Win £21K with YBF Ltd

To celebrate our upcoming 125th anniversary, Yorkshire Builders Federation Ltd are launching a unique event to support the building and construction community in Yorkshire.

We are offering 21 prizes of £1,000 for companies within the building and construction industry in Yorkshire. For the chance to win, we are asking companies to tell us what they have implemented within their company that will benefit the industry.

These might include (but not limited to):

  • Supporting apprentices and training
  • Establishing improved health and safety
  • Effective material procurement
  • Improving delivery methods
  • Proven winning work strategies
  • Supporting the CSR or environmental agendas

Winners will also receive a free business review from Yorkshire Builders Federation.

Paul Senior, Interim Chair of Yorkshire Builders Federation Ltd commented on the initiative:

“As we approach our anniversary, we were eager to establish an initiative that would give something back to the industry we strive to support, which in turn will give something back to the community.

“21 For 21 is an opportunity for companies within Yorkshire’s construction and building industry to shout about what they have implemented within their businesses that benefits the industry. In return they could win a monetary prize and a free business ‘health check’ to support their businesses moving forward. We also want to shout about their good work and encourage others to look at how they can progress their companies further.”

At the end of the year, Yorkshire Builders Federation Ltd judges will evaluate the most innovative submission from the 21 winners, who will also receive a prize of a staggering £21,000.

To find out more and to enter please visit

EN:Procure appoint 70 construction consultants to new £10.4m framework

EN:Procure, the specialist procurement arm of social housing consortium Efficiency North Holdings Limited, has appointed 70 consultants to their new Consultancy Framework following an unprecedented level of interest, with over 600 tenders received from consultants operating across the North and East Midlands.

The new framework will provide a full range of leading edge, cost effective, easily accessible consultancy services for Efficiency North’s membership and customers in the social housing and wider public sector in Northern England. Designed predominantly for social housing, it can also be applied to other public buildings or premises owned and/or managed by Public Sector organisations, including, but not limited to, schools, universities, infrastructure sites and offices in Yorkshire & Humber, the East Midlands and North West.

The framework has an estimated total value of £10.4m across its 4-year lifetime with 8 lots offering the following range of construction-related consultancy services:

  • Employers Agent / Quantity Surveying
  • Architectural Services
  • Mechanical & Electrical Services
  • Structural & Civil Engineering Services
  • Building Surveying, Party Wall and Stock Conditioning Services
  • Principal Designer Services
  • Lifts Consultancy Services
  • Multi-disciplinary Consultancy Services

EN:Procure Director of Operations Emma Mottram commented,

“Following a detailed and challenging test of so many tenderers’ capacity, competency and efficiency we are delighted to have achieved such a diverse offer in the Framework, with a mix of larger national practices as well as smaller local businesses. We are very much looking forward to working with them to find solutions that meet the needs of our members and their communities in the current challenging economic climate.”

For more detailed information about framework lots and appointed contractors please use the following link.

Blog post – mental health at this time of year

When the clocks change in October, I always find myself checking if this is the good one or not? Do I get an extra hour in bed?

What I am sure about is that when I am out visiting clients, or delivering mental health training during these winter months, I often set off in darkness and come home in darkness, which does take a bit of adjusting to.

For some people it’s no surprise that they find themselves feeling low and less happy than in the summer months. The change of seasons can affect our mental health leaving some people with the ‘winter blues.’

Rachel Boyd from the mental health charity Mind, says that it is not unusual to feel more cheerful and energetic when the sun is shining and the days are longer, or to find that you eat more or sleep longer in winter.

For some people the change in the length of day and lack of sunshine can have a much greater impact on their mood and energy and lead to a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Rachel adds that “Most people who have SAD will be affected when the hours of daylight are shorter between December and February.”

It is important, in this season of goodwill, to take time out to relax, enjoy ourselves, spend time with loved ones and recharge our batteries.

It is also a time of year to:

  • Look out for our friends and families
  • Check in with work colleagues
  • Check in with neighbours
  • Keep in touch and keep talking

Little acts of kindness can have a big impact.

Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year!

Seamus Ferguson, BlueRidge Performance Management

Wildgoose Construction celebrates winning £20m of orders

Derbyshire firm Wildgoose Construction has won more than £20m worth of orders – including an £11m contract to build homes in Matlock where the firm was founded.

The firm has started work on the first phase of the Matlock Spa development, which will ultimately see 494 homes built on the site of the disused Cawdor Quarry, off Matlock Spa Road, on the edge of Matlock.

The first phase will see 15 houses and 38 apartments, in three blocks, built alongside retail space. The houses are due for completion by spring 2020 and the apartments by the end of 2020 and the scheme has been designed by David Morley Architects for Rifkind Associates. 

Wildgoose has also started work on an £8.2m 80-bed care home in Wixams, in Bedfordshire, for Hamberley Development.

