2023 Northern Counties Winners

Congratulations to the Master Builder companies and tradespeople in the Northern Counties who were announced as winners at the ceremony on 19 May. Well done to all those who were nominated for an award, and thank you to everybody who joined us for the ceremony.

Northern Counties Apprentice of the Year - Kaidan Bradley Radford of Radford Construction Services Ltd

Northern Counties Apprentice of the Year - Kaidan Bradley Radford of Radford Construction Services Ltd

Currently in the second year of his bricklaying apprenticeship at Derwentside College, Kaidan impressed our judging panel with his application to learning – setting termly targets to complete the qualification sooner than scheduled, without lowering his individual standards. He also has a track record of excellence, having been awarded ‘Apprentice of the Year’ by his college tutors at New College, Durham where he achieved an NVQ Diplomas in Building Maintenance Multi-Trade Repair and Refurbishment Operations (Construction). 

Undaunted by personal challenges including autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia, the team at Radford Construction Services Ltd told us Kaiden has never deterred from what he wants to achieve in both his private and professional life. Kaiden is a valuable member of their team who has an attentive and thorough approach to learning and does not settle for less, always aiming for the higher grades of merit and distinction. He also gives back to the wider community, using his own experiences to mentor children with additional needs. 

Find out more about Radford Construction Services Ltd

Northern Counties Bathroom Project winner – I J Curry & Son Ltd

Northern Counties Bathroom Project Winner Bathroom Project – I J Curry & Son Ltd

The team at I J Curry & Son Ltd had first worked with their clients on a bathroom refurbishment around 12 years ago and have collaborated once again on this winning bathroom project, which was part of a larger house renovation. 

The pandemic put a stop to work on site, but conversations continued over the phone and on video calls to keep the clients in the loop. The clients praised the team for making progress on the project during the early days when all work had to stop for a month and staff were furloughed: ‘They involved us through every aspect of the design and construction, offering advice, support combined with an amazing attention to detail.’ 

A large VELUX window has been installed in the vaulted ceiling, shedding light onto the simple lines of the free-standing bath. Natural stone has been used to lend a spa-like atmosphere to the room. The judges commented that it is a ‘stunning bathroom’ with a ‘beautiful finish’ and praised the company’s fantastic relationship with their client. 

Find out more about I J Curry & Son Ltd

Northern Counties Building Company of the Year – R & B H Alderson Ltd

MBA 2023 - Northern - Building Company of the Year - R & B H Alderson Ltd.jpeg

With over 100 years' knowledge and experience, this family business runs on expertise passed down over four (soon to be five) generations. But as the building industry is constantly evolving, they recognise the need to move with it. 

R & B H Alderson Ltd takes pride in good communication, and the team have their finger on the pulse with new regulations and building standards. They have an excellent track record with staff retention, with many of the team having been with the company for more than 25 years – which reflects their positive leadership approach. They support their staff and sub-contractors both at work and in their home life, offering support to colleagues going through difficult times. They also make sure their workplace is inclusive by being flexible around childcare commitments. They told the judges ‘without our staff we will have no business, so supporting our staff is paramount to us.’ 

From their humble beginnings with a horse and cart, to a fleet of vehicles in 2023, they strive to be the best they can. In a market where reputation matters, they provide not only high-quality workmanship but an excellent aftersales service too, with many happy clients returning as repeat business. 

Find out more about R & B H Alderson Ltd

Northern Counties Commercial or Public Sector Project winner – Radford Construction Services Ltd

Northern Counties Winner of Commercial or Public Sector Project – Radford Construction Services Ltd

Radford Construction Services Ltd was appointed to construct six luxury hotel suites and two self-catering party houses for a hospitality client. Each house would provide four large bedrooms as well as a large open plan living/kitchen area – perfect for groups or families coming together for special celebrations. All these new rooms had to be unique and have a spacious luxurious feel. The judges commended the team a great finish – completing the project to a high standard during challenging times. 

Kitted out with luxury touches including super-king-sized beds, hot tubs, mood lighting, sound systems and air-conditioning throughout, disabled access and amenities also had to be incorporated without compromising the ‘wow’ factor. Ultimately it’s not just about looks, the build standard is exemplary, with the completed buildings achieving a high level of thermal efficiency and their noise and pressure readings being close to Passive House standards. 

The team faced challenges with the location of the property. As the build was in the grounds of a hotel, care needed to be taken to minimise disruption for guests. The sloped topography of the site and the fact it is set some distance from services meant that Radford Construction had to dig out 2,000 cubic metres of earth and build a 50m long, 2m high retaining wall. T 

Communication was key to the project’s success, with Radford Construction co-ordinating stakeholder meetings to discuss changes and issues that needed to be resolved. Their architect commented: ‘Andy and the team have consistently produced work of the highest quality, with thoughtful contributions to the overall process, and have always gone the extra mile against high pressure deadlines.’. 

