We are extremely proud to announce that Wensley Roofing has received an IKO Contractor Recognition Award for our work with English Martyrs Primary School in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Stephen Mooney – Area Business Manager for the Roofing Specification Division of IKO – said “The quality of the project at the English Martyrs Primary School, using our Mach Two system, was very impressive. This was potentially a difficult project in that all works were carried out during normal term rather than school holidays.”
During the project fourteen separate flat roofs were recovered with Iko’s Mach two roofing system which included a site specific cut-to-fall insulation scheme on each roof. To accommodate the increased height of insulation, all parapets were raised and new double glazed windows installed to replace the existing ones.
Stephen also remarked of the project “To complete the works as per the programme and in the allocated time was an admirable achievement and all works were completed to a first class standard. In addition, your admirable approach to apprenticeships and training, coupled with your support of the community through the “Give to Local” initiative, made for a compelling submission.”
Wensley Roofing has been invited to the inaugural IKO Contractor Awards, provisionally due to take place in London in Autumn 2021, where we will also be included in the nominations for the Contractor of the Year award.
Steven Luke has been appointed as Managing Director of Wensley Roofing following a carefully planned succession. For the last two years Steven has been working alongside Keith Soulsby, the founder of Wensley Roofing, as Joint Managing Director. On 1 June 2020 Keith stepped away to concentrate on being Operations Director of Northern Bear, leaving Steven in sole charge.
Steven said: “I feel honoured to lead the business that Keith built up from scratch. I have learnt so much from him over the years and I’m pleased he trusts me to take over.”
Steven started at Wensley Roofing in 2007 after he had been awarded a degree in Construction Management from Northumbria University. He worked in several roles and, as Senior Quantity Surveyor, he proved to be very adept at valuations and cost control.
Keith Soulsby felt that Steven had the potential to lead the business and gradually gave him more responsibility, eventually appointing him as Joint Managing Director in 2018. This allowed Keith more time to focus on the increasing demands of the strategic management of Northern Bear.
Steven said: “I’m not planning any big changes. Our work is building up again after a complete shut down. We are getting busier and busier each week. We have just started a major contract for re-roofing social housing for Northumberland County Council. We are waiting to see what happens with the demand for new build, which is an important part of our work.”
We are delighted to report that Wensley Roofing has been certified by Construction Line to the new Common Assessment Standard (CAS).
The CAS is a standardised set of questions crafted from existing systems (like PAS 91) and from expert input from clients, suppliers and trade organisations. A key aim of the new standard, championed by Build UK, is to help standardise the current construction prequalification landscape, to the benefit of clients and contractors by saving both time and money.
Initially, only three accreditation bodies – Achilles, CHAS and Construction Line are offering the CAS, with more bodies joining next year. The intention is that clients will recognise contractors that have met the common standard, rather than specifying an accreditation body to supply it.
As well as health and safety, the standard covers areas such as the environment, finance, business and professional standing, equality and diversity, modern slavery, anti-bribery and GDPR.
Wensley Roofing has completed the replacement of flat roofing and the installation of new sensor-controlled rooflights on a city centre university building during a critical four-week time-slot despite torrential rain.
The work on the Ellison Building, which houses Northumbria University‘s Life Science laboratories, had to be started and finished on time to accommodate both student holidays and internal laboratory testing. This required careful planning and co-ordination by Wensley Roofing’s James Roy (quantity surveyor) and Colin Howey (project manager) liaising with the university’s estates department. They drafted in MGM Ltd, one of Northern Bear‘s specialist construction companies, to undertake the building work.
Colin Howey, who has particular expertise in flat-roofing projects, said: “This was a tricky project that involved different trades working together to precise requirements. The several days of heavy rain added to the complications.”
The works involved replacing the old felt roof coverings with a new waterproofing system guaranteed for 20 years, removing the old wired-glass rooflights, which contained asbestos rope, and installing triple-skinned barrel rooflights with automatically controlled ventilation panels (pictured). The three state-of-the-art laboratories immediately below the roof had to be protected from asbestos, debris and, of course, rain throughout the renovations.
