Make no mistake about it,
we, like every other business across the UK, have been facing some very
challenging times since the Coronavirus pandemic forced the country into
lockdown in March. It has not been easy – and we are indebted to the commitment
of our staff (some furloughed, some not) and the loyalty of our customers, old
and new, that we are emerging from this crisis in pretty good health.
Indeed we are looking
forward to a positive post-Coronavirus year, as we are currently working on a
raft of prestigious commercial and residential developments across the UK.
Before the lockdown, we had
enjoyed the most successful 12 months in our 32-year history with a record turnover
of over £2.7 million. We were flourishing, with some high-quality commissions
in London, Cambridge, the North West, the Midlands and, of course, Yorkshire.
Obviously the lockdown
has hit us, but we have kept our factory open – with strict social distancing
and safety measures in place. As the country emerges, albeit slowly, from this
nightmare, we are well-positioned to tackle the tough challenges posed by
Coronavirus and to emerge stronger than ever.
Our order book for this
year is very healthy, with a number of exciting commissions on the horizon. We
have just completed two huge projects in London, Lancer Square in Kensington
and One Molyneux Street in Marylebone, and there are two more high-quality
developments in the pipeline in Mayfair and King’s Cross, overlooking the
There were fears that
Covid-19 might hit the self-build residential property market hard, but that is
not our experience. We are currently providing bricks for self-build projects
across the UK. These include commissions in York, Doncaster, Sheffield, Liverpool,
the Wirral, Durham, Hexham, Shropshire, Rugby and Stoke, totalling almost £1m.
Our success has enabled
us to invest in a new dryer, which speeds up the production process and make us
more efficient. Looking ahead, it is encouraging to report that brick remains
the building material of choice for many architects and specifiers across the
It was way back in 1988
that York Handmade was founded, taking control of a redundant pipeworks in
Forest Lane, Alne, with only some excellent clay being of any use for
brick-making. Since then the company has grown to 30 employees.
The key to our success
has been our loyal staff, some of whom have been with us from the very start. They
have demonstrated this loyalty during the current crisis and we are indebted to
them. The factory involves many and varied skills from engineering to ceramic
expertise and relies on dedication and expertise at all levels of the
We also particularly
value the contacts we have built up in the last 32 years with architects,
planners, self-builders and developers. We look forward to continuing those
relationships in the years to come.
The Coronavirus pandemic,
despite its many dire consequences, has allowed us the opportunity to reflect
and recharge. We have come a long way since our early days to become the
largest independent brickmaker in the north of England. We are very proud of
that. The times ahead are not going to be easy, but we believe we have the
commitment and the skill to continue to provide a first-class service to all
our customers, old and new, across the UK.