Issue 6 | January/February 2016

All smiles for students as flagship

school is completed ahead of schedule

Hundreds of children aged between four and 18 are benefiting from a project which has

seen Warwickshire’s first ever combined primary and secondary school open its doors.

Aylesford School in Warwickshire welcomed 210 more pupils this academic year

Pictured: Mayor Mandy Littlejohn cuts the cake with school children to celebrate

the official opening of Aylesford School

Read the full story

> PAGE 4

We would love to hear your

views on this newsletter and

your suggestions on any stories

you would like to see included.

For more information on empa visit

Or email

empa community



> PAGE 3

Wates inspires...

> PAGE 13

Ashe creates 500 extra school places

> PAGE 5

Communicating the achievable

> PAGE 14

Dancing to a new tune...

> PAGE 8


Around the

Jeakins Weir got its skates on...

> PAGE 16

Here at empa we deliver projects across

the whole of the wider East Midlands

region for all public sector bodies.

Apprentices ‘join’

construction team

> PAGE 17







Building the next


Girls get their

hands dirty

> PAGE 10





> PAGE 6

Stags raise roof at

Mansfield School









empa forum

prepares for lift off

> PAGE 15

> PAGE 12

All smiles for


> PAGE 4





Fletton House

refurb creates new

community hub

> PAGE 18






empa community


Welcome to the

latest edition of

empa community.

Alan Coole

head of empa

T: 0115 958 3200

M: 07824 621491

January is a time for reflection and

I’m pleased to say that 2015 was yet

another successful year for empa

and its partners.

Not only have we helped to restore historic buildings,

regenerate city centres and improve education, leisure and

community facilities for people across the East Midlands,

empa has helped to create 146 new jobs through its

dedicated training academy.

But what’s our focus for 2016? With more than 160 public

sector organisations on board so far, we are always working

to increase this, helping more organisations save money and

see the benefits of working with a framework organisation.

This year we are also pledging to work more closely with

SMEs to help them grow and implement strategies to

improve the way they do business and help support the

increasing demand within the construction industry.

Although there is certainly more construction work around

than there was this time 12 months ago, this has created

its own problems in terms of quality of staff and quality in

the supply chain. By working with Chambers of Commerce

and SMEs we hope to encourage expansion and provide

the support needed to aid growth.

Another key focus for empa is building on the success

of the empa Training Academy, which has already made

a huge impact on creating much-needed learning

opportunities. Our new “Adopt a School” strategy will

bolster this even further at a time when tackling the skills

gap is more pertinent than ever.

Lastly, our annual empa forum is fast approaching -

make sure that 26th February is in your diaries. It’s a great

opportunity to showcase some of the excellent projects

that have been delivered across the region by our partners

over the last year and keep up to speed with the issues

affecting public sector bodies, such as public sector

procurement, supply chain and case law.

It’s not often that we have the opportunity to see current

clients and prospective clients face-to-face so it really is

worthwhile coming along to the event.

It’s a free event and takes place from 8:30am until

2pm at the National Space Centre in Leicester, so

make sure you register your attendance by emailing – we look forward to

seeing you there.

Please let us know your thoughts about how

best to communicate with you by emailing:


created through empa’s

dedicated training academy

new jobs


public sector organisations

on board

For more information on empa visit or email



empa community


All smiles for students as flagship school is

completed ahead of schedule

Hundreds of children aged between

four and 18 are benefiting from a

project which has seen Warwickshire’s

first ever combined primary and

secondary school open its doors.

The collaborative project between

empa partner, Ashe Construction,

and Scape Design was completed

ahead of schedule without any

post-build concerns and was made

possible after a £2.7 million investment

by Warwickshire County Council.

“We ensured that we had a great working relationship

with all parties involved throughout the process,

which helped us work to budget and on time, without

impacting on the academy’s day-to-day operations.”

Head of empa, Alan Coole, added: “This is a significant

project that will benefit hundreds of school children

in Warwickshire. The expansion has not only created

new facilities for learning but has met the needs of the

community by providing school places in line with the

area’s requirements.”

