Category: News

Women in Construction week

Over the course of several years, the Women in Construction movement has acquired an annually dedicated week of recognition and debate. It has highlighted the lack of females in the industry worldwide, yet also serving as an inspiration for young women looking to start their successful careers in this industry. 

In the UK, it has been reported that only 14% are employed within the construction industry, with the majority being made up of administrative and office roles. An even smaller number accounts for women working out on the sites. It is hardly a surprising stat founded in a heavily male dominated industry. However, this percentage is marginally higher than our European neighbours, and with the demand for new jobs in the industry, employment is expected to rise rapidly. These factors may prove to be a great combination of opportunity particularly for women looking to fulfil their potential across the construction field.

We’d like to take this opportunity to shine a light on one of our female site workers, who has spent the last 12 months training as a Project Manager based on the Aire Park project in Leeds City Centre – currently one of our largest active sites. Tanisha has been paving her way in this industry and hopes to be a great role model for other women thinking of a career in construction. Read on to learn more about Tanisha’s journey with us.

Becoming a Project Manager

Background & Study Profile

  1. Education institute: Distance Learning
  2. Course name: Construction and the Built Environment (Access to higher learning course – Moving onto a Degree at Leeds College of Building).
  3. Course length: 1– 5 years
  4. Employment: Joined Moortown in February 2022.

Why does this vocation appeal to you?

Firstly, this vocation appealed to me because of my interest in infrastructure and property. I believe construction is more than just the process of erecting a building, it is the creation of a home, the hub of a business, and forming a piece of history. I enjoy executing projects from inception to completion, and doing so as efficient as possible. My start-up company experience required me to work on tight budgets while producing quality outcomes. This alongside my vast experience in operational and project management meant that the role felt like a natural fit. I also think it is important to have a varied and open perspective within the construction and any industry.

Name one thing you enjoy most about the role? 

The main thing I enjoy about this role is the holistic and diverse nature. I can be learning extensive health and safety on the construction site as well as risk and staff management. It can include learning site logistics, engineering and also design. No day is ever the same.

What is the hardest aspect about this role? 

I came to this role with little to no experience of construction, as I had just started my course and initially it was a little hard not understanding things such as the plans, designs and construction terminology. However, within this short period of time I have noticed how my knowledge has developed rapidly and the team I work with on site have been extremely helpful and supportive. I am now competent in BlueBeam software, with a broad understanding of the building processes including groundwork remediation, offsite and pre-fabrication methods. I am now SMSTS trained, a certified mental health first aider and fire marshal.

What advice would you give to someone looking to progress as a Project Manager?

  1. Organisation
    There are a lot of moving parts within this multi-disciplinary environment, the projects you will lead will have a programme and timescale that has been created to fit a strict budget, so being as prepared as possible will help you to be structured and efficient.
  2. Communication
    As a Project Manager working in a collaborative environment, it is essential that you are able to communicate clearly with your team and clients to ensure that the correct instructions, updates and direction are understood.
  3. Flexibility
    Although it is necessary to adhere to a programme and follow structure, things may not always go to plan so it helps by being adaptable and resourceful.

We are delighted at Tanisha’s progress and development, and we’ll be continuing to support and provide further training and site experience to ensure she can achieve her full qualifications.

Moortown Memories – Looking back over 25 years in business

We’ve dug deep into our old photo archives to discover and relive the golden moments achieved over the years. Our staff retention numbers have remained high over this period, evidenced by the many faces who still work here today.

From the first machinery ever purchased, to the evolving brand image, here are some snap shots of our history…

First dumper purchased and owned by the company.

First crane purchased.

Site cabins and hoarding with old branding.

Our Pat Stapleton is still with us today (far right side).

Building up our Plant, a newly bought excavator joins the fleet.

Working in our old offices, Aiden McManus, Managing Director.

The founder of the company, Tom McManus.

Happy 25th Birthday to us!


We are celebrating a momentous achievement in the evolution of our company. The Moortown business started 25 years ago and was established by Tom McManus, growing steadily under his leadership into the company that exists today.

Experience and expertise has shaped our reputation for delivering high-quality projects across several industries including Commercial, Government, Health and Education Sectors.

