Author: Jonathan Saunders

Award winning estate agent: ‘the housing market in Middlesbrough could soon be strongest it’s ever been.’

AWARD-WINNING estate agency Harvey Brooks believes the housing market in Middlesbrough has the potential to be the strongest it’s ever been.

David Abrook and Harvey Abrook, father and son directors of Harvey Brooks estate agency believe that now is the time to buy and sell in Middlesbrough.

David, said: “The pipeline is the strongest it has ever been which tells us that the market is continuing to grow quite strongly and houses are being sold.

“Rather than just the spring and summer boom we are seeing houses selling all year round.

“The market in Teesside is improving a lot at the moment. This is mainly because of the change in availability of mortgages.

“Add that to the better rates people are seeing on these mortgages, meaning that most mortgage payments in the area are equal to or lower than rent.”

Harvey Brooks was recently crowned the Gold Winner for Middlesbrough at this year’s British Property Awards. Earning the opportunity to represent the town at the regional finals later this year.

Harvey said: “It’s good to be recognised for the hard work and determination we all show every day.

“We believe we won because of the consistent service we give to our customers. We’re a team who are tight knit we regularly operate outside of business hours if that’s what our customers require.

“We live within the heart of the area we cover and would often go the extra mile to visit clients at times that suited them, which were often out of office hours.

“It’s not unusual for us to receive a call on a Saturday for a viewing and within the hour we’ve set it up and are there for our customers.”

Family history

Harvey Brooks started life in 2008 when David and Harvey took on a small office and rebranded.

David previously spent 28 years as an Independent Financial Advisor while Harvey studied Business at Middlesbrough College

Harvey said: “It couldn’t have been a worse time to start up in the industry really, with the state of the housing market at the time and the recession taking hold of the country. Since then prices have been slowly creeping back alongside the retail price index.”

David said: “In our time we’ve really stuck to our traditional roots as a bespoke agent that offers a personalised service to each and every customer.

“As much as we have adapted to the advances in technology and online selling, it is always backed up by our face to face service. Which is what we believe sets us apart.”

Harvey Brooks covers the TS7, TS8, TS5 and TS6 areas and are located in Marton. For more information, head to or call 01642 506 800.

Students feel at home with designing the future

Students from Hartlepool College of Further Education have teamed up with design and build firm Kingfield Developments Ltd to build 14 state-of-the-art homes at Summerhill Lane in Hartlepool.

Mike Dickinson from Kingfield Developments Ltd said: “We are delighted to be involved with the College. As a design and build company this particular housing development will showcase our house designs and offer a whole new approach. It will allow the students studying construction and those studying design the opportunity to work alongside us and experience the interaction between designing a structure and actually building it.

“Hartlepool College of Further Education bought into our vision and in working with its tutors and students we have some excellent CAD designs that give a visual to our concepts.”

Hartlepool College of Further Education offers courses in Building Design and Services for students wanting to progress in to many of the building engineering disciplines such as design, architecture and surveying.

Keith Bradley, Head of School, said “We have some really talented students and real life projects, such as this with Kingfield, provide an exciting opportunity for the students to showcase these skills. This project particularly required a high level of innovation along with an eye for detail to support the technical skills of the students.”

Andrew Steel Assistant Principal at Hartlepool College of Further Education said: “It’s brilliant for a local business to be reaching out young people in the area to help design the homes of their futures.

“The College is delighted to be working on such an innovative and pioneering project. And we’re looking forward to continuing this successful partnership.”

Mike added: “The College brings added value to our business. By working with the College and its students, we’re helping to close the skills gap that is very prevalent in this industry.

“We believe that the College students will benefit from being involved in the Summerhill housing development project from inception to completion. This is a true collaboration between local and local business for the benefit of Hartlepool.”

Growth of manufacturing industry in North East delivers success for Total Recycling Services

TOTAL RECYCLING SERVICES is celebrating further success with significant growth and creation of jobs in its newly established industrial cleaning services division.