The firm is also on site at Loughborough University, as part of a £1.6m contract to convert the existing Edward Herbert building into lecture theatres. The campus will be live throughout the build and as the existing building contains a busy kitchen and popular canteen, Wildgoose is bringing fridge freezer trailer to the site to ensure that health and safety of staff and hygiene requirements regarding food are met.

Jonathan Wildgoose, Executive Chairman, said he was delighted that the firm, now based in Alfreton, was returning to Matlock, where it was founded. He said:

“Our order book is in great shape and we are delighted to have won these significant orders.

“We are also thrilled to be working in education, at Loughborough University, and returning to Matlock, where our business was founded in 1896, to be part of a significant and stunning housing development.”

On top of these contract wins, Wildgoose has migrated to the new standard ISO 45001 18-months ahead of the deadline and also received more good news when it was announced that the company had won a RoSPA Gold award and the Outstanding Growth Award at the East Midlands Chamber Derbyshire Business Awards. Wildgoose won the same category in the East Midlands’ heats of the Chamber Business Awards 2019 and will now go on to the national final. Another recent award win came at the Insider Property Awards 2019 for Residential Development of the Year for the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

[Image: credited to David Morley Architects]

Humber Construction Hub officially opened by rising British weightlifting star Jenny Tong

The Humber Construction Hub held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to celebrate the grand opening of the innovative new construction skills hub in Bransholme, Hull.

The Hub has been created through a collaboration between EN:Able Futures and the Hull City-Wide Partnership, with funding from the Construction Skills Fund (CSF), funded by the Department for Education and run by CITB. 

The honour of cutting the ribbon was passed to rising British Weightlifting athlete and Britain’s youngest female international weightlifting coach Jenny Tong, who drew on her experiences of turning her life around from a young offender to disciplined athlete. 

Jenny said:

“I’m honoured to be opening the Humber Construction Hub. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t been given the opportunity to try new things. The Hub is all about providing opportunities for people to try new things, learn new skills and make positive choices towards starting a career in an industry that touches everyone’s lives, from housing to hospitals and roads to railways.” 

Working with local training providers, the Hub will offer on-site construction skills training in a realistic building environment and use its links with businesses in the sector to give learners additional work experience on real building projects. 

Learners will be supported to find jobs and obtain the required safety certifications needed to work on building sites, such as CSCS cards, making sure they are fully prepared for the roles they will be applying for. 

Launched in October 2018, the CSF is an early pilot of the National Retraining Scheme announced in the Industrial Strategy and 2018 Budget. The project is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and delivered by CITB with the aim of training more than 13,000 people to be ready for employment in the construction industry by March 2020. Humber Construction Hub is the 26th to be set up across the country, many of them in areas of high unemployment. 

Lee Parkinson, Chief Executive of Efficiency North, said:

“EN:Able Futures’ position in this important initiative continues the company’s expansion into the provision of high quality training and apprenticeships through a site based construction learning hub. Our relationships with the construction supply chain will complement the delivery model and our experience in managing the region’s shared apprenticeship scheme will assure the quality of the training provided. We are very much looking forward to welcoming new learners to the learning hub in Hull and we hope that it will be the first of others that we develop in the region and beyond.” 

Steve Radley, Policy Director of CITB, added:

“The CSF project and its unique training model offers significant opportunities for local people who may otherwise have been unable to join the construction industry. 

“To see the Humber Hub launch successfully is testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved. The opening ceremony is just the first step, and it’s an exciting time for all the candidates who will be given the crucial onsite experience they need to start a career in this exciting industry.”

Construction Apprenticeship Link Up

Venue: Nottingham Science Park in Nottingham

Date: Friday August 30th, 2019 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm (BST)

Info: Think Big Academy have partnered with Willmott Dixon to provide a fun filled day providing information for those interested in joining the Construction industry.

Looking for an apprenticeship? 
Like free food & music come and join us & share the word!

Music provided on the day by DJ Razor

To book, please use the following link.

EN:Procure now seeking new build housing contractors

EN:Procure is now calling for experienced and qualified contractors of all sizes to bid for a place of their new framework intended to deliver Affordable and Mixed Tenure New Build Housing Schemes for social housing landlords that are predominantly within Yorkshire and Humber.

The scope of works undertaken via the framework agreement will include site preparation, site remediation, associated civil engineering and infrastructure works, design, new build construction, refurbishment and the development of various property types.

The new framework has an anticipated maximum value of £340m. In addition to an innovative and EU compliant procurement route, it will offer a leading-edge supply chain for Efficiency North’s social housing landlord members, who own and manage more than 80% of the social housing stock within the region. It will also be instrumental in the success of EN’s strategy to support social mobility in the communities of member landlords by boosting local training and employment opportunities.

