2023 Central Winners

Congratulations to the Master Builder companies and tradespeople from the Central region who were announced as winners at the ceremony on 31 March, sponsored by Tradepoint. Well done to all those who were nominated for an award, and thank you to everybody who joined us for the ceremony.

Central Apprentice of the Year - Seth Barton of Neways Group Ltd

2023 Central Apprentice of the Year Award - Seth Andrew Hoskin Barton of Neways Group Ltd

Since joining Neways Group Ltd as a labourer and assistant at the age of 16, Seth Barton has shown incredible resilience to overcome significant obstacles in undertaking his carpentry apprenticeship training with City College Norwich. His immigration status initially proved a barrier to entry into the industry, with many prospective employers dismissing him outright.

Finally given a chance by this Master Builder company, Seth has maintained a 100% attendance rate in his classes despite travelling significantly further than his peers and shown great enthusiasm in deploying the skills he has learned whilst on-site. He has already won his employer more work by suggesting to a client that leftover materials from a renovation project be fashioned into bespoke furniture and demonstrated real ambition; aspiring to become a company director within five years.

Find out more about Neways Group Ltd.

Central Bathroom Project winner - Vantage & Co Group Limited

Bathroom Project winner - Vantage & Co Group Limited

Purchased in a state of ruin, the Vantage & Co team were working with a blank canvas in this beautifully renovated Georgian villa in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

In their award-winning bathroom, they took things back to brickwork to completely fit out the room with new Adger black gloss brick tiles, a freestanding Winchester bath, high spec chrome fittings and a contemporary Crittal-style shower screen.

Impacted by the building materials shortage, fast moving market conditions meant soaring quotes added to the pressure to complete on time. Luckily, Vantage & Co’s experienced Project Manager was on hand to keep things moving and delivered the project on budget, thanks to clear communication between suppliers, client, architect and interior designers.

The judges commented that it was ‘an impressive project that proves a quality build company really will go over and above to achieve an amazing result on a period project.’

Find out more about Vantage & Co Group Limited.

Central Building Company of the Year - C Wood & Son (Luton) Ltd

2023 Central MBAs, Building Company of the Year, C Wood & Son (Luton) Ltd, winner presentation

Like most building firms, C Wood & Son Ltd faced significant challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns. The team elected to grant their workers significant pay rises to reward them for their 20 years of loyal service and absorbed the additional expenses without passing them on to clients.

Their investment in staff really paid off, with their dedicated workforce continually striving to find solutions to material shortages and working conditions, which has helped them retain clients and keep the business on track. The judges were impressed with this Master Builder’s commitment to both staff and clients, and the breadth of work they have managed to deliver during an incredibly trying period for the industry.

Find out more about C Wood & Son Ltd.

Central Commercial or Public Sector Project winner – Taylor Fit Out Ltd

Commercial or Public Sector Project – Taylor Fit Out Ltd

The team at Taylor Fit Out Ltd were tasked with providing new high-end offices to act as Skanska's new HQ for approximately 2,000 people.

The build was fast-paced with multiple co-ordination points and trades, so daily updates kept things on track between the client, trades and architects, helping to avoid any issues.

With the client being one of the biggest building companies in the UK, the benchmark was set high. The project was architect-led, with Taylor Fit Out also carrying out their own bespoke design work. The judges commented that they liked the attention to detail such as extra sound proofing and the inclusion of timber doors and would like to work there.

Find out more about Taylor Fit Out Ltd.

Central Heavenly Builder of the Year - Nigel Young of A Youngs Extension & Construction Services Ltd

2023 Central MBAs Nigel Young of A Youngs Extension & Construction Services Ltd Heavenly Builder of the Year 2000px

Nigel was nominated by a client who described him as 'extremely thorough and conscientious' and 'a thoroughly pleasant person to have around', praising him for his commitment to getting the job done even if it meant working well beyond normal hours.

