AN apprentice at a Northumberland construction firm was given the honour of opening its new headquarters.
Sam Henderson, an apprentice fitter who has recently joined Joyce Construction and Civils (JC&C), teamed up with Jeff Makepeace, a site supervisor who has been with company for over a decade, to do the honours.
The £1m move, from Tinklers Yard in Corbridge to the purpose-built depot and offices at nearby Dilston West, supports JC&C’s expansion from mainly drainage projects into construction and civil engineering.
And the apprentice said he was honoured to have been asked to help celebrate the move.
“When I started here I never thought I’d be asked to do this,” said Sam, from Slaley, Northumberland.
“I think it was a nice gesture and helps me quickly feel part of the team.”
Jeff added: “This is the third office I’ve worked from and it is undoubtedly the best. I think it shows how far the company has come.”
Despite the challenging economic climate, the company has been able to secure significant work on projects as diverse as the new Nissan battery plant, the Building Schools for the Future programme in Newcastle and Gateshead and at Newcastle airport.
It is also involved in the Scotswood redevelopment initiative and major healthcare schemes throughout the region.
All of this has seen the number of employees increase by a third to 30, most of whom will work at the new site.
Miles Joyce who, with brother Chris, runs the firm his father started in 1948: “As we have grown, it became increasingly difficult to operate from our Corbridge site and so, about 18 months ago, we acquired the old Dilston Sawmill.
“We have used about half of the site to construct our new 650 square metre headquarters with office, workshop and storage space and the remainder will be developed later. At this stage we have not determined what that will be but we also plan to redevelop our old site – probably along similar lines to the office complex we created at Tinklers Bank.”