Seven state-of-the-art classrooms, three breakout

rooms and a main school hall were designed and

built to ensure that 210 additional pupils were able to

attend the school this academic year.

Warwickshire County Council’s design and major

projects manager, Gordon O’Dell, said: “Aylesford

School is the first all-through primary and secondary

school in Warwickshire, which addresses the increasing

numbers of pupils as part of the Government’s targeted

basic need programme.

“The design and construction works for the new primary

building were delivered to tight timescales, which was

successfully done through partnership working between

the council, Scape and Ashe Construction.”

Partnerships director at Ashe Construction, Sheridan

McKnight said: “It was a great project to be a part of and

the construction works went extremely well, finishing

two weeks ahead of the scheduled programme.

Aylesford School

The partnership between Ashe, the Scape Design team

and the school was extremely successful.

The teachers and school governors are extremely happy

and we are all delighted with the quality of the work and

the finished product. We were able to accept the new

primary school intake at the start of September 2015

with confidence, allowing 16 new students to join us in

the reception classes. The amount of interest for the next

academic year is huge.”

Steve Hall, Aylesford School head teacher


empa community


Ashe Construction creates 500

extra school places thanks to

£5.5 million investment

Left to right – Sheridan McKnight

(Ashe Construction), Justin Howard

(Ashe Construction), Andrew

Hardcastle (Scape Design),

Steve Hall (head teacher) at

Aylesford School’s big opening

Ashe Construction creates 500 extra school places

thanks to £5.5 million investment

More than 500 extra school places have

been created across Warwickshire this

academic year as a result of expansion

work delivered by empa partner,

Ashe Construction.

Four schools including Coten End Primary School in

Coten End, Lapworth Primary School near Solihull, All

Saints School and Aylesford School in Warwick have all

been extended as part of a £5.5 million investment by

Warwickshire County Council.

Head of empa, Alan Coole, added: “These expansion

projects will benefit hundreds of school children

throughout Warwickshire. Ashe Construction has done a

fantastic job with each of the schools and it is brilliant to be

able to see the pupils, staff and parents happy and enjoying

their new and improved surroundings.”

Lapworth Primary School’s new classrooms completed

by Ashe Construction

The finished projects were part of the council’s plans to

meet high demand for extra school places in the area and

included 18 new classrooms across the four schools, as

well as new staff rooms, corridors, office spaces, toilets,

school halls and a single storey building.

Warwickshire County Council’s design and major projects

manager, Gordon O’Dell, added: “These new school

buildings have provided additional pupil places, which

addresses the increasing number of primary-age children

in Warwickshire and is part of the council’s investment

strategy for its education needs.

Coten End Primary School was one of the schools which

benefited from the £5.5m investment

Partnerships director at Ashe Construction, Sheridan

McKnight, is delighted with the finished projects. He said:

“We had a great partnership with each school ensuring

that they were aware of our progression and plans every

step of the way and everyone worked well together to

minimise the impact of the work. The children, parents

and staff are all very happy with the finished projects.”

For more information on empa visit or email


empa community


Building the

next generation

Surveying activity in action with Lindum’s Jo Holmes and Leza Hyde

guiding students through the process

More than one thousand students from

primary and secondary schools across

Lincolnshire took part in an event which

aimed to create a positive image for

careers in construction.

The annual Construction Week event organised by the

Lincoln Group Training Association (LGTA) takes place at the

Lincolnshire Showground every year and provides sample

craft, technical and professional construction activities.

empa partner, Lindum, played a lead role in the event to

educate young people about the range of opportunities

available in the modern construction sector.

Visitors had the chance to gain hands-on experience

across a range of construction activities with Lindum,

supported by local JCB Dealership TC Harrison, running

the most popular of all the exercises ‘the mini digger

experience’ where participants can operate a digger –

popular with students, teachers and visiting dignitaries!

Lindum employees, including a number of apprentices and

graduates, were on hand at the last event to run activities

and talk to visitors about the range of occupations the

construction sector has to offer.

