North West Property Awards (NWPAs): 2016 winners
The biggest and brightest stars of the North West property industry were out in force for the revamped NWPAs 2016.
Words by Lawrence Saunders
Back and bigger than ever, the NWPAs, previously known as the Your Move Property Awards, was significantly expanded for its 14th year in order to recognise the commercial and residential property sector across the whole of the North West. Taking place at Lutyens Crypt, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, over 250 guests enjoyed a glamorous cocktail reception before sitting down to a luxurious meal and the awards presentation hosted by local comedian and actor Neil Fitzmaurice, followed by live music and dancing.
Best Student Landlord
sponsored by Redwing Living
WINNER – Caro Student Living
Caro Student Living was named as the winner in an ultra-competitive category providing recognition within the North West’s booming student property market. The landlord, formerly known as Jamworks, impressed the judges with a number of developments across the city centre including The Bridewell, City Point and Shaw Street. “I’m absolutely blown away,” says Lee Darwen, operations director at Caro Student Living. “We really didn’t expect it. That means so much to me and all the guys, I’m shocked and really happy!” Yu Property Group took second place with Luxor Estates completing the shortlist.
Best Property Law Firm
sponsored by UK Business Supplies
WINNER – Paul Crowley & Co
Paul Crowley, managing partner at Paul Crowley & Co solicitors, was “delighted” to accept the award for Best Property Law Firm for an incredible fifth year out of six. “It’s a remarkable performance by the conveyancing team and we’re delighted to be so successful yet again,” he says. The law firm, which celebrated 25 years of trading in 2016, was commended for its high levels of performance and innovative approach to customer service. MSB Solicitors was named runner-up on the night with Kirwans also shortlisted.
sponsored by Redrow North West
WINNER – Countryside
Fighting off fierce competition in this category, housebuilder Countryside took home the Regeneration Award for its New Broughton Village development in Salford. The scheme, on the outskirts of Manchester, has seen 180 acres of previously run-down land completely transformed and played a key role in the £500 million regeneration of Lower Broughton. Peter Vella, regional sales and marketing director at Countryside, highlighted the strong relationship between the housebuilder, Salford City Council and the local residents as a key factor in the development’s completion. “It has been a really successful scheme and we’re really, really pleased with it,” he says. Runner-up New Pendleton from Together Housing, Tempest by Capital and Centric and Willowbrook Hospice were also highlighted on this year’s shortlist.
Best Affordable Home
sponsored by Yu Property Group
WINNER – Naylorsfield Drive by Riverside Home Ownership
All three projects shortlisted for this award impressed the judges with their innovative use of space and for showing what can be achieved through “clever design and careful planning”. However it was Riverside Home Ownership’s (RHO) Naylorsfield Drive development in Lee Valley which came out on top. RHO began working in Lee Valley over a decade ago, leading the on-going revitalisation of the neighbourhood. “We are absolutely thrilled,” says David Robinson, marketing and communications business partner at RHO. “The level of competition this year especially has been really high so we’re very proud.” Forth Homes was named runner-up for its Melling Road scheme in Aintree, followed by Halton Housing Trust & Denovo Design for the Crossway development in Widnes.
Best New Home
sponsored by Paul Crowley & Co
WINNER – The Glasson at Barrowcroft Green by Countryside
It was a case of déjà vu in the Best New Home category with Countryside retaining the award it picked up in 2015 and celebrating its second win on the night. The Glasson at Barrowcroft Green in Standish came out on top with an ecstatic Peter Vella admitting he was surprised with the result, “I actually thought Redrow was going to win,” he says. “That’s a really nice development but to be fair The Glasson at Barrowcroft Green is a real standout for us.” PH Property Holdings’ Grove Place in Wimslow finished in second place with The Henley at Redrow’s Lucas Green in third.
sponsored by The Foundry Agency
WINNER – Ben Finch (Redrow)
The new Property Apprentice award celebrated an individual who has made a significant contribution to their workplace. Ben Finch, who is three quarters of the way through the second year of his three-year plumbing apprenticeship with Redrow Homes, came out on top and admitted he was shocked by the result. “It’s a bit of shock really,” says Ben. “It’s more of a credit to Redrow and the structure of its apprenticeship scheme. Although I’ve gone up and taken the award it’s something which the whole company can be proud of.” Charlotte Dorricott of Block Management & Property Specialists finished in second place with Dominic McGovern of SAS Daniels rounding off the shortlist.
Residential Property Agent of the Year
sponsored by Redrow Lancashire
WINNER – Abode
One of the evening’s most coveted awards went to a familiar face in the shape of Abode, which has now taken home the big prize, in its various guises, for three years in a row. “We’re all made up to win it for the third year in a row,” says Mike Lynch, valuer at Abode on Allerton Road. The estate agent, which also has an office in Crosby, was praised by the judges for operating the best and most customer focused business. “Everybody’s hard work has paid off in the end and I’m delighted to be part of the three wins,” Mike adds. Abode came out on top ahead of Century 21, which finished in second place, with Reeds Rains completing the shortlist.
Show Home of the Year
sponsored by MSB Solicitors
WINNER – The Blenheim at Hartford Grange by Redrow
The judging panel acclaimed the “very high standard” of entries in this category, highlighting the “outstanding quality” of the interior design and “great attention to detail” on display. Redrow’s The Blenheim at Hartford Grange was named the winner. The five-bedroom home impressed the judges with a number of luxurious design features including a walk-in wardrobe to the master bedroom and eye-catching bay windows. “We’re absolutely delighted,” says Anna Evans-Kerr, area sales manager for Redrow. “We’ve got three developments in Hartford and The Blenheim at Hartford Grange just shows the excellence and quality which we provide.” The Rufford at Countryside’s Barrowcroft Green was named runner-up with Redrow’s The Henley at Lucas Green completing the shortlist.
Judges’ Special Award
sponsored by Countryside
WINNER – Willowbrook Hospice
The final award of the evening was reserved for a development which has had a truly transformational effect on its local community. The Willowbrook Hospice in Prescot has cared for 7,500 patients and receives over 1,110 patients referrals a year. In order to meet demand, the organisation last year purchased a derelict building which had become somewhat of an eyesore in the area. Following an extensive transformation it was brought back to life and reborn as The Living Well – a multi-functional space which offers support for those facing the most difficult times in their lives, either as patients or carers “We’re delighted,” says Neil Wright, chief executive of the Willowbrook Hospice, who accepted the award. “It’s going to help support people in the future and we’re very grateful to the judges for being able to recognise the work of the hospice.”
The judging process
Winners were chosen via a wide-ranging judging process by a respected panel made up by esteemed figures from across the North West’s residential and commercial sectors including Lesley Martin-Wright, CEO of Knowsley Chamber; Eric Wright, retail specialist & arbitrator; Alastair Shepherd, director at Falconer Chester Hall; Elaine Cunningham, owner of Elaine Cunningham Design Studio; Fiona Woodward-Kelly, owner of Wood Kelly & Co Ltd and James Glendenning, CEO of Greater Merseyside Learning Providers’ Federation (GMLPF).
In the following three categories, winners were chosen by a panel of independent adjudicators, who assessed each entry on a variety of specific criteria and evidence-based factors including signs of growth, levels of customer service and client feedback: Property Apprentice; Best Property Law Firm and Residential Property Agency of the Year.