The framework has been flexibly structured to increase the number of opportunities available regardless of contractors’ size or location, and is divided into the following 4 Lots:

Lot 1 Schemes up to a maximum of 10 units

Lot 2 Schemes of between 8 and 35 units

Lot 3 Schemes of between 30 and 85 units

Lot 4 Schemes of 70 units and over

Interested contractors can apply via this link:

The deadline for submitting tenders is 17.00 on 26th September 2019.

The EN:Procure team are holding a Bidders Event for interested contractors on Thursday 22nd August 2019 at Efficiency North’s offices, 1st Floor, Sovereign Court, 300 Barrow Road, Meadowhall, Sheffield, S9 1JQ.  Details of how to register for the event are contained with the tender documentation available via the link.

Emma Mottram, EN:Procure Head of Operations, commented;

“The new framework presents a huge opportunity for us to create much needed high quality homes to help alleviate the current social housing crisis and regenerate local communities across our region.  It’s one of the next generation of EN:Procure’s intelligent procurement solutions and presents a huge opportunity for local contractors.  We’ve divided it into lots that we hope will encourage businesses of all sizes who can offer a fantastic standard of work. The Bidders Event will give contractors practical, easy to understand advice on what to expect, what we’re looking for, and key timings for the process. We’re keen to help a broad range of contractors get a place to create a framework of the highest quality and flexibility for our landlord membership.” 

Blogpost: Promoting Positive Mental Health

Hi All, my name is Seamus Ferguson and I run Blueridge, based in York, with my wife and business partner Sally.

Now in our 20th Year, and operating primarily within the construction sector, BlueRidge work with businesses of all sizes, to support their growth and development through building their people capacity and capability.  We deliver in the following key areas;

Leadership Development, Mental Health First Aid Training, Personality Profiling, Coaching and our Winning Edge team development programme.

I have been kindly invited to write a series of blogs over the next 12 months around the topics of health, well-being and safety; I look forward to engaging and it would be great to get your feedback and comments. 

What is mental health?

Stop and think for a minute: what would your answer be?

When asked this question many people will inadvertently describe mental health only in negative terms.

However, we all have mental health; in fact, there is no health without mental health.

Yes, the statistics for Mental health are shocking – in the construction industry 2 workers take their own lives every working day! However, we don’t need to be afraid of this subject of ‘Mental Health’ rather embrace it and realise that it touches many people.

We can work together to breakdown the stigma and normalise mental health and help each other to live full, connected, productive and happy lives.

Growing up in Barnsley, we didn’t own a car (don’t worry it’s not the Yorkshireman’s sketch) so we didn’t travel too far; however, we did have a real sense of community, looking out for your mates was just what you did. In a 24/7 digital economy we perhaps sometimes need to remind ourselves of this.

We can make a real difference to promoting positive mental health by taking time to talk and check in with each other.

How then can we promote positive mental health?

10 Key things to happier living:

  1. GIVING – Holding out a helping hand makes other people happy and will make you feel happier too.

Give it a go:

  • Share your skills or offer support
  • Ask friends, family or colleagues how they are and listen without judgement.

2. RELATING – The people around you offer a valuable pool of support so it’s important to put time into strengthening those connections.

Give it a go:

  • Meet up with someone you haven’t seen in a while
  • Turn off distractions to chat with friends or family about your day

3. EXERCISING – Regular activity will provide an endorphin boost and increase confidence.

Give it a go:

  • Find an activity that suits you and your schedule
  • Swap the car on short journeys and cycle or walk to work

4. AWARENESS – Taking time to switch off autopilot and ‘be in the moment’ is a great tool to combat stress.

Give it a go:

  • Pay attention to your senses — what can you see, hear or feel around you?
  • Choose a regular point in the day to reflect

5. TRYING OUT – Learning new things is stimulating and can help to lift your mood.

Give it a go:

  • Take on a new role at work or school
  • Try out a new hobby, club or activity that interests you

6. DIRECTIONS – Working towards positive, realistic goals can provide motivation and structure.

Give it a go:

  • Choose a goal that is meaningful to you, not what someone else expects of you
  • Remember to celebrate progress along the way

7. RESILIENCE – Although we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can often choose our own response to what happens.

Give it a go:

  • Find an outlet such as talking to friends or writing it down
  • Take action to improve your resilience skills

8. EMOTIONS – Positive emotions can build up a buffer against stress and even lead to lasting changes in the brain to help maintain wellbeing.

Give it a go:

  • Take time to notice what you’re grateful for and focus on the good aspects of any situation
  • Set aside time to have fun

9. ACCEPTANCE – No one is perfect. Longing to be someone different gets in the way of making the most of our own happiness.

Give it a go:

  • Be kind to yourself when things go wrong
  • Shift the focus away from what you don’t have and can’t do, to what you have and can do

10. MEANING – People who have meaning in their lives experience less stress, anxiety and depression.

Give it a go:

  • Prioritise the activities, people and beliefs that bring you the strongest sense of purpose
  • Volunteer for a cause, be part of a team, notice how your actions make a difference for others

Get in touch:

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