Marsden Heights construction manager wins top award

Andrew Pilling
Andrew Pilling

A CONSTRUCTION manager has won a top national award for his outstanding work on a £27m. Pendle superschool.

Andrew Pilling, of Lend Lease, led the construction of Marsden Heights Community College, Nelson, which was part of the £250m. Building Schools for the Future programme.

The 47-year-old from Burnley, who started out life as an apprentice joiner, used a pioneering a community-centred approach on the project and delivered it within budget and ahead of schedule.

He was presented the silver Construction Manager of the Year Award by TV star Claudia Winkleman at a London ceremony organised by the Chartered Institute of Building.

Speaking after the ceremony, Mr Pilling said: “This is a massive achievement for me. To do a job like this locally is a big thing, but to be second in the country in the most prestigious awards in the construction industry just caps it all off. To me, it is the peak of my career. I cannot beat that.”

Mr Pilling worked on the job from start to finish and saw it transformed from a green field site to the jewel in the crown of the £250m. BSF programme.

Despite it being the first time he had run a multi-million pound project of this scale, Mr Pilling utilised his 25 years experience in the industry to master the project.

He was intent on using a unique local and community-centred approach. He employed Marsden school leavers and local workers for the job, mentored children on site and got residents involved in the project. In the face of fierce opposition to the build by members of the public, Mr Pilling tackled their concerns head on and won their acceptance.

He said: “It is great to work on a local project and it was a massive project for me. It is the biggest job I have ever done.

“But to do a job locally and to be able to employ local people and use local suppliers means we put back into the area.

“The team relationship was fantastic and everyone really bought into the process. It is all about planning and building a good relationship with the end user.

“To finish four weeks early and within budget is very unusual within the construction industry.”