As we continue to expand and growing our business, we continue to support the younger generation in offering apprenticeships within our group and across the industry. This is a great way to start a career in the construction section and provides the opportunity for young men and women alike to choose from a number of trades including bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, general construction and plastering. Apprentices are placed with a mentor enabling knowledge is handed down to the next generation. This year we have started 7 new apprentices in our September intake and they are all currently progressing well at college and on site.
As Northern Bear plc prepares to mark 10 years of serving the building industry it is raising funds for North East charity St Oswald’s Hospice, which is also celebrating a significant anniversary: its 30th birthday.
Northern Bear has sponsored a series of prizes for a special raffle and is selling tickets via its 12 subsidiary companies. First prize is a trip to London including first class travel, four-star accommodation, theatre tickets and spending money.
Group Managing Director Graham Jennings said: “St Oswald’s Hospice is our local charity of choice and we are delighted to support them in our 10thanniversary year. We will be organising a number of events over the next few months.”
Raffle tickets are being sold by members of staff from A1 Industrial Trucks, Chirmarn Asbestos Removal, Chirmarn Surveying, Isoler, Jennings Roofing, Matthew Charlton Slaters, MGM, Northern Bear Building Services, Northern Bear Safety, Springs Roofing, Survey Drones and Wensley Roofing. They are also available from the head office (01661 820 369, email@example.com).
Northern Bear plc started trading on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange on 19 December 2006. At that time, there were five trading subsidiaries in the group. Northern Bear plc now has 12 trading subsidiaries that provide a wide range of specialist services to the building industry.
St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle provides overnight and day care for patients with life-limiting or progressive illnesses. It started in 1986 with a five-bed in-patient unit and it now cares for over 2,000 people a year.
The ground floor of the listed Winding House No 2 at Woodhorn Museum is now open and fully accessible. Thanks to funding by Biffa Award, through the Association of Independent Museums as part of the National Heritage Landmarks Scheme, we were employed to convert part of the ground floor space into an exhibition area to enable visitors to access the exhibition safely and independently without the need for supervision. Works carried out included but not limited to – a new concrete floor, construction of walls within the space, glass works, new doors, electrical installations and decoration. The ceiling of the ground floor space now opens up to reveal the huge winding wheel above which dominates all three floors of the building.
The new facility will allow visitors to understand the role and significance of the Winding House at the former Woodhorn Colliery and it’s role in the day to day running of the colliery, projections also explain how the winding mechanism lowered and raised the pit cage which carried miners underground. Although no longer pulling cages up and down the shaft, the winder engine, wheel and the winderman’s control cabin on the third floor of No.2 Winding House are still in working order and are demonstrated at weekends and to educational groups.
The new Winding House interpretation will be a valuable asset to engage the public in this aspect of our history.
We have successfully been appointed on a framework agreement with South Tyneside Council, South Tyneside Homes for damp proofing, timber treatments, wall stabilisation and minor structural works on their portfolio of domestic dwellings, sheltered accommodation and public buildings. The works will be on an “as and when required” basis and will include but not be limited to the above, plus wall stabilisation, woodworm, wet / dry rot and surveys, reports, plans and professional advice relating to all works covered by the framework agreement.
These works will carry on from the previous agreements which means our relationship continues to develop with the client working even closer together, to deliver the professional service to overcome problems in both occupied and vacant properties.
An iconic North East lighthouse’s historic Lantern Room is set for a £120,000 facelift – just in time for its landmark 100th birthday and MGM have been appointed to carry out the work.
Souter Lighthouse has stood tall and proud on the North East coast between South Shields and Sunderland for the past 144 years. Famed as the world’s first electrically powered lighthouse when it opened in 1871, it was the wonder of its age. But the metal and glass domed Lantern Room, added in 1915 when Souter was converted from electricity to high pressure oil which saw the light’s range increased from 17 to over 20 miles, is in need of urgent repair.
The original diamond shaped bespoke glass panes will be restored and conserved or replaced with historically accurate replicas where necessary, corroded metalwork renovated and the whole lantern room painted inside and out.
Work is expected to take around ten weeks with scaffolding being built up the exterior length of the red and white painted round tower before the dome itself is covered in a protective layer of plastic.
It will mean visitors, for a time at least, be denied the spectacular 45 mile view north and south along the coast currently afforded them on a good day.
Simon Colvine, Souter Lighthouse’s visitor experience manager, said: This vital conservation project which began in September, started with the erection of the scaffold up the full length of the tower – a job which took a little over two weeks to complete.
“We’re open throughout the 10 week project and visitors will have full access to the tower except for a couple of weeks at the start of October when the work of stripping back decades of paint is due to take place.”
