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All Finalists2020 Winners

Tony Northcott

Kier Construction

Tony Northcott’s passion for this high-profile dockyard regeneration scheme drove success. On a complex sloping site with retained listed buildings and myriad existing utilities, he exuded the calm authority and attention to detail that delivered a quality development. When power-on delays occurred, he found workrounds that maintained project momentum. His professionalism and open approach were the driving force behind a handover that surpassed all the client’s programme, budget and finish aspirations.

About the Project

Oceansgate phase 2, Plymouth

Construction of three-storey office block and three industrial units, completed in 82 weeks.

Client: Plymouth City Council

Contract: JCT, design and build, with amendments

Value: £8.5m

Totally invested in the city and its high-profile regeneration scheme of an office block and three industrial units, Plymouth native Tony Northcott showed a passion for and commitment to this project that never wavered. He was the driving force behind its success, with his dedication and hard work winning him early promotion from senior site manager to project manager during the build.

On the former naval dockyard site, Tony met the complex issues with calm authority. The sloping ground was a nightmare, with deep drainage works required amid myriad unmapped utilities and the risk of unexploded ordnance – the groundworkers and remediation team were given UXO training. A further challenge included retained listed buildings: the site hosted the original dockyard entrance, and Tony reinstated the gateway arch, putting the original stone spheres – removed during the Blitz – back on top of the gates.

With this second phase of the scheme involving more stakeholders than the first, he learned the lessons of the project’s phase-one difficulties and rigorously applied the solutions. He gave the coordination of grid-less ceilings with suspended light fittings and acoustic rafts the particular attention it needed and ensured the production rates of the stonemasons were factored into the programme. His attention to detail delivered a high-quality development.

When the new electricity substation was delayed, he completed the internal works on temporary electricity while advancing some of the externals to keep the build on track. Despite the power-on setbacks, he gave early access to one of the industrial blocks for one tenant by completing the structural works early. Tony’s commercial awareness and professionalism, combined with an open and collaborative management approach, drove a project that surpassed all the client’s programme, budget and quality aspirations.