Creating a positive image for careers

in construction and changing out of date or

inaccurate perceptions surrounding

the sector is paramount”

Sara Hobson, Lindum Group training manager

‘Hook a Duck’ just one of the

tasks students trying out under

the experienced direction of

Lindum Plant’s Nick Wright


empa community


Procuring programmes of work

Reflecting on 2015, Glenn Slater, business

development director for Woodhead Group

believes it’s been a successful year to date

with the company delivering a variety of

construction projects through the empa

framework, but is also mindful of a perfect

storm brewing.

There’s been no mistaking the increase in workload from

our public sector clients in the last year. But I can’t help

but wonder if further demands from central government

for local authorities to make savings of 30% and the

wintery weather could be synonymous with the future of

the construction industry if we’re not careful.

The construction industry is complex; we must have good

relationships with our supply chain to ensure that we can

deliver work for clients when it’s needed, but how can our

supply chain trust us to provide them with work when we

don’t have a reliable pipeline ourselves?

I sympathise with local authorities and public sector bodies

who have their hands tied. How can they effectively plan

construction projects and get best value for money with such

tight constraints? They can’t – and this needs to change.

That’s one of the benefits of delivering work through the

empa framework. More than 50% of labour and spend is

within 20 miles of a project – something which few other

frameworks can offer.

Growing workloads coupled with rising costs and an

increasing skills shortage means it could cause problems

in the future. If we’re being asked to deliver more work

with fewer employees at rising costs, will the industry

overheat? And how do we continue to invest in the next

generation of construction?

We want to work closely with our clients to give them the

best value for money and increase confidence in the market.

We are in a position to help clients reduce costs and

maximise spend to benefit their local area. Ironically,

the current year-by-year procurement processes do

the opposite.

Something as simple as sharing their planned

programmes of work would mean contractors were

able to make longer-term commitments to their

subcontractors. It’s up to clients and contractors to work

together to prove that true partnership working can

deliver the cost efficiencies and social value outcomes

the government and local communities are looking for.

This reliable pipeline of work not only means clients can

minimise the impact of year-on-year price increases,

but also that our industry can invest in training and

development to tackle the skills gap.

Apprenticeship schemes last at least three years, further

demonstrating the benefits that come with procuring

programmes of work – no one wants to be in a position where

they have to let an apprentice go after one year as there is no

work or funding to support them. Furthermore it is difficult for

contractors and subcontractors to commit to skills training

and job creation without a reliable pipeline of work.

But it’s not just about money. Our public sector clients

have a social and economic responsibility too which can be

influenced by using empa and engaging the local supply

chain. They are in a position to help boost the economy

and what better way to do this than committing to long-term

programmes of work which would, in turn, invest in the

skills gap, create training opportunities and secure jobs.

Glenn Slater

Business development


One of the easiest ways our clients

can save money is to look at long-term

programmes of work and allocate

schemes of work in advance.”

For more information on empa visit or email


empa community


empa and Wates dancing to a new tune in Nottingham

A former hosiery factory in Nottingham

is being transformed into a major new

hub for the creative industries thanks to

the expert team at empa and its partner,

Wates Construction.

The £7.2 million scheme on Dakeyne Street in Sneinton,

Nottingham will be a new home for creative industries

including the international dance development agency and

charity Dance4.

Working to develop 21st century dance, Dance4 has been

fundraising to open a new International Centre for Dance

and Choreography in the building which will include three

state-of-the-art, accessible studios. The new centre will

help Dance4 continue its work across the East Midlands

and further afield, making dance accessible to all and

furthering the professional development of local and

national artists.

Nottingham City Council secured

an initial funding grant for the

Creative Catalyst project from the

European Regional Development

Fund (ERDF) to redevelop the

site into workshops, offices and

studio units alongside meeting

rooms and networking spaces.

The site will provide a further boost to Nottingham’s

Creative Quarter and also complement the ongoing

improvement of Sneinton Market.

