Ex-YTS joiner is UK’s top construction manager

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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The winner of the Construction Manager of the Year award started off in the industry as a YTS joiner with Shepherd Construction before working his way up to run one of the contractor’s most prestigious projects.

Neil Matthias beat 120 other finalists to win the annual competition run by the Chartered Institute of Building.

Matthias was recognised for his work at Shepherd’s £44.5m development of Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf Course and Spa in Hurworth on Tees, Darlington.

The complex project over a 350 acre site involved the sensitive restoration of a Grade II listed Old Hall that had lain derelict for several years, and many new-build elements which had to blend in with the existing structures alongside a championship golf course.

Chris Blythe CIOB Chief Executive said: “When partnering goes well, it can work magnificently. Neil treated the entire workforce as equals in a tour-de-force example of collaboration.

“The rewards of his whole-team approach included innovation, quality, and savings. Through constant questioning of details and creative thought, he delivered excellence.”

Matthias said: “I live and dream construction. I have worked in the industry since school, having started out as an YTS joiner with Shepherd, and working my way up to become a project manager.”

It was also a good day for Willmott Dixon with three of its 13 finalists winning gold medals.

The Willmott winners were Mark Thornhill in the housing above £12m category for Denham Garden Village near Rickmansworth, Lee Bushell in the new build up to £4m category for a sixth form extension to Kendrick Girls School and Andy Miles for Rogiet Primary School in Wales in the £4-6m category.

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