Find out more about Radford Construction Services Ltd

Commercial or Public Sector Project (Highly Commended) – J Carter Construction Ltd

Norther Counties Winner of Commercial or Public Sector Project (Highly Commended) – J Carter Construction Ltd

J Carter Construction Ltd was tasked with a showroom upgrade for kitchen supplier Magnet. The job was essentially lots of small kitchen projects in one, involving the removal of displays and walls and ad hoc repairs, as well as construction of new stud walls and kitchen displays. Consistency with the Magnet brand was key to achieve a similar footprint with their other stores.  

Their biggest issue was rectifying problems caused by the last refit – where the previous builders had covered an ongoing leak rather than repair it, and not considered that the design elements needed to be easily removed.  

The client was impressed with the team’s ability to accommodate the additional or awkward requests of producing a showroom display, with a creative understanding of how to adapt each display to showcase new trends or designs. A particular highlight being the creation of bespoke open shelving units for a new display of ‘curated botanicals’. The process of fabricating each shelving unit was extremely complicated, but the result is fantastic and has become a real talking point with prospective customers. This has opened up an opportunity to replicate this bespoke unit across other stores as Magnet rolls out the changes. 

Find out more about J Carter Construction Ltd

Northern Counties Heavenly Builder of the Year – Andrew Radford, Radford Construction Services Ltd

Northern Counties Heavenly Builder of the Year – Andrew Radford, Radford Construction Services Ltd

Andrew and the team at Radford Construction Services Ltd came to the rescue of their client whose kitchen extension project had been blighted by rising material costs, work done by previous cowboy builders and family health issues. 

The team went above and beyond by being conscientious builders on site and keeping the client and their neighbours informed of any disruption. The client praised both their environmentally friendly building methods and their sympathetic approach to the building’s period features – notably working around plans to preserve a stained-glass window in the kitchen area.  

The homeowner was impressed with Andrew’s resourcefulness – especially with sourcing supplies during the peak of the materials’ crisis. The team spent hours on the phone finding bricks to match the existing 1920’s brickwork, travelling down from Co. Durham to Yorkshire to obtain them.  

They stated: ‘Attention to detail was evident throughout and we were again confident that our extension was in safe capable hands. A very good experience for us, we think they are “The Dream Team.”’ 

The client stated: ‘He showed he was trustworthy from the start, and we were confident that any advice offered was sound and well thought out. Attention to detail was evident throughout and we were again confident that our extension was in safe capable hands. A very good experience for us, we think they are “The Dream Team.”’ 

Find out more about Radford Construction Services Ltd

Northern Counties House Builder Award winner – Mcknight & Son Builders

Northern Counties House Builder Award – Mcknight & Son Builders

Set in a conservation area and within the grounds of a Grade II listed property, Mcknight & Son Builders’ winning project is a characterful holiday let. The turreted castle overlooks mature gardens and consists of a three bedroom property with an adjoining two bedroom self-contained wing.   

The owners were initially going to build simpler dormer bungalows but during lockdown decided on a more ambitious plan. As it’s within the boundaries of a listed building, gaining approval from a heritage officer could have thrown a spanner in the works, but after several meetings with Mcnight & Son Builders, along with the other stakeholders, everyone was on board.  

Holidaymakers can relax at the roof terrace bar, with glass panelling between the battlements both to keep them safe and to take advantage of the view. Taking the fortification motif further, the team installed arrow-slit windows to the tower, infilled with stained glass, casting pools of colour into the space inside. 

Find out more about Mcknight & Son Builders

Northern Counties Kitchen Project winner – Sheraton Design & Build Ltd

Northern Counties Kitchen Project – Sheraton Design & Build Ltd

As part of a larger house renovation undertaken by Sheraton Design & Build Ltd, the aim of this kitchen project was to transform the existing space by adding an extension and installing a new high spec kitchen with luxury features such as an eye-height double oven and concealed breakfast and drinks station in a built-in pantry. 

One of the challenges faced by the team was a late-stage decision to add underfloor heating. The extension had already been built, including the concrete floor which would need to be broken to install the heating Sheraton were able to prioritise the clients’ needs to make this happen.  

The judges noted the fact that ‘the company went above and beyond to help the client get the job done, offering to house them and also sending ideas for the design, great finished project’.  

