High scores on-site from the Considerate Constructors Scheme

CCS logo

We were visited on-site at the beginning of March by a representative from the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) to check how the site is performing in areas including safety, respecting the community, organisation/appearance and the welfare of our team.

IMG_2803The CCS is a non-profit-making, independent organisation founded in 1997 by the construction industry to improve its image. Construction sites voluntarily register with the Scheme and agree to abide by the Code of Considerate Practice, designed to encourage best practice beyond statutory requirements.  The Scheme is concerned about any area of construction activity that may have a direct or indirect impact on the image of the industry as a whole.


We were informed by the inspectors that scoring over 38 was very rare, so we are delighted to have scored 40 overall and to be deemed ‘Excellent’ in all areas. The following quotes, taken from the report, highlight why:

On the appearance of our site: “The site is very well organised with all areas clean and tidy. Branding is well used and a website blog, updated monthly, is in place with the Public able to ask questions.”

On respecting the community: “Goodwill gestures include filling potholes for neighbours. Harrogate College students have been given a safety talk and parties of six students will visit site each Friday, commencing after Easter.”

On protecting the environment: “New trees, saplings and bat boxes are to be provided. A more environmentally friendly building will result.”

For more information on the Considerate Constructors Code please click here.


Meeting schools in Harrogate as part of National Careers Week 2016

Our team enjoys getting out and about into the Harrogate community, meeting local residents and updating people with progress on-site at Knapping Mount. This week as part of National Careers Week 2016, our Group HR Director Phil Harris has been getting to know some local schools in Harrogate, introducing them to the project and promoting careers in Construction. Here he is meeting young people and their parents at St Aidan’s High School 


As the project progresses we are keen to engage local schools in the construction of this landmark project. If you are a Harrogate based school interested in finding out about how you can get involved, from bringing students for a site visit to gain an insight into the different roles of workers on the site, to assemblies hosted by our team, then please get in touch with our schools liaison officer Chloe Greenwood at chloe.greenwood@harryfairclough.co.uk

Meet the Buyer event success

Our Meet the Buyer event at Harrogate International Centre on the 18th February 2016 was a great success and we were delighted that so many local businesses came along to find out how they could get involved in this landmark project.

MTB Group

We along with Harrogate Borough Council and our team of subcontractors exhibited at the event, informing local businesses of the packages of work still to be let on the build and the process for getting involved. Exhibiting businesses included, Waterman Group, Bardsey Tree Services, Browne Civil Engineering, PHI Group, Comet Steel and Rotary.

MTB prez

The event kicked off with a presentation, introducing the scheme from Richard Cooper the Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, followed by the architect on the project, David Morland of Farrell & Clark, showcasing the vision for the new building and our Managing Director, David Jones, giving an update of progress on-site. This was followed by networking and over 100 local companies were invited along to introduce their businesses to our project team.

Harrogate College MTB

Harrogate CollegeHCUK Training and CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) also attended to highlight the ways in which local young people can get involved, from work experience opportunities to apprenticeships and how businesses can access funding and support with taking on apprentices in the future.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all local businesses who took the time to attend the event.


Countdown to Meet the Buyer event 18/02/16

Our team is looking forward to hosting the ‘Meet the Buyer’ event this Thursday (18th February 2016) at Harrogate International Centre, 4-6pm. There are still places available so please sign up here if you are interested in coming along and finding out more about the project, the local businesses that we are working in partnership with, how we are engaging young people in the project and future opportunities to get involved in this exciting build.

Health and Safety update at Harrogate College

To kick off our partnership with Harrogate College, our Safety Manager Brian Goodacre was made very welcome by the College yesterday when he delivered a Health and Safety presentation to a group of construction students.


Brian’s talk covered important points about health and safety legislation, accidents, ill health stats and enforcement, providing students with a real understanding of the importance of adopting and adhering to safe working practices on a construction site.

Brian comments: “Thank you to the students for being such an enthusiastic audience and to Harrogate College for inviting us, we are very much looking forward to taking this partnership forward in 2016 and to providing students with the opportunity to experience construction first hand on this exciting project.”



Introducing project architect: Farrell & Clark

F&CWe are pleased to be working in partnership with Leeds-based architects, Farrell and Clark on the Harrogate Borough Council new civic headquarters project and we are working closely with them to ensure that we deliver the vision for the Knapping Mount site.