The centre will be an important voice for dance in

the UK and an important creative resource for the

region. It will also enable us to undertake more

engagement work with local communities.

This is a wonderful opportunity which will enable

us to expand the delivery and scope of our activity,

creating a new centre which will drive forward

innovation and inspire the very best international

artists to come and work in Nottingham and provide

extraordinary experiences for people who live and

work in the city.”

Paul Russ,

chief executive of Dance4

Paul Russ, artistic


executive for

Dance4. (Photo by

Shawn Ryan)

Paul Russ, chief executive of Dance4, said moving into

the building would allow Dance4 to grow as a production

house and as a training, commissioning and presenting

organisation for 21st century choreography.

Story continued on page 9


empa community


Dance4 is offering businesses a number of sponsorship

opportunities to support inclusion and help bring

more dance to more people by engaging the public as

participants in the creation, production and presentation

of new dance works, supporting dancers with and

without disabilities and giving young people extraordinary

opportunities to further their training.

There is a wide range of benefits for businesses

including the naming of a studio, meeting room

or event.

For more information visit

or contact

We’re incredibly proud to be

working on such a prestigious

project for Nottingham and delighted

that our efforts to engage the

community in the Sneinton area

have been so successful.”

Richard Scarrott,

business unit director

at Wates Construction,


Nottingham City Council has worked closely with Dance4

to ensure the new space benefits local residents and

businesses, as well as further boosting the Creative

Quarter, which is proving to be a flagship location for

creative companies, creating over 600 jobs since 2012.

This facility will be a great addition to the city’s

award-winning Creative Quarter, which has already

supported so many new and existing businesses.

“We’re pleased that we’ve been able to attract funding

from Europe to invest in these projects, which are

not only helping to kick-start further regeneration

but also support the city’s creative industries and the

local economy.”

Councillor Jon Collins,

leader of Nottingham City Council

and portfolio holder for strategic regeneration

empa partner Wates

has received high

praise from local residents

for its efforts to engage the

community during building works,

organising tours of the site, providing

free window cleaning and arranging

regular road sweeping.

The new centre is to open in summer 2016.

The Creative Catalyst project is part-financed by the European

Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department

for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for

the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of

the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas

stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will

support local businesses and create jobs.

For more information on empa visit or email


empa community


Girls get their hands dirty

at construction careers day

Female pupils from schools across

Nottinghamshire had the opportunity

to learn about a career in construction,

thanks to an event organised by the empa

Training Academy.

55 pupils aged 14 and 15 learnt about basic joinery, painting

and decorating and engineering during practical workshops,

and had the opportunity to speak with female apprentices

and construction workers about their experiences.

Apprentice Courtney Curzon and trainee site manager

Beth Chamberlain from G F Tomlinson delivered a

workshop on civil engineering.

They chatted to pupils aged 14 to 15 from Ashfield

Comprehensive School, Top Valley Academy, Farnborough

Academy, Bulwell Academy and Bluecoat Academy

and demonstrated basic techniques, such as long

distance measuring.

Courtney told the girls: “It took me a while to realise what

I wanted to do before I decided that construction was for

me. I love that I have something different to do every day. I

really enjoy my job and that I get a wage at my age, it’s never

boring and I’m getting to learn something new all the time.”

In the last year, the Training Academy has:






Training Days





Work Experience








Beth added: “I took part in the apprentice scheme at

G F Tomlinson and now I’m lucky enough to be training

for the role of site manager.”

Other professionals and apprentices from Ashe

Construction, Woodhead Group, G F Tomlinson, CITB,

CT Skills Training Programme, The Dukeries Academy

and Bramley Hedge Construction helped to deliver the

workshops and offer students career advice during

the event at Robert Woodhead’s office in Edwinstowe,

Mansfield on 11th December.

We are really keen to promote

opportunities for young women

in the construction sector

and dispel the myths about

working in the industry. I was

so pleased to see how many

girls said they would consider

a career in construction at

the end of the day.”