It has been an incredible journey and a journey that hasn’t been without its periods of hardship, but those hardships have been invaluable in shaping the business into the formidable operation that it is today.


Our Team tries to positively bring value to the communities, districts and cities wherever we work in and to keep developing and demonstrating our values continuously.

It’s great to see our colleagues enjoying a company birthday lunch together and being able to share it with some of our earliest employees like Pat, who did the accounts from day 1 when the company started in the attic of Tom and Geraldine’s house.

Thank you to everyone for supporting us throughout the years and being a part of our journey.


National Apprenticeship Week

“Finding the right skills and talent, matched with the right opportunities, helps encourage a better approach to long term recruitment. Apprentices can learn the ropes from the bottom to the top if they are driven to succeed. We’ve always maintained a high staff retention record and we fully believe in nurturing the next generation to become part of this established family business.”

Operations Director, Richard Mitchell, Moortown Group.

We were thrilled to be invited back to York College to engage with the current students studying a T Level Construction course. Our Operations Director, Richard Mitchell attended the College to educate and create further discussion surrounding different ways into the industry. As a company, we have good links with the College by taking on apprentices and providing work placements.

We’re looking for people who love a bit of adventure in their work, who enjoy working outside and don’t mind getting their hands dirty. People who love knowing how things work and how to fix them before they are broken. People who are fascinated by learning how to use new systems and tools and most importantly, people who work best as part of a team.


At different points in the year, we offer initial taster days where students are given a tour around a selected site to see first-hand the various types of work and expertise in action. We’ve had many successful candidates in recent years, who are really excelling and putting their skills into practice when they’re out on site. This is a long-term goal for us to maintain, where we attend local career fairs and events to engage and promote construction careers. This allows the students to put their theory into practice, giving them the chance to live and breathe the discipline they have chosen in the working world. We’ve had great feedback from the College, who support this initiative as it allows students to broaden their network and visualise their career prospects.

York College was extremely pleased to welcome Moortown Group onto campus to talk to our T Level Design Surveying and Planning students.  We are grateful for their insight into working in the construction industry as well as their local Industry Placement opportunities. Introducing our students to the range of roles and opportunities in the industry is important. We are fortunate to have such supportive and proactive employers, like Moortown Group, who recognise the value of engaging early with their potential workforce of the future. “

Ashley Stokes, Head of Curriculum – Construction, York College


We offer Apprenticeships for Engineers, Quantity Surveyors and Groundworkers. An apprenticeship with Moortown Group is a good way into the industry. Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider. You could complete an apprenticeship in Construction and the Built Environment to start you on your career path to being a setting out engineer. You could then do more specific setting out qualifications on-the-job once you gain a permanent position.

The College is hoping to secure several opportunities for their students before Easter 2023, and we look forward to meeting the future talent that comes our way.

For more information on how to enrol, please visit our Apprenticeships page.

New Project win for Mental Health Hospitals

New Mental Health unit set for Derbyshire Hospital with IHP

We are thrilled to have won recent projects worth a combined £12m with IHP on the new £80 million facility at Derby and Chesterfield.

A new purpose-built facility will replace the Hartington Unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, but will remain fairly close to the old unit.

This 54-bed acute mental health facility will help expand the capacity of The Trust to deliver much needed mental health care and services across Derbyshire.

The design and layout of the build will provide patients and staff to operate efficiently and accommodate their needs. The creation of garden spaces will also be included, along with a safe sky garden on the upper floor.

Works have begun at the Chesterfield Hospital, with the substructure, drainage and slab preparation already underway. Works on the Derby development will commence later this month and continue till around June 2024.

Top Scores

CCS Scores at Aire Park, Leeds and The Energy Centre, University of York

We were thrilled to be notified by our site teams and clients of some brilliant top scores in the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS). The CCS aims to support and guide positive change in the construction industry, raising standards and improving the image of construction.

The Code of Considerate Practice focuses on three key areas; respecting the community, caring for the environment and valuing the workforce.  The monitor’s report praised Moortown’s support for various charities, community engagement, and environmental initiatives including timber recycling and water butts for rainwater harvesting. Overall, the site scored 43 out of a possible 45 points, an excellent achievement for the whole workforce and wider company.

