Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bumper awards night for BESA members

Members of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) enjoyed storming success at the 22nd annual H&V News Awards hosted by rugby star Austin Healey at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane.

Priddy Engineering Services led the way by securing the prestigious Building Services Contractor of the Year prize.

The Bristol-based company has rocketed to £8.5m turnover from a standing start seven years ago under the leadership of managing director Andrew Blunsdon, who is also chairman of the BESA Education Committee.

Its focus on recruiting, retaining and investing in staff with a clear eye on the future was praised by the judges along with its ambitious plans for collaborations with major clients across its region.

“Our winner demonstrated a well-managed growth trajectory from a private company that defines its success as being about its people,” the judges said.

Hargreaves Ductwork secured the Training Initiative for its acclaimed Engineering Young Talent Programme, which sees the company’s apprentices engaging with a number of local schools to encourage the next generation of budding engineers. Hargreaves’ managing director Tim Hopkinson is vice president of the BESA and takes a close interest in this growing initiative, which culminates in an inter-school competition at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

Smart Installer of the Year went to multiple award winner AC Wilgar for its ground-breaking domestic heating app. The company’s founder and owner Billy Wilgar, who is chairman of the Association’s Heating and Plumbing Services group, has been investing in smart technology as a way of both streamlining the business and improving communications with clients for over 15 years.

This aspect of Wilgar’s work has developed to such an extent that the company now employs three full-time developers and invests more than 6% of its turnover in smart innovations.

Richard Baron from Balfour Beatty was named Apprentice of the Year for 2016 in the face of fierce competition from right across the industry. Richard was praised by his employer for being the ultimate ‘team player’ and demonstrating a “deep understanding of processes and safety considerations”.

Following his four-year apprenticeship with Balfour Beatty, he is now taking his training up to another level by embarking on an engineering degree at Liverpool John Moore University.

Outstanding Contribution to the Industry was awarded to Briggs & Forrester for its long-term commitment to the highest standards of workmanship and ingrained collaborative culture. The company consistently receives praise from clients and supply chain partners alike for being easy to work with and can boast a tremendous pedigree in building services projects.

The 2016 awards evening began with BESA President Jim Marner presenting the industry’s ultimate accolade – the Gold Award – to Tony Mulcahy from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Tony is a long-standing friend of the industry who has managed the tricky relationship between the engineering community and government since joining the department in 2001.

He has steered multiple pieces of legislation and industry improving initiatives through the corridors of power and the Association was delighted to acknowledge the sector’s debt to this hard working and supportive civil servant.

All in all, the 2016 H&V News Awards proved to be another triumphant night for members, staff and friends of the BESA.


PIC CAPTION: Tony Mulcahy of BIS (centre) receives the Gold Award from BESA President Jim Marner (left) with H&V News Editor-in Chief Andrew Gaved.

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