Ashreen Seethal,

empa Training Academy


Pupils from Farnborough Academy have a go at basic

engineering at G F Tomlinson’s workshop


empa community


Woodhead builds

futures with North

Lindsey College

Students from North Lindsey College

joined empa partner, Woodhead Group

to gain some valuable work experience

as part of a development on site at the

North Lincolnshire college.

Three construction students from the college were

welcomed on the bio-science laboratory site; two

students gained knowledge and skills in bricklaying

and a third shadowed the site manager to learn about

managing a construction site.

As well as being the first empa project to be delivered

within North Lincolnshire, the scheme has brought

much-needed learning opportunities to students

currently training for a future in construction.

Students from North Lindsey College had the

opportunity to learn about site management,

thanks to the work of empa partner, Woodhead

Bridging the skills gap is a topic high on empa’s

agenda. Woodhead is actively working with

existing clients, like North Lindsey College,

to create learning opportunities as and when

they arise, providing invaluable learning

opportunities for young people.”

Alan Coole, head of empa

This was a fantastic opportunity for the construction

students to gain some invaluable experience and

employability skills with Woodhead.

The students have experienced all aspects of

construction within their vocational areas and have

had the full support from tradespeople on site and

Pat, the site manager.”

Stuart Barnard, curriculum leader for

construction at North Lindsey College

Working to deliver a university grade bio-science

laboratory as part of a £300k improvement project to an

existing STEM building, the team from Woodhead also

visited students from the college to share knowledge and

experience about the construction industry focusing on the

firm’s recent work to restore Lincoln Castle.

Katie Stammers, project coordinator for Woodhead, said:

“Being able to support students who are directly benefiting

from the work that we are undertaking is great. The work

experience opportunities that we have been able to provide

means that students are able to gain first hand site

experience right on their doorstep.

“Supporting this with additional talks on our experiences

within the construction industry, either as a project

manager, quantity surveyor or a site manager, will

hopefully further inspire the students to explore the

opportunities open to them in construction.”

For more information on empa visit or email

2 11

empa community


Stags raise roof at Mansfield School as

Woodhead replaces it

Primary school children from Asquith

School got the chance to take penalties

against Mansfield Town FC mascot,

Sammy Stag, when members of the

team paid a visit to the school where

empa partner, Woodhead Group is

improving facilities.

MTFC stars Nicky Hunt, Jamie McGuire and Jack

Thomas, joined the club’s popular mascot, Sammy Stag

for a kick around with pupils from the school.

We’ve enjoyed working on Asquith School and it

was great to be able to give something back to

the pupils. The kids really enjoyed meeting the

players and having a go at taking some penalties

against Sammy Stag.”

Woodhead Group is carrying out a wide range of

improvement works at the Asquith Street school through

the empa framework including roof improvements,

damp-proofing works, minor mechanical works, ceiling

grid replacements, new lighting, new fire alarms and

external door replacements.

Working alongside Woodhead is local electrical contractor,

Lukes & Godwin. The firm’s owner, Steve Middleton,

doubles up as a director at Mansfield Town FC and invited

members of the team to come along and meet the children.

As part of its commitment to working with local communities,

Woodhead also held a drawing competition with the pupils,

who have been working to design their favourite characters

over the half term. The winner was presented with tickets

for the Mansfield Town vs Hartlepool game, which were also

donated by Lukes & Godwin.

Stags’ captain Nicky Hunt said: “We thoroughly enjoyed our

visit to Asquith School and we hope the children benefited

from the experience. We consider it a privilege to be able to

do things such as this in the local community,” he added.

Paul Cross,

Woodhead site manager

As well as delivering major building projects,

empa also works to maintain and improve

existing facilities like this one. Although small,

the work is imperative to keep the building safe

and secure.”

Alan Coole,

Head of empa

Pupils and staff at Asquith School welcome Sammy

the Stag for a kick about


empa community


Serdar Arslan (Wates’

site engineer) on site with

students from Young Leaders

Programme Nikita Joharchi,

pictured at Flint Avenue

Wates inspires the ‘young leaders’ of the future

Young people are being inspired to

consider a career in construction thanks

to Wates Construction’s commitment to

community investment at an affordable

homes building site in Mansfield.

