Business Update June 2022

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Business Update June 2022

By our Chairman David Armitage

During the past few years, it has been York Handmade’s exciting commercial projects which have grabbed the headlines. Our work at the Shard, London Bridge Station, Highgate School and Carmelite House in London and, closer to home, projects such as Chetham’s School of Music, Halifax Library, York Art Gallery and York Racecourse have established our reputation as a respected and successful supplier of quality bricks for the commercial sector.

self build bricksHowever, all the while, we have completed a number of attractive and acclaimed residential developments and self-build projects, which have been recognised at the Brick Development Awards, the Oscars of the Brick Industry, and have enhanced our reputation as the leading independent provider of handmade bricks in the north of England.
These are interesting times for the residential property sector. Rising interest rates and rising inflation, combined with an increase in the cost of materials, certainly provide challenges, but property remains the single best investment you can make and we expect the residential development and the self-build sectors to withstand these economic pressures and flourish in the new few years.

Without wishing to tempt fate, we are reassuringly busy with residential projects right now and we trust this trend will continue. We have the capability to either replicate or make to design bricks of all shapes and sizes in a variety of colours and textures to match or create the product required. We are fortunate enough to have manufactured bricks for several award-winning heritage projects conserving the glory of the buildings for generations to come.

Here’s a snapshot of some of our recent work:

  • We have provided bricks worth £150,000 for the successful Slingsby Vale development at Ferrensby, near Harrogate, which has just been completed. It features 18 houses, 16 of which have already been bought or are under offer.
  • We have played a significant role in building a stunning Surrey house, which has already been featured on the front cover of the June edition of Build It magazine, one of the prime publications for the self-build housing sector. Owner Richard Deacon commented: “We chose York Handmade’s red Old Clamp blend, one of the first brick combinations the company ever produced. This heritage blend gives our house perfect period charm. We wanted heritage bricks to complement our house’s oak frame, and the Old Clamp blend bricks were absolutely ideal. We ordered the bricks directly from York Handmade and have been delighted by their swift, efficient and courteous service. With our wall lights on at night, the bricks look absolutely magnificent. Already our house has attracted many complimentary comments from passers-by, both pedestrian and vehicular.”
  • We provided 160,000 bricks for three developments by Ambleside Homes at Tollerton, Raskelf and Stillington in North Yorkshire, providing much-needed local housing and enhancing their communities.
  • We helped to convert an old accountants’ office in the centre of Northallerton into three smart terraced houses.

We are currently working on new developments at Felixkirk, near Thirsk and Stillington, while we are also busy in the North West, notably on the Wirrall.

I will let Peter Mandefield, managing director of award-winning Ambleside Homes, finish this particular blog, with these generous words: “York Handmade tick so many boxes for us. First and foremost, their bricks are absolutely beautiful. The appearance of our houses is crucially important and York Handmade’s bricks, which have been specially made to fit in with – and enhance - the rural environment of these three villages, are perfect. Quality is never compromised. Our building products are as natural as the Yorkshire landscape, ensuring our homes captivate from the very first. York Handmade’s bricks create the idyllic image of the traditional rural home.

“Secondly, as developers, we are great believers in sustainability. Building our houses with locally sourced bricks, manufactured so close to our developments, is very important for us. The carbon footprint is low, with delivery of the bricks swift, simply and ecologically sound. Finally, we are very keen to boost the North Yorkshire economy. By ordering more than 160,000 bricks from York Handmade, we are doing our best to support a local company, which is very important indeed in these testing times.”

Thank you, Peter. There may be challenging times ahead for residential property, but as long as we retain the confidence of residential developers and self-builders and we maintain the highest of standards, we are confident that we can continue to play a pivotal role in creating attractive housing developments across the UK.