This is the first time any major work has been carried out on the Lantern Room since 1915, but the rest of the lighthouse has undergone some quite dramatic changes in its near century-and-a-half existence.
The current renovation work is being funded by the National Trust’s Neptune campaign, the charity’s most successful fundraising campaign ever which for the past 50 years has helped to save some of our most beautiful, dramatic and diverse shorelines.
Souter was bought with Neptune fund money 25 years ago after being decommissioned by Trinity House in 1988.
While the lighthouse perched high on the cliffs above the North Sea is no longer operational, all the machinery still works and is on show to visitors along with the tower and a reconstructed Victorian keeper’s cottage. There is also an open air play area complete with a small beach with deck chairs, fun activity trails and regular hands-on events.
Last year was Souter Lighthouse’s most successful with more than 28,000 visitors attracted by a diverse programme of family-friendly events.
A joint venture project with Isoler to renovate and enhance student accommodation in Newcastle has been successfully completed and handed over on time to allow the new students to move in to a compliant building.
The project had a very tight programme and several challenges due to the age of the building. Both structural and passive fire protection systems have been enhanced along with the building compartmentation.
Work has started on the repair and conservation of the rare and historic curvilinear wrought iron glasshouse and contemporary potting shed at Felton Park, Northumberland.
The grade II listed building, one of only 20 surviving structures of this type in the country and one of only two in the North East, was constructed circa 1830.
The 18th century walled garden at Felton Park is bounded by a four metre high brick north wall, raised to five metres in the 19th century to receive the curvilinear wrought iron glasshouse facing south into the garden, with the potting shed against the north side.
The restoration will require a number of specialist skills, including stone masonry, metal conservation and repair and glazing.
Metal conservationists Calibre Metalwork Ltd have been contracted to restore the historic cast iron and glass structure and have called upon the help of MGM’s restoration team to repair and renew sections of the ashlar stone walling of the glasshouse, together with carrying out joinery restoration, roof repairs, re-roofing, brick pointing and decoration of the potting shed.
The employer is Felton Park owner Mr Timothy Maxwell, who called upon the expertise of the reneowned heritage architect, Mr Robin Dower.
Works are due to be completed by the autumn.
MGM have successfully carried out a scheme for Gateshead Council at Sunderland Road.
Budget costs of £190,000 involved internal insulation works to enhance the thermal properties of the balcony areas. This also included externally repointing / replacing brickwork, installing new cavity trays and minor roof works.
Work began in November 2014 and have recently been completed over two phases beginning with the internal works and then following with the external.
A County Durham man is laying the foundations for a new career thanks to his local housing association.
John Charlton, 20, from Houghton-le-Spring has secured a bricklaying apprenticeship with specialist building contractor MGM following advice and support from Derwentside Homes Brighter Futures programme.
John joined the scheme as he looked to make a positive change in his life. As part of his new role John gains practical work experience as well as studying part time at college.
John said: “I am so pleased that I have managed to get the apprenticeship with MGM. They are a great local company and have made me feel really welcome. I want to go on and build a great career for myself and want to thank the team at Derwentside Homes for getting me this far.”
The Brighter Future project was launched in May 2012 and since then has supported more than 550 people by offering information, advice and guidance to help them on their journey into work.
This includes supporting them to increase their skills and knowledge; helping them engage in education, training, voluntary work, improving their health and well-being and increasing their confidence and self-esteem.
MGM director Gary Dillon said: “We interviewed a range of candidates for the role and John really stood out. He was confident, had good interview skills and gave a great first impression. There is no doubt that the Brighter Futures Scheme put him in a great position to be successful with us.”
Michelle Graham, Employment Initiatives Officer at Derwentside Homes said: “John’s is another success story for the Brighter Future’s project and our work with NEP’s Future Sparks Programme. This partnership helps create opportunities for local people with employers in the area through the NEP contract framework.”
MGM, working for Northumbrian Water and with guidance from English Heritage, have been commissioned to carry out restoration works to the external facade of the pumping station and tower at Coniscliffe Waterworks, Darlington.
Repair works will be carried out to the roofs and rainwater goods to the Gas Engine House, Beam Engine House and Cottage.
The works also include repairs to the boundary wall to the site which will be carried out by our in-house team of award winning masons and joiners.
Coniscliffe Waterworks (also known as Tees Cottage Pumping Station) is a Victorian pumping station built in 1849 to pump drinking water from the River Tees to households in Darlington and the surrounding area. Now a Scheduled Ancient Monument housing two completely original pumping engines in fully working order: a 1904 beam engine and a rare 1914 two-cylinder gas internal combustion engine.
The restoration project commenced in March and is due for completion at the end of July.