The client appreciated the detailed quotes Nigel provided prior to starting work, and the in-depth explanations he provided at each stage of the build to help facilitate informed decision-making. Nigel is also said to have impressed the neighbours, with many commenting on the tidiness of his work and approaching him about having their own projects done.

The judges praised his attention to detail and high-quality work, describing him as a 'great example of a Master Builder'.

Find out more about A Youngs Extension & Construction Services Ltd.

Central House Builder Award winner – Modplan Building & Refurbishment Contractors Ltd

House Builder Award – Modplan Building & Refurbishment Contractors Ltd

For this winning project, Modplan worked with a developer to build two large detached houses and convert a commercial building into seven apartments aimed at the first time buyer market.

Attention to detail wasn’t spared on the finishes, with underfloor heating, bespoke kitchens and high quality sanitaryware throughout. Accessibility was prioritised with an individual lift and wheelchair-friendly access.

The design of the houses set Modplan with several challenges, including a complex roof structure comprised of 50° roof pitches, numerous hips, valleys and an integral balcony, as well as a large brick chimney placed at an acute angle, adding to the complexity. In addition to this, the team tackled the removal of 20 tonnes of contaminated soil, resolved a Japanese knotweed issue and successfully navigated shared access with a neighbouring school, ensuring the safety of their pupils.

Find out more about Modplan Building & Refurbishment Contractors Ltd.

Central Kitchen Project winner - R J Bacon Builders Ltd

R J Bacon Builders Ltd, 2023 Central MBAs, Kitchen Project winner 2000px

Built as a kitchen extension to a 17th century farmhouse, this breath-taking project manages to bring modernity into this historic home without disrupting its character. One of the most eyecatching aspects is the beautifully crafted brick and flint gable end wall; a highly attractive feature when viewed from the garden.

Despite changes to the original design being introduced partway through the project, R J Bacon Builders maintained continuous communication with the client to ensure a smooth delivery via video updates and fortnightly onsite meetings.

Their client appreciated their 'can-do' attitude and the expert guidance regarding material selections, which resulted in a kitchen which was 'better than we could ever have expected.' The judges praised the work done to integrate the extension with the existing structure, describing the build as an 'excellent heritage project'.

Find out more about R J Bacon Builders Ltd.

Central Large Renovation Project winner – Vantage & Co Group Limited

Large Renovation Project – Vantage & Co Group Limited

Buried in the industrial depths of Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, a Georgian gem lay derelict and waiting to be unearthed. Vantage & Co were tasked with restoring it as a private residence, preserving the remaining period features and repurposing some of its materials in the design.

With the external features including detailed stone and rendered details now restored to their formal glory, the showstopping feature of the project is the original Bath stone staircase, which has been fully restored with hand carved stonework by Vantage & Co’s Master Craftsmen.

The developer, Steve Dodd of Elevate Property Group, commented: ‘The refurbishment of such a key building to the history of Birmingham had to be carefully considered and we are delighted with how the project turned out. We genuinely feel that it has been restored to one of the finest homes in central Birmingham.’ The judges commented that the project was ‘absolutely outstanding, executed with great sympathy and attention to detail.’

Find out more about Vantage & Co Group Limited.

Central Medium Renovation Project winner - Cornerhouse Building Contractors Ltd

2023 Central MBAs, Medium Renovation Project, Cornerhouse Building Contractors Ltd 2000px

Rescued from the remains of a dilapidated old carpenter’s shop, this property nicknamed 'The Hovel' has been completely transformed by Cornerhouse Building Contractors to produce a wonderful home for a couple of first-time buyers.

Significant portions of the old structure had to be rebuilt for safety reasons, whilst planning conditions mandated that the unique first-floor windows be retained. The resulting open plan living room and kitchen space combines these heritage features with a partially vaulted ceiling and exposed steel work giving the room a semi-industrial feel.