The empa partner has already offered eight work

experience and traineeships alongside five apprentice

positions, with six brand-new jobs created. Alongside

this they have also made 82 visits to colleges and

schools to give pupils an insight into the industry and

the careers on offer.

As part of this programme of visits, Wates has worked with

Brunts Academy to create training and work experience

opportunities including a ‘Young Leaders’ programme and

a ‘Women Into Construction’ programme.

Nikita Joharchi, a student at Brunts Academy, secured

a work placement with Wates after taking part in a

‘Women Into Construction’ workshop.

“It’s been a pleasure to welcome these students on

to site,” said Wates’ project manager, Graham Lonsdale.

“Affording them the opportunity to see the build in progress

gives them a real insight into potential future careers

in the construction industry.”

I’m currently considering a career in either

architecture, web development or software

engineering. Once I’ve finished my GCSEs I shall

be fulfilling my A-levels and then going to university.

I’m enjoying learning about the different jobs

within the construction industry and the different

stages and elements that are involved in the

construction process.”

Nikita Joharchi,

Student at Brunts Academy

Alan Coole, head of empa added: “The empa partners are

committed to providing the skills and experience needed

to help bridge the skills gap in our industry. Wates’ work at

Flint Avenue is just one example of the work being delivered

across the Midlands which is offering real opportunities for

young people to develop a career in construction.”

For more information on empa visit or email


empa community



the achievable

Communicating the achievable can help

make or break a relationship at the

beginning of a new construction project

explains Justin Howard, framework

manager for Ashe Construction.

To build relationships and deliver successful

construction projects, we need to revive the culture

of saying ‘no’ to the impossible.

Although this could be perceived as an obstructive or

difficult thing, helping the client and end user understand

what can and can’t be achieved at an early stage can earn

respect and allow for plans to accommodate and deliver

the best possible solution.

During my time working in construction I have listened

to advice from colleagues and senior managers and try

to take their opinions on board. One respected colleague

once said: ‘Justin, always give them the bad news early’.

On a recent empa project, Ashe was asked to deliver and

complete an entire project for summer 2015 and the client

highlighted the crucial nature of handing over the entire

project on time. This was a new relationship Ashe wanted to

nurture, but owing to the complexities of the work required

and the time constraints, the whole project simply couldn’t

be delivered by the client’s requested end date.

It would have been easy to say ‘yes’ there and then, however

after being in a similar position before, I had to say ‘no’.

We are led to believe in an industry where programme and

cost are key to securing new works, that saying we will not

be able to deliver the project to time, or within budget are

fairly big deal breakers.

However, despite the initial obstacle we discussed the

issues and a plan was formed to deliver half the areas

for a September date; a more realistic, cost-effective and

safer approach.

Communicating the achievable meant this solution was

accepted by the client and investigating the client’s real need.

‘No’ became a ‘yes’ and the project was planned perfectly

with the summer phases delivered on time and to budget.

With the ‘bad news early’ approach the project was a huge

success with a positive outcome.

In our role as construction professionals we have a duty to

educate and advise clients on realistic construction deadlines

and budgets. This is not to start trumpeting about how good

we are, it’s to demonstrate that ‘no’ can be a positive.

What is it about the ‘no’ word which we are all scared of

at times? Is it because early in a relationship it’s easier to

say ‘yes’? It’s more acceptable to agree and deal with the

consequences later.

In some respects a ‘no’ is an early warning notice and

creates an opportunity to stop and look at how we can

change to turn it into a ‘yes’.

I respect an organisation where the ‘no’ word starts at the

top. This in itself will help reduce costs, limits change and

gives the construction industry the respect its knowledge

and expertise deserves.

It takes a very brave contractor to say ‘no’ and likewise it

takes courage and respect for a client to hear ‘no’ and use

the advice to turn the project into a ‘yes’.