Alex Foreman, managing director said: “Total Recycling Services started as a waste company but we had so many requests from businesses to help them with their industrial cleaning, that we added the new division and created 3 new jobs.

Our region has always had a strong petrochemical heritage but we’re now seeing a rise in engineering, life sciences and healthcare industries too. It’s an exciting time for the North East.”

Increased risk of accidents

The growth of the chemical and manufacturing sectors in the region has also increased the risk of workplace accidents, with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reporting five fatal injuries to workers across the North East in 2016.

The HSE also reported an increase in workplace fatalities in 2015/16 across the UK, with a total of 30 deaths in the last five years. More recently in East Anglia, a man’s firm was fined £50,000 after his son died trying to clean a grain storage tank.

Foreman commented: “Legislation varies from sector to sector, but if you are a manufacturer, it is important to keep your staff safe and keep your equipment functioning optimally. For example, if a tank breaks down, it needs to be thoroughly cleaned by a waste management specialist so it can be repaired.”

Tees Valley plans to grow

The Tees Valley Strategic Economic Plan aims to deliver 2,000 new businesses and increase the North East economy by 18.5% over the next ten years.

These ambitious plans coincide with more businesses moving to the area. Sirius Minerals aims to generate 2,500 jobs over the next few years and MGT Power is bringing 700 jobs. In addition, established companies are growing too, with the likes the Hitachi train manufacturing stating is growth ambitions for its plant in Newton Aycliffe.

Foreman concluded: “The growth in the region is fantastic news and the majority of businesses have recognised they have a need for industrial cleaning, but there is still uncertainty on what they need to do comply with specific legislation. In response, we’re offering no-obligation advice for businesses that need assistance.”

Alby is a Hart of the community

HART BIOLOGICALS today announced managing director; Alby Pattison was granted the Freedom of the Borough by Hartlepool Council in a special ceremony at the Civic Centre.

In a speech at the ceremony, Alby said: “I was thrilled to be nominated for such a historic title. However, to be here tonight to be awarded the towns highest accolade is a true honour. I was born and bred in this town and this type of recognition is truly humbling.

Alby was recognised due to his positive support of local charities and fundraising in the local community. Hart Biologicals is a supporter of North East Charity Music v Cancer, Hartlepool Hospice, Manor Community Academy, High Tunstall College of Science and Alby is enthusiastic about helping young people in sport, particularly Hartlepool Rovers FC and Seaton Carew Cricket Club.

During his nomination of Alby, Councillor Kevin Cranney, said: “Alby has not only created a community, but he’s created a company that has community at its heart and recognises the merits of his business within the education sector.

Alby started Hart Biologicals in 2002 with just three members of staff. Now the company has over 40 staff, reaches £2.6m a year in turnover and is now a global exporter.

Pattison commented: “In terms of Hart Biologicals and Hart Innovations, I believe all of our staff should be here. I’m stood here receiving this honour but day-to-day they’re the guys doing the work and without them it would mean nothing.”

Alby’s long-term involvement in the development of a skilled workforce in the local area has become an integral part of his work for the community.

“Now that I have been given this amazing opportunity I plan on doing more of the same for the community. We already do a lot for the colleges and the schools in the area and now we’re looking into expanding into partnerships with Universities to help graduates find work. “

Alby regularly has visits from students from numerous universities, from as far as Manchester and London. On top of this he encourages his staff to become STEM ambassadors, and to tour schools on a regular basis to enforce the importance of science as a valuable career choice.

When speaking of other schemes for the community, Alby said: “We’ve also been working as part of the Make Something Happen scheme that looks to get unemployed people to learn new skills in order to find employment.

“The skills gap is massive problem in the Hartlepool area as educated and qualified workers are usually forced to find work outside of the region. It’s important to bring new opportunities into the area to keep jobs local.”

Alby concluded: “Everyone at Hart Biologicals and Hart Innovations have played their part in this successful year and I owe a debt of gratitude to each and everyone one of them for what they’ve done for the company for myself and especially the community.”