MEET THE BOSS: GUY ARMITAGE YORK HANDMADE BRICK
Guy Armitage became the
managing director of the award-winning York Handmade Brick Company, based at
Alne, near Easingwold, last year. Guy, aged 40, is the sixth generation of the
Armitage family to work in the brick industry, a record which dates back to
1824. He takes over as managing director from his father David, who remains
chairman of York Handmade.
Educated at Edinburgh
University, where he obtained a 2:1 in agricultural economics, 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, where one of his
contemporaries was the England cricketer Andrew Strauss. He is also an
accomplished point-to-point rider.
Guy, who is a past
president of the International Clay Technology Association (ICTA), lives with
his wife Lucy and their two children at Husthwaite, near Easingwold.
Guy commented: “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,” he added.
“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.
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.
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.
DO YOU NEED TO MAKE LIFE COMPLETE
It is hard to think
beyond my loving wife and our 2 lovely daughters. It would be great to round of
a good year for York Handmade by winning this year’s Supreme Award at the Brick
Development Brick Awards 2016.
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.
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.