“Communicating the achievable can help make

or break a relationship at the beginning of a new

construction project”

Justin Howard

framework manager

Ashe Construction


empa community


More than 100 people are expected

to attend this year’s empa forum

empa Forum prepares for lift off at

National Space Centre

Preparations for the 2016 empa Forum are

currently underway and the annual event is

set to welcome a host of keynote speakers

in February and more than 100 guests.

Taking place at Leicester’s National Space Centre on

Friday 26th February, the forum will take a look at

empa’s achievements from the past 12 months and

discuss what the future holds for construction this year.

The event is free and open to all existing clients and other

public sector organisations who want to learn more about

the benefits of working with empa.

Guest speaker, Councillor Nick McDonald from

Nottingham City Council will talk about how regeneration

projects can help stimulate local growth from his own

experiences. There will also be a number of workshops

for attendees on BIM, the latest case law, public sector

procurement and supply chain.

Head of empa, Alan Coole, is delighted with how

informative and popular the event has become over the

past six years and is excited to meet even more clients at

this year’s event.

He said: “The past 12 months have been a fantastic year

for empa. We took on some large and significant projects

in the wider East Midlands, as well as completing a

number of successful framework contracts.

“We pride ourselves on delivering tangible results,

providing each project to a high standard and with great

value for money. Therefore, it is important that in an era

where the construction industry is constantly changing, we

are able to provide industry experts with important news

and updates through our empa Forum.”

Alan added: “More than 100 people attend the empa Forum

each year and we are expecting the event to be even more

popular this year. We look forward to seeing a number of

our partners and familiar faces among the attendees.”

The empa Forum will take place from

8:30am to 2pm on Friday 26th February.

To register for your free place, please


Join the conversation on Twitter at


The free event is a great opportunity to network and meet

colleagues and partners across the Midlands

For more information on empa visit or email

2 15

empa community


Jeakins Weir got its skates

on to complete park ahead

of schedule

Christmas came early for Melton

Borough Council as the town’s new

£330,000 skate park was completed

ahead of schedule last month.

The state-of-the-art skate park was completed before

the January completion date and within budget thanks to

empa partner, Jeakins Weir.

The new park includes features for skateboarders,

roller skaters, BMX riders and scooter users as well as

offering both beginner sections as well as ‘expert only’

structures providing a much-improved facility in the

heart of the community.

Business development manager, Tony Shipley at Jeakins

Weir, said the firm was pleased to have worked with

Melton Borough Council on such a unique project.

“This has been a really interesting job for us. The new and

improved park was a fabulous Christmas present for the

people of Melton and I am sure it will be well used by the

local community,” he said.

We felt it was important to support

the building of a new skate park as we

understand how popular this facility is to

the skaters in and around Melton. Now this

fabulous new skate park is completed we are

sure it will attract wheeled sports participants

of all kinds from all over the East Midlands

and further afield, adding yet another reason

to visit our vibrant and bustling town.”

Pam Posnett,

Melton Borough Councillor

I’m delighted this project

will make it easier for young

people to exercise and enjoy

skating; I’m confident the

park will have a huge impact

on the people of Melton and

will generate interest from

the surrounding area to help

boost the local economy.”

Alan Coole

head of empa

People of all ages are enjoying the new skate park in Melton

2 16

empa community


L-R David Goodman,

apprentice and

Andy Morris,

Site Manager

Apprentices ‘join’ construction team

for major city building refurb

G F Tomlinson has welcomed two joinery

apprentices onto the site of a six-storey

building refurbishment at Byron House

in Nottingham.

17-year-old Dave Goodman and 19-year-old Mitchell

Spencer, have joined the 30-strong project team to

gain hands-on skills as part of the firm’s ongoing

commitment to help tackle the skills gap.

Both apprentices secured the opportunity through the

empa Training Academy which recruited 40 apprentices

last year in a range of key skills such as building, joinery,

site management and surveying.

When asked about his experiences of working at

Byron House, Dave said: “I would really recommend

doing an apprenticeship to anyone who is thinking

about it. I’ve been having a great time and learning

lots of new skills with the team.”

