A North East construction specialist has been recognised for his exceptional commitment in project managing an innovative housing development for the over 55s in Berwick, northumberland.
Andy Kitson, senior project manager at Gentoo Tolent has been named Achiever of the Year at the Constructing Excellence in the North East (CENE) regional awards after being nominated by social housing provider, Four Housing, which is now part of the Bernicia Group, for his role in overseeing the construction of their flagship development The Elizabethan.
Mr Kitson was nominated for the award after displaying exceptional problem solving skills, teamwork and communication with the whole community to ensure that the technically and logistically challenging project was delivered on time, within budget and to an extremely high standard.
Philippa Hughes, Head of Business Development at Four Housing, said: “Throughout the construction of The Elizabethan Andy was truly client focussed. He was an excellent communicator with members of the client team at all levels, putting heads together to solve complex problems. He made us aware of issues long before they came to being critical and that constant forward planning was exceptional.
“He is exceedingly hard working and worked long hours to deal with programme issues and he got the best out of others too. His quality control was infamous; everyone knew he wanted the best job possible and they didn’t want to let him down showing true leadership. His work with the local community meant that relationships were extremely positive; everyone in the immediate locality felt part of this development. He is a true gent, a very quiet humble unassuming man, a partner and a collaborator who made us all aim for the stars and get there on this project. We were compelled to show our appreciation by nominating him for CENE’s Achiever of the Year award and are absolutely delighted that he took away the award on the night, it is truly well-deserved.”
Mr Kitson has previously been recognised for his work on the scheme by industry bodies Premier Guarantee and the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
Commenting on the Achiever of the Year Award, Mr Kitson said: “I was surprised, shocked and extremely proud to have received the award from Constructing Excellence North East which is an important representative body for the region’s construction industry. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working on The Elizabethan in Berwick and am very proud of the end result. I’m really grateful for the nomination and the support means a lot.”
Catriona Lingwood, Chief Executive for Constructing Excellence in the North East commented: “This special award recognises the outstanding work and commitment Andrew has shown towards the Elizabethan project. The judges stated that Andrew has set the standard above and beyond the norm in his role on an extremely challenging project. His exceptional approach to teamwork, his commitment and drive to the industry and community has been evidenced throughout.”
The Elizabethan comprises 16 two bed apartments designed with the needs of older people in mind. It incorporates attractive living space designed to HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation) principles that can be adapted over time to meet customer’s changing requirements, an architecturally striking design and exceptional quality build. The development was named Social Housing Development of the Year Award at the Premier Guarantee Excellence Awards and was among the finalists at the recent Housing Excellence Awards.
The £2.5 million project, on the site of a former public house which had been unoccupied for a number of years, was developed by Four Housing and built by Gentoo Construction. The site has been transformed to create spacious and light ‘future-proof’ apartments for the over 55s featuring generous internal space standards as well as balconies and outdoor areas that avoid internal corridors and the institutional feel that is so often associated with accommodation for older people.