 Find out more about Sheraton Design & build Ltd

Northern Counties Large Renovation Project winner – J Staley (Stonework) Ltd

Northern Counties Large Renovation Project – J Staley (Stonework) Ltd

J Stanley (Stonework) Ltd took on the renovation of this Georgian cottage and its outbuildings, set in the heart of Richmond. They demolished part of the outbuildings to make way for a rear extension to increase living space.  

The team were conscious that planners in small market towns can be apprehensive of modern architecture. To smooth the planning process, materials were chosen that fit sensitively into the local environment, including timber decking, salvaged stone from the outbuildings, which was used for dry stone walls, as well as some highly energy efficient glazing. 

The finished home blends a lateral living space with the outdoors via an expanse of glass. A hidden snug and study are cleverly positioned in the old vaulted stable building, which has been seamlessly adopted into the ground floor. The overall effect is a modern, stylish home that also respects its heritage. 

The clients chose the team for J Staley (Stonework) Ltd’s track record of working on heritage and listed buildings. The client explained: ‘We wanted to use someone who understood the intricacies and complexities of an old building in a conservation area whilst also being able to give us the wow factor we were looking for.’ Adding, ‘we couldn’t be more pleased with the result.’ 

Find out more about J Staley (Stonework) Ltd

Large Renovation Project (Highly Commended) – A & B Joinery

Northern Counties Large Renovation Project (Highly Commended) – A & B Joinery

A & B Joinery undertook this sympathetic renovation of a 240-year-old Grade II listed riverside cottage, in the North York Moors National Park. They worked closely with the client, architect and planners and conservationists, using traditional techniques and materials throughout in keeping with planning guidelines. The build team undertook comprehensive training with a lime mortar specialist to ensure repointing the herringbone-tooled sandstone stayed as true to original as possible.  

One of the main objectives was to convert the loft into two new bedrooms with ensuites, which was challenging within planning constraints. The original staircase had to be retained under planning terms, but was not strong enough to be used. So, the team built an extra staircase leaving the original in situ. They also worked brilliantly with the National Park Conservation Officers, particularly regarding the need to use traditional handmade pantiles, using lime mortar and lime plaster thorughout. They incorporated  Yorkshire sash windows into the renovation to meet conservation standards, complete with elegant window bars. 

The judges praised the ‘bringing together of old and new’ and their clients were pleased with the outcome, as the property now forms part of their estate’s holiday let portfolio. They said: ‘Despite the complications and impact of Covid during the build, it was delivered to an excellent standard, and on budget which is testament to Nigel’s expert project management and attention to detail when quoting.’ 

Find out more about A & B Joinery

Northern Counties Medium Renovation Project winner – Scott Bricklaying and Building Limited

Northern Counties Medium Renovation Project – Scott Bricklaying and Building Limited

The judges praised this double-height rear extension as a ‘modern take on a traditional build’. Scott Bricklaying and Building Limited were tasked with maximising space on the first floor, replacing an existing balcony but retaining the amazing views from that vantage point. To achieve this, they made use of aluminium bifold doors on both ground and first floor levels, providing floor-to-ceiling glazing. A staircase was designed to complement this in black steel with open oak treads. 

The main challenge on site was the different levels of access. Scaffolding was used to make this easier and safe. A spider crane was hired from a local company to manoeuvre heavy panels of glass and steel beams – thanks to a friendly neighbour providing access from their driveway. 

Their clients commented that, ‘my partner and I can be quite demanding in our expectations. However, Scott’s attention to detail surpassed ours and he has certainly left us with an amazing, beautiful home.’ 

Find out more about Scott Bricklaying and Building Limited

Medium Renovation Project (Highly Commended) – Carrock Homes Ltd

Northern Counties Medium Renovation Project (Highly Commended) – Carrock Homes Ltd

This small but perfectly formed annexe was designed and built from scratch by Carrock Homes Ltd in Penrith, Cumbria. It provides independent living for an elderly family member of the clients in the garden of their Victorian house, where help is on hand should they need it.  

Built using locally salvaged limestone, slate and oak, it’s a beautiful but robust building built which will stand the test of time. The architecture of the new building fits seamlessly with the design of the original dwelling, but the interior provides an accessible space for wheelchair access and incorporates features that help with its resident’s mobility needs. The property is slightly sunken, to reduce the height of the building, and the resident can enjoy use of a patio, which is directly accessible from their main living space. The large expanse of the gable-end provides a canvas for the exceptional skills of local craftspeople, with an integrated slate tree mural. 

Find out more about Carrock Homes Ltd

Thank you to our event supporter

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

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 Northern Counties judges

John Askew


Michaela Wain

Michaela Wain

Managing Director , Design and Build UK, Vantage Utility Connections, Property Ninjas and Framework Marketing

Nikki Davis

Nikki Davis

Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Leeds College of Building