The property also features a generous garage and a double bedroom with an ensuite bathroom to the rear, providing modern creature comforts without compromising on character. The client was delighted with this builder’s quality of work, their craftsmanship and the general friendliness of the team, whilst the judges praised Cornerhouse’s 'integrity and practical hands-on problem solving' through the course of the build.

Find out more about Cornerhouse Building Contractors Ltd.

Central Small Renovation Project winner – Swiss Build Ltd

Small Renovation Project – Swiss Build Ltd

A small project with a big impact, Swiss Build Ltd extended the lower ground floor of their client’s home, linking it with an outbuilding to create a spacious open living space. Vaulted ceilings add to the feeling of light and space, and floors were set at the same height as the patio to create flow into the garden.

The renovation included a traditional-style kitchen and an oak beam installation, in keeping with the home’s traditional feel and village location. They also installed a practical utility and cloakroom, sitting and dining area, bifold doors, roof windows and a quirky circular window – giving the new space plenty of character. When they weren’t able to save the original tiles as requested by the client, they took care to source reclaimed slate to achieve a close match.

The clients praised Swiss Build Ltd’s quality and professionalism. ‘From the moment we approached Swiss Build, we were confident we had chosen the right company. They suggested changes to the design that we had in mind and created the perfect room for our family’s needs. 'The judges put the project’s success down to ‘an excellent relationship between the builder and the client’ and agreed it’s ‘a project that ticks all the boxes from achieving customer satisfaction to creating a fabulous new addition to the clients’ home'.

Find out more about Swiss Build Ltd.

Central Sustainability Award winner - E.O. Jones & Sons

2023 Central MBAs Sustainability Award E.O. Jones & Sons 2000px

E.O. Jones & Sons’ work on this pair of 19th century semi-detached properties saw them retrofit them in order to reach the demanding Passivhaus EnerPhit standard.

Their use of insulation and a raft of renewable energy measures has resulted in a huge 94% reduction in heating energy requirements, down from 404 kWh/m2a to 23.7 kWh/m2a. The team has also installed new triple glazed windows and solid timber doors, mechanical ventilation with a heat recovery system, an air-source heat pump and underfloor heating along with a wastewater heat recovery system and LED lighting.

The eco-measures continue externally, with a living green-roof cycle / bin store to promote recycling and the use of bicycles to reach nearby amenities. The judges hailed the work as a 'very well-executed EnerPhit project that succeeded in its aims and should inspire others to follow its low-carbon, energy-efficient principles.'

Find out more about E.O. Jones & Sons, who are also an FMB Insurance customer.

Thank you to our sponsors


Drinks reception sponsor



"We are delighted, once again, to be a sponsor of this fantastic event, which highlights the expertise and work of tradespeople within the industry."

TradePoint is the trade only arm of B&Q, offering a huge range of trusted brands. We supply products and services for every project, all under one roof at convenient locations nationwide. Our range not only covers building, decorating, electrical, plumbing, tools, hardware, landscaping, timber, joinery, safety, workwear and much more, but we also have dedicated kitchens and bathrooms showrooms with takeaway same day ranges.

Whether you're a builder, decorator or kitchen and bathroom fitter, you could be eligible for free TradePoint membership, giving you access to a great range of materials and tools.

For more information, visit www.trade-point.co.uk.


Event supporters

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CITB is the industry training board for the construction sector in England, Scotland, and Wales. It’s our job to help the construction industry attract talent and to support skills development, to build a better Britain. CITB’s dedicated advisers support employers every step of the way with SMEs able to have up to 95% of their apprenticeships training costs covered, as well as providing training support for your current workforce.

For more information, visit www.citb.co.uk

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for FMB events, please email [email protected].

Meet the 2023 Central judges

Caroline Culot

Caroline Culot

Marketing Manager, Brown&Co

Jayne Dowle

Jayne Dowle

Freelance Journalist

Mike Leonard

Mike Leonard

CEO, Building Alliance CIC