything we do.”

The Vela Group, which incorporates Housing Hartlepool, was highly commended in the Innovation category for its partnership work with Frank Haslam Homes, on the Easington Road development, in Hartlepool.

Vela Group chief executive Cath Purdy said: “The development has transformed the area and we are proud this has been recognised by CENE.

“This professional endorsement is testament to Vela’s expertise in providing high quality, innovative housing.”

The development transformed a neighbourhood into an attractive 68 homes development with properties including energy efficiency measures making them sustainable and economical to run.

Delivered by Frank Haslam Milan, part of the Keepmoat Group, the development was built using an innovative offsite modular construction technique, with units built in a factory and then transported to site for assembly.

Hartlepool College of Further Education was highly commended in the Project of the Year category for its new £53m town centre campus.