Michal Luczon of Northumbria University’s estates department said: “Wensley Roofing did an outstanding job under difficult circumstances including periodic torrential rain and they finished on time.”
Congratulations to Wensley Roofing’s James Roy who has graduated from Northumbria University with a BSc in Quantity Surveying.
James successfully completed his studies over three years while holding down a full-time job at Wensley Roofing. He also has busy family life with three young children and he is a keen runner. James said he became very efficient at managing his time and often studied for four hours at night after he had finished his day job.
Wensley Roofing has a long tradition of supporting the training and education of its workforce and the company paid James’s tuition fees. James started at Wensley in 2011 as an estimator and is now also a fully qualified quantity surveyor. Joint Managing Director Steven Luke realised that James had great abilities and offered to help him gain qualifications.
James said: “I couldn’t believe it when Steven said I should go for a degree and Wensley would pay for it. I never imagined I would go to University. My first job was a forklift truck driver and now I’m a Bachelor of Science!”
Steven said: “James has done very well to get his degree while being so busy at work and home. At Wensley we believe in helping all our employees to reach their full potential. This will ensure the long-term success of the business.”
Every member of staff at Wensley Roofing has a training and development plan that is reviewed annually.
As James was celebrating his graduation, another employee, Sam Donnelly, had just successfully completed his first year on the same course.
Wensley Roofing has boosted its expertise in the challenging area of flat roofing by appointing a highly experienced new manager responsible for many award-winning projects.
Colin Howey, formerly the manager for flat roofing at Hodgson Sayers, brings over 30 years’ experience to the new post of Project Manager at Wensley Roofing.
Colin has managed complex roofing projects for many iconic and award-winning buildings including the historic Wallace Collection town house in central London, the copper roofing at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and the much-loved beach huts at Blyth with their living roofs.
Colin said: “I’m looking forward to the new challenge of developing flat roofing at Wensley. It’s a good company that feels like it’s moving forward with the support of Northern Bear. I know some of the lads here and I’ve had very good feedback.”
Keith Soulsby, Joint Managing Director at Wensley Roofing, said: “We are delighted that Colin has joined us and we are very lucky to get him. I am sure his knowledge and experience will prove very valuable indeed in this complex and competitive market.”
In his spare time Colin is a keen walker who has raised significant sums for cancer charities. He is also a lifelong supporter of Newcastle United, no doubt remembering his own promising career as a young Northern League player when he scored 40 goals in a season.
Procurement consultancy firm Prosper, which is used by many of the main social landlords in North East England, has published a case study featuring Wensley Roofing as an example of excellent partnership working.
Prosper was approached by one of its partners, Northumberland County Council, to assist with finding a solution to deliver a new roofing scheme. More than 132 properties in Blyth required re-roofing which also included roofline, gutters and removal of asbestos soffits so Prosper looked at a bespoke solution to incorporate all of the project requirements.
Prosper created a detailed specification and pricing summary document which clearly reflected what and how the scheme was to be delivered for Northumberland County Council. Following a robust evaluation process where NCC scored the quality elements of each submission, Prosper combined the commercial response outcomes with the quality scores to calculate the contract award. NCC reviewed the summaries and were pleased to appoint Wensley Roofing as the preferred contractor.
Wensley implemented a simple solution to asbestos management through the delivery of the project which made it easier for the client to track the amount of asbestos removed for individual properties. They also provided a robust and comprehensive reporting mechanism which the client provides to the HSE and has led to significant internal process efficiencies. The project was completed eight weeks ahead of schedule and under budget which Northumberland County Council was extremely happy with.
The way in which Wensley Roofing undertook the work meant the tenants affected by the work were extremely satisfied as they put the customer at the heart of the delivery. This was reflected in Wensley’s KPI scores and tenant satisfaction surveys.
Managing director Steve Luke, Wensley Roofing Ltd said: “We were delighted to be awarded the Northumberland County Council contract via the Prosper framework. As a result of this, we have forged an excellent working partnership with both Northumberland County Council and Prosper which has led us to tender for many opportunities within the North East.
