2023 A significant year at York Handmade

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2023 A significant year at York Handmade

This has been one of the most significant years in our 35-year history. Not only have we invested £1.5 million in brand-new machinery which has transformed how the company makes bricks, but we have also supplied the bricks for the new library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, which won the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize, the highest accolade in the architectural calendar.

Over the years, we have undertaken significant technological improvements, culminating in this £1.5 million overhaul and renewal of our manufacturing process, which has speeded up production, facilitated two brand-new products and increased efficiency. This is a transformational move, by far the biggest and most important in our history. Our revolutionary new manufacturing line will combine three different types of brick - the Handmade Style, as currently produced, together with Water Struck and Pressed Bricks.
Most of the Water Struck Bricks, which are currently very popular in London, are imported, so we are fulfilling an important demand and supporting the sustainability agenda. We have an impressive track record in London, with iconic projects across the capital, and we can now build on this.

New brick-making machinery

More generally, this investment will enable us to manufacture high-quality, UK-made bricks for many years to come and it reflects our commitment to the brick industry and the astounding architectural projects using bricks.

These are challenging times but we are confident we can maintain the progress we made last year, despite inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, this year. We are flourishing in commercial property and education sectors, whilst residential housing, which has been our staple for a number of years, remains strong. In these testing times, it is vital to spread our work across as many different markets as possible.

Apart from the award-winning Magdalene College Library, high-profile contracts that we have completed during the past 12 months include Mount Row, a mixed-use development in the heart of Mayfair; a prestigious residential housing development at Kings Cross; and two superb residential projects in Yorkshire, at Felixkirk and Easingwold. Looking ahead, we are currently working on a magnificent house in East Lothian and two landmark commercial projects in Baker Street in London and in Oxford.

Magdalene College Library

Meanwhile we are now beginning work on Circle Square, a massive mixed-use development in the heart of Manchester, where we have just signed a £600,000 contract to provide thousands of specially manufactured bricks.. Circle Square is changing the face of the city, featuring over 1,000 new homes, 400,000 sq ft of flexible office space, a multi-storey car park & hotel, plus shops, restaurants, bars and Symphony Park, the city’s newest green space.




What’s more, we have been shortlisted in two categories in the prestigious Brick Awards, the Oscars of the brick industry, organised by the Brick Development Association. The two categories are the Housing category for the stunning Lancer Square development in Kensington, London, and for the acclaimed Renshaw Hall student housing development in Liverpool in the Specialist Brickwork Contractor category.

Lancer Square, London
We are tremendously proud to have been shortlisted for these two fantastic projects this year. Huge thanks are due to the management team and employees at York Handmade for their imagination, enterprise and hard work, which all combined to make these projects so successful and so memorable. It is vitally important to stress that these two short-listed entries are completely different jobs in design and execution, graphically illustrating our ability to work in a wide variety of colours and styles. We believe we can tackle any brickwork project successfully.
Looking ahead more generally, it is encouraging to report that brick remains the building material of choice for many architects and specifiers across the UK. We particularly value the contacts we have built up over the years with architects, planners, self-builders and developers. We look forward to continuing those relationships in the years to come and are confident that our new plant will help us immensely in achieving this objective.