It’s great to get the appreciation from our Clients on the hard work that is put in.

Jonathan Milnes, HSQE Director, Moortown Group.

We were also pleased to hear another of our sites received a fantastic score of 45/45. The Energy Centre at the University of York achieved an ‘excellent’ certificate of performance.

Thanks for your assistance on site and continuing a high standards of H&S and management of your works on site.

Mark Bennison, Senior Site Manager, Tilbury Douglas Construction Ltd.

Supporting our sites

Yesterday, we asked many of our site workers to down tools for half an hour, have a brew and a bun whilst listening to an open conversation on Mental Health. We invited Speedy Services and Lighthouse Construction Charity to visit our Aire Park site in the centre of Leeds, seizing a great opportunity to spread the word of what they do and how it has helped many others.

This fantastic collaboration demonstrated buckets of courage and guts to talk so openly about Mental Health in the construction industry. Topics covered included a personal struggle story, imposter syndrome, denial, breaking point, colleague support and starting the road to recovery.

The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity is the only charity that provides emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing support to construction workers and their families. They receive no public funding and rely on the generosity of those within in the industry to help them continue their vital work. Without a doubt, services like this do make a huge difference, even the sceptics in the room could see that. Rob’s personal story related it back to the wider stigmas and suicide rates that are on the increase in construction. You can find out more here.

Rob, also runs a podcast called ‘Mind Your Head’ which was set up to talk about lots of Mental Health issues across the industry from all kinds of different people. You can listen here.

Big thanks to Claire Bailey, Robert Muldoon and Kryss Tominay for your time, we hope to get you back on another of our sites soon!


Project Win: Outwood Academy City Fields, Wakefield

We are delighted works have started on a recently won project with Morgan Sindall for Wakefield Council.

Outwood Academy City Fields is a mixed secondary school, with a capacity of 750 pupils aiming to increase its capacity to 1050 pupils. 

The expansion of the school will be carried out in two phases: the enabling works and the main expansion.

Enabling Works 

  • Dining hall remodelling / refurbishment
  • Demolition of caretaker’s bungalow and construction of new car park area. 

Main Expansion 

  • Construction of new 2 storey, eleven teaching space block on existing playing field 
  • Construction of corridor link bridge from existing school building to new teaching block. 

The enabling works are currently underway and we have started the construction for installing the drainage and attenuation, along with the substructures for the link bridge and floor slabs.


New Student Digs

As the first term of study ended, we took an opportunity to revisit a recently completed project we did for Graham’s Building at the University of York. After nearly 3 years of hard work, this project was finally handed over in September ready for the hoards of new students.

Our works package included earthworks, remediation, infrastructure, drainage services, district heating tranches, 20x raft foundation slabs, paving, tarmac, coloured tarmac, bodypave and the majority of all landscaping.

The project was handed over in two phases: The first four blocks were delivered last year, and the remainder was completed throughout this year.

With so many elements constantly active on this large site, logistics and operations had to be given careful consideration. Much of the campus needed to remain open for business as usual and allow the staff and students to navigate site safely.


Once the slabs had been cast, we collaborated with FP McCann constructing the building frames / precast units. This was followed by Palmers doing the soft landscaping works following our earthworks and paving completion. We then worked alongside contractor Braniff Joinery Direct helping with the fence foundations.

With so many teams working on a vast site at different stages of the build, there was always something transforming from nothing into something. Hats off to everybody involved who helped deliver a great quality project for the University of York.

.  . 

We did it!

We did it !

A total of 2149 miles achieved! A fantastic success for all those involved in last month’s Mental Health fundraising September Challenge!

Our top 3 teams each smashed the initial 600 mile target from Mind in Bradford and collectively we surpassed our company’s 783 mile target – the total distance of setting off from our most Northern site to our most Southern site.

A massive thank you to all those who generously donated in support – An impressive total of £2047 has been raised so far!

We really hope this has brought about more awareness to their services and facilities in the local area for many struggling with poor mental health.