The Bricks Winners 2020
Keekle Meadows by High Grange Developments
The overall winners of The Bricks 2020 have been announced.
Find out what it means to win The Bricks - and what it takes to be an award-winning site.
In this article we speak to Gary Reed, Managing Director from High Grange Developments, winner of Developer of the Year and Development of the Year (2-10 units) North.
What does this award mean to you, your team and your business?
This award and recognition from LABC Warranty really does mean a lot to us. We work with LABC Warranty as it is the most respected organisation of its kind. Any award from them reflects positively on us – winning Developer of the Year again is extremely rewarding to us as a family, a team, and a business.
At High Grange, we celebrate our win with our entire workforce. From designers to decorators, we make sure that everyone involved in the build of a High Grange home is appreciated and recognised for their contribution and involvement in our win.
We know that every home we build, every happy homeowner, and every award we receive is a result of the hard work, skill, and dedication of the individuals that make up the High Grange team.
What does winning this award mean to your customers and business partners?
Our customers have already come to expect the very best from us. Our reputation has grown from strength to strength via word of mouth – we have many repeat customers, several of which are currently on their second home at our Keekle Meadows development. Winning this award really does emphasise and reaffirm to our clients that they have made the right choice in purchasing a High Grange home. The prestige that comes with being involved with LABC Warranty and a repeat winner of The Bricks award undoubtedly enhances our reputation as one of the best home builders in the country is literally priceless to us.
We work with several outside parties that have, in turn, been able to use their own association with High Grange as a sign of quality for their own brand and services they offer. We have been dealing with floor fitters, blind fitters, estate agents, gardeners and solicitors for over 20 years. If they can say they have an established relationship with High Grange then their customers know they can trust them.
Describe the biggest challenge you had to overcome in creating Keekle Meadows?
Undoubtedly the biggest challenge we faced was the outbreak of Covid 19. There is no need to mention the universal difficulties the outbreak has caused, though for us as a company the primary issues were (and to some extent still are) delays. This alongside Brexit has meant that the availability of materials has become an ongoing issue for us.
We continue to overcome both of these challenges through clear, honest, and concise communication. It would be remiss of us to say that we have not at some point been unable to meet a timescale that we ourselves had set – by clearly and frankly explaining the situation to affected parties we have been able to happily reach a compromise, and we have not had a situation where a resolution has not been found.
Another huge challenge we had to overcome in creating Keekle Meadows was the transformation of historical slag heaps and waste tipping ground (from an adjacent abandoned 20th Century coal mine) with unsociable activities prevalent - into a modern, award winning, desirable place to live. Overcoming the difficulties involved in developing a brownfield site as opposed to a greenfield site was a great learning experience for us as a developer.
What about Keekle Meadows makes you most proud?
We are proud of Keekle Meadows for many reasons. Obviously the recognition we have received from LABC Warranty is a huge part of this. Displaying our awards in the office and the flags on site are a daily reminder of what we as a team have achieved. Looking at the beautiful homes within the development and the happy residents of Keekle Meadows is a daily source of pride.
However, without doubt we are most proud of the community that has developed and continues to grow at Keekle Meadows. We have a good mix of residents made up of retirees and first time buyers – though the majority of homeowners here are young families. As previously said, we have many repeat clients on this particular development. We also have many generations of the same family that live here. We have many enquiries about our homes as a result of the environment that has been established. People want to raise their families at Keekle Meadows, we have created a community.
At High Grange, our focus is quality not quantity. We release a set number of homes per year so that we can maintain our reputation and keep working to exceptional standards.
Development facts and judges' comments
- Phased development of up to 200 homes near Cleator Moor, Cumbria
- Previous Keekle Meadows phase has won The Bricks
- Named after the River Keekle nearby
“High Grange Developments goes to great effort to produce houses of an extremely high standard. On my full tour of the site with the manager I learned of a number of practices they adopt that are above the norm to ensure a high quality of home and standard of finish.”
Daniel Hughes, Technical Partnership Director, MRICS; FCABE, C Build E; Cert CII (Claims)