The York Handmade Brick Company, one of the leading independent brickmakers in the country, was a finalist in the prestigious 2009 Brick Awards.

York Handmade, based at Alne, near Easingwold, in North Yorkshire, was short-listed for the Best Educational Building award for its work on De Grey Court at York St John University.

Chairman David Armitage said: “We were in a tremendously strong category and we were beaten by the eventual winner of the overall Supreme Award. So while it was disappointing not to win, we were still very proud of what we achieved at De Grey Court.”

The judges paid tribute to York Handmade, saying: “The Best Educational Building category contained a number of excellent buildings, De Grey Court at St John's University York and the Gillespie Centre, Clare College, Cambridge, were close contenders to win”.

De Grey Court is a £15.3 million, three-storey building which houses a new graduate centre and research, academic, administration and partnerships offices.

David Wilson, project manager for contractors Morgan Ashurst, who has just been named UK Construction Manager of the Year, commented: “York Handmade did a great job at De Grey Court. Many thanks should go to their skilled team of lads, who make, fire and select the bricks and specials, and their procurement team for all the help and assistance they have given Morgan Ashworth throughout the course of the project”.

York Handmade has a remarkable record in the Brick Awards during the past decade. These national awards, run by the Brick Development Association in conjunction with Building magazine, are the brick industry’s Oscars.

In 2007 the company was short-listed for the Best Refurbishment Project award for its work on the Murrays’ Mills development in Manchester. In 2006 it won the Best Landscape Project award for its acclaimed work on the walled garden at Broughton Hall, near Skipton.

In 2005 York Handmade was shortlisted for the Best Refurbishment Project for work on Millington Hall, a 16th century heritage public house and restaurant in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire and in 2004 the company won the same award for the acclaimed walled garden and new restaurant at Scampston Hall, near Malton.

Speaking about the De Grey Court, David Armitage said: “We are very proud to have supplied 50,000 bricks for one of the most stunning new buildings in York. Our Old Clamp Blend specials form an integral part of the brand-new York St John University building on the corner of Lord Mayor’s Walk and Gillygate in central York”.

York Handmade was also shortlisted in the Best Refurbishment Project category of the Brick Awards for its work in restoring Myton Bridge, near Boroughbridge, to its former Victorian glory in 2003, and also won the Best Single House award for a private house at Chirk, near Wrexham, in 2003. York Handmade won the Supreme Brick Building award for St Brigid’s Church, Belfast, in 1995.

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