Farrell and Clark are inventive, energetic and dedicated architects, master planners and sustainable designers with studios in Leeds and London. The firm has an excellent reputation for delivering quality architecture in both public and private sector projects. The practice has been recognised for the quality of their buildings with success in many national and regional awards.

David Morland, architect and partner at Farrell & Clark, explains why the firm was selected, the design vision for the final building and how it will enhance the local area for those living and working in Harrogate.

Architect blog 1What is your vision for Knapping Mount?

Our main vision for Knapping Mount is to create an enjoyable and vibrant place for people to work and visit.  Paramount to this vision is the concept of spaces which support modern working practices and allow the Council’s services to work cohesively on the same site.

Our design of the new HQ and surrounding landscape embraces the existing attractive mature wooded parkland environment into which they are set. We have given key consideration to the wooded and grassed space with the development being designed to retain the amenity value and promote ecology and sustainability. Designed to be a highly sustainable building, Knapping Mount will contribute to building a lower-carbon world and become a building Harrogate can be proud of and identify with.

How do you think the design of the building will enhance the local area?

Knapping Mount has been designed with a great deal of care, consultation and attention to the local conservation area in which the building sits.

The form and shape of the building are distinctive and unique whilst the scale, materials and proportion respect neighbouring structures and the wider conservation area.

The design enhances the public amenity spaces, creating a network of pedestrian routes with additional woodland planting being introduced throughout, creating swathe of spring flowers in areas which are currently bare. The addition of a central courtyard links the existing formal footpaths to the West and St Luke’s Avenue. The development will provide a potential civic space to host small gatherings whilst also providing access parking.

The community will benefit from a new public entrance and customer service centre, whilst retaining the existing wooded parkland and amenity grassed area to the South approach.  A new central courtyard will link the informal footpaths on the West to St Luke’s Avenue.

Overall the development encompasses facilities which in turn ensure the council is able to provide a better services for residents and visitors.

Press Release: Work starts on demolition of Knapping Mount annexe

DATE PRESS RELEASE ISSUED: Tuesday 8 December 2015
Demolition has started on Harrogate Borough Council’s old prefabricated annexe at its Knapping Mount site in Harrogate ahead of construction of its new, purpose built offices.
Knapping Mount demolition

Yorkshire based Harry Fairclough Construction is the main contractor for the project. They have been working on site since October to prepare it for the demolition of the current buildings, which is taking place between now and the end of the year. Yorkshire based RGS Demolition, is undertaking the demolition work. The company is committed to recycling, and wherever possible reclaiming materials for re-use. Construction of the new council offices will start early in 2016, with a scheduled completion date of spring 2017.

The new energy efficient offices, which have been designed by Yorkshire based architects Farrell and Clark, will see council services operating from a single site rather than five separate locations. Moving to the new offices will see annual efficiency savings of around £1 million. The move will also provide a platform to drive further operating improvements in the future.The prefabricated buildings that formed the Knapping Mount annexe were erected in 1974, and were originally built to last 10 years. Now, 41 years later, they are coming down to make way for a new energy efficient, customer friendly council headquarters.

Councillor Graham Swift is Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Enterprise. He said: “The new council headquarters will enable us to be more efficient, making it possible for us to improve the service we offer our customers as well as providing long term savings for council tax payers.The project has been a long time in development so it is exciting to be able to see the results of that work taking place on the site.”

Julian Crane who is Harry Fairclough’s Project Manager at the site comments: “Demolition is now well under way onsite, making way for the new build activity to start in the New Year. We have worked with a number of local sub-contractors already on the project and look forward to working with more as it develops.”

Paul Jagger, Partner at architects Farrell and Clark said: “It’s always an exciting moment when a project which has been imagined in your head and illustrated on drawings starts to be realised on the ground. We hope that the design will help to deliver the council’s vision to provide better services for the people of Harrogate.”

Next February will see a dedicated ‘Meet the Buyer’ event taking place in Harrogate. Local businesses will have be able to meet the council, Harry Fairclough and major sub-contractors to find out more about the project, the opportunities to be involved in the project and how to bid for work packages.

Subcontractors can sign up for the event here.