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IQ Excellence Awards North of England winners revealed

Award winners

Region’s award winners announced at North of England branch annual dinner dance in Gateshead

PROFESSIONALS from the minerals extractives sector gathered in Gateshead to celebrate the first regional awards ceremony for the Institute of Quarrying (IQ) Excellence Awards on Friday 27 September 2019.

Hosted by IQ North of England at the branch’s annual dinner dance, the awards ceremony took place at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. Hazen Bowskill MIQ, chairman of IQ North of England, presented the awards alongside Iain Smith FIQ, branch representative to IQ Council.


The IQ Excellence Awards celebrate the success of exceptional individuals, teams and projects around the UK. Award categories are aligned to the quadrants of the IQ Skills Wheel and recognize the positive impact professionals make across the country.

Award categories included:

The Best Personal Development Project award recognizes initiatives that are aimed at supporting the professional development of employees at company or site level. Rema Tip Top Industry UK Ltd won the award for ‘Conveyor Confidence Through Understanding’, with the judges expressing that the project has made a significant contribution towards some specific improved training practices and procedures.

The Health & Safety Individual Excellence award recognizes the achievements of an individual in improving the health and safety performance on site. Ben Williams, managing director at EPC-UK, was praised by the judges for going beyond legal compliance or increasing revenue.

The Most Effective Process Improvement award acknowledges a team, project or initiative of technical process improvement that has delivered improved operational performance. The category received many quality submissions, with Aggregate Industries crowned the winner and highly commended by the judges for its ‘Wash Plant Improvement Project’.

The Most Innovative Leader award recognizes an individual who has made the best impact on the innovation ecosystem at site, business unit or organizational level. Robin Gillespie, unit manager at Hanson UK, received praise for his dissertation findings. ‘The benefits of using electronic delay versus pyrotechnical detonations for quarry blasting’ have already been introduced at Shap Quarry and recommended for implementation at Heidelberg Cement quarries around the world.

The Best Community Engagement Project award appreciates projects where sites are actively engaging their local communities and achieving positive results. Longcliffe Quarries Ltd were revealed as the winner for its ‘Butterfly Conservation’ project at Hoe Grange Quarry. It was described as a very good example of a genuinely collaborative approach by the company in working with the community in developing the project.

The Most Inspirational Leader award honours an individual who has made the strongest positive impact on the team they are part of. Winner Susan Arnott, IQ North of England, was praised for her commitment and support for the Institute and its members and described as an unsung hero.

The Best Initiative to Engage Workforce or Team award recognizes the best initiative aimed at supporting workforce engagement at either company or site team level. ‘Commit To Be Fit’ from EPC-UK won the award, a project that has made a significant impact in the business.

The Most Promising Future Leader award recognizes a talented individual for building their all-round knowledge and skills. Tom O’Boyle, project manager at Hanson UK, received the accolade and was described as a great ambassador for the industry.

James Thorne, chief executive officer at IQ, said: ‘There are some great initiatives happening across the north of England, as well as individuals who go above and beyond what is expected of them in their day-to-day role. The awards evening was enthused with joy and excitement. On behalf of everyone at IQ, congratulations to all the finalists and best of luck to the regional winners at the National Excellence Awards!’

With IQ Excellence Awards presentations taking place in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England, each regional award winner automatically goes forward to the National Excellence Awards to compete for the overall title in each category at Hillhead 2020.

Upcoming ceremonies:

  • Northern Ireland Regional Ceremony: 25 October 2019
  • Wales Regional Ceremony: 30 November 2019
  • Scotland Regional Ceremony: 30 November 2019.

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