Byron House, owned by Nottingham City Council,

is scheduled to complete in March 2016.

Mitchell was interviewed by ITV about his

experiences of the training academy when the RICS

announced its highest skills shortage on record

since 2004. He said the opportunity to learn more

about joinery from G F Tomlinson has given him the

chance to put what he learnt at college, before his

apprenticeship, into practice.

For more information on empa visit or email


empa community


Fletton House refurb creates new community hub

A former hospital and workhouse in

Oundle that has sat empty for decades

now has a new lease of life thanks to

a £778,000 scheme delivered by empa

partner, Jeakins Weir.

Fletton House is now being used as a community hub

offering space for local groups, youth clubs, pre-school

activities and council workers.

A two–storey extension,

in-depth internal and

external refurbishment

and new dance studio

was officially unveiled at

a ceremony in December

with the Mayor Paul King

and local dignitaries.

Councillor Anne Fitzgerald for Oundle Town Council

said she was pleased to see this much-loved building

back in use.

“I am thrilled to see Fletton House put back to such good

use. This building has been part of the local community

for such a long time and now can be used as a space for

people of all ages,” she said.

“The work has been completed to a very high standard

by Jeakins Weir, thank you to the team and empa for our

new facility.”

Mayor Paul King also commented: “I’m really grateful for

the hard work of everyone in the community who have

helped turn the vision of Fletton House into a reality. The

finished product is fantastic and will play a big part in the

community’s future.”

Fletton House has been transformed with an

extension and major works inside and out

including new heating, electrics, plumbing

and gas works, as well as new doors,

windows and exterior works to the building

and roof. We completed the works in 42

weeks and I am delighted to see the building

being put to good use.”

Alistair Weir,

managing director

Jeakins Weir

Left to right: Mayor of Oundle, Paul

King, Cllr Ann Fitzgerald, MD of

Jeakins Weir, Alistair Weir

2 18

empa community


Work begins on £7.5 million

Market Harborough health


People in and around Leicestershire are set

to benefit from state-of-the-art healthcare

facilities in Market Harborough once a £7.5

million empa scheme is completed.

Morgan Sindall has started work on site to build the

landmark development which will offer a wide range

of healthcare services to the local community.

Outpatient services, including primary care, GP care,

diagnostics, an x-ray department, mental health

services, physiotherapy and occupational therapy and

space for non-clinical and administrative services will

be delivered on site.

Local Government officials, NHS representatives, the

Morgan Sindall project team and empa framework

representatives marked the start of construction with a

ground-breaking ceremony in December.

Richard Fielding, area director at Morgan Sindall,

said: “We have previously delivered a large number of

healthcare developments in a range of sizes and in very

different locations and we look forward to bringing our

experience to bear on this project.”

L-R: Elliot Howard-Jones (NHS England, Central Midlands),

Alex Statham (Faithful and Gould), Richard Frape (Morgan Sindall),

Cllr. Blake Pain (Harborough District Council), Alan Coole (empa),

Richard Palin (Rutland Clinical Commissioning Group),

Richard Fielding (Morgan Sindall)

Improving facilities for local communities is

at the heart of what we do at empa. This NHS

construction project is one we are delighted to see

start on site. Not only will this scheme save the

taxpayer money but it will have a real and lasting

impact on the people of Leicestershire too.”

Alan Coole,

head of empa

Your health and safety news

Did you know?

Work at height is the single biggest cause of fatal

and serious injuries, but empa’s Health, Safety

and Environment Steering Group is working with

all partners and clients to help minimise this, and

other risks such as exposure to lead paint.

To receive further information about safety on site email to receive the group’s

quarterly newsletter.

Some top tips for improving

standards on site include:

• Assemble items on the ground before

working at height

• Use scaffolds with double guard rails

and toe boards

• Safety nets and harnesses will

minimise injury during a fall

• Provide clean facilities for separate

storage of clothing when working with

lead paint

• Provide dedicated skin cleanses and

pre-work skin creams

For more information on empa visit or email


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