“Working with like-minded organisations means we can continue to provide an excellent service and enables us to do what we do best! We look forward to working with them both again.”
Louise Dodds, head of contract management at Prosper, said: “We have worked in a collaborative partnership with Wensley since setting up the Contractor Framework in 2016. The project to deliver roofing works for NCC has been very successful as the attitude from the Wensley’s team has been fantastic. They have placed the client and customer first, and at the heart of everything they’ve done and exceeded everyone’s expectations throughout the project.”
“At Prosper, our ethos is building collaborative partnerships with both our members and supply chain partners. We have also had the pleasure of supporting NCC with their procurements and management of contracts for over 10 years and being part of the team on this specific contract.”
UPDATE 21 December 2018 – Wensley Roofing raised £2,005 for St Oswald’s Hospice: £1,005 from selling raffle tickets and a further £1,000 donated by the company.
Wensley Roofing is running a Christmas charity raffle with all proceeds going to St Oswalds Hospice.
The generous staff at Wensley Roofing have donated a spectacular array of prizes including four food hampers, a sweet hamper, £50 high street shopping vouchers and a number of bottles including prosecco, whisky, etc. Also Martin Baxter Butchers from Birtley has given three £20 meat vouchers as prizes.
With five days to go to the draw, which will take place on Wednesday 19 December, over £640 has been raised by selling raffle tickets to Wensley Roofing’s office staff and on-site teams and to employees of the other Northern Bear group companies.
Raffle tickets are available from the Wensley Roofing office in Chester-le-Street (tel 0191 387 1303).
The picture shows office staff Marie Young (left) and Kim Thompson with some of the many prizes donated.
Wensley Roofing Ltd is working with major social housing provider Thirteen to replace and upgrade the roofing to 120 homes. The work which started in August is on track to be completed in December, with around 40 homes already complete.
The work, which is part of Thirteen’s £31m investment programme, will see the roofing replaced and chimneys re-pointed to ensure that the homes are wind and watertight and the low level vent tiles will help to improve ventilation and reduce condensation and mould.
Thirteen’s project manager Stuart Poulter said: “The project has got off to a great start and we’re really pleased to be working in partnership with Wensley Roofing for the first time. The team has made excellent progress.
“It’s a real team effort, as we’re working closely with our gas team to ensure that safety checks have been carried out on the flue before the boiler is turned back on for the customer at the end of each day.
“We’re already seeing how the work has improved the appearance to the homes too and we know that it will make a real difference to our customers. We’re looking forward to working on the estate over the next few months.”
Managing director Steve Luke for Wensley Roofing Ltd added:” We were delighted to be awarded this contract from Thirteen, this is the first time that Wensley Roofing has worked for Thirteen, so we are all looking forward to forming a good working relationship for the future.
“The job has got off to a good start, our team are putting in a fantastic effort to make sure that contract is finished to an excellent standard and on time.”
Thirteen manages 34,000 properties from North Tyneside to York, with the majority of homes for rent and sale in Teesside. Thirteen was set up in July 2017 by a merger involving Erimus Housing, Housing Hartlepool, Tees Valley Housing, Tristar Homes and Thirteen Care and Support.
Steven Luke has been appointed as Joint Managing Director of Wensley Roofing. He will share the responsibilities of the top job with Keith Soulsby who set up Wensley Roofing in 1987.
Steven joined the company in 2007 having recently been awarded a degree in Construction Management from Northumbria University. As Senior Quantity Surveyor he has proved to be very adept at valuations and cost control.
Over the past years Steven has worked closely with Keith and has obtained full knowledge of the working of the business in preparation of achieving this important role.
The appointment of two Joint Managing Directors is part of a succession plan in preparation for the eventual retirement of Keith Soulsby. Keith will continue to be a Director of Northern Bear plc.
Steven said: “It is an honour to work side-by-side with Keith. I have learnt so much from him. I am looking forward to the challenge of leading this well-established business in the coming years. We have built a really solid team which will help us increase our customer base and turnover.”
Steven lives in County Durham with his wife, son and daughter.