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Saturday, 01 November 2014

Askins & Little among early entries to CN Group Business Awards 2013

Entries have started to come in for the county’s most prestigious business contest, the CN Group Business Awards.

Business awards entry photo
Askins & Little apprentice John Telfer, left, with John Little

Askins & Little, the stonemason and restoration specialist, has entered three of 15 categories – service business, training and development, and the rising star section where it has put forward quantity surveyor Sam Morris.

Established in 2000 by Ian Askins and John Little, the Carlisle-based firm employs 15 skilled tradesmen working alongside managers and surveyors, carrying out projects worth up to £500,000 as principal construction contractors. It prides itself on using local labour and suppliers, and invests heavily in training, employing two full-time apprentice stonemasons.

Turnover broke through £1m in 2011, rising to £1.3m in 2012 and is set to hit £1.5m this year, with a healthy profit margin.

It is expanding and looking to increase the workforce.

Recent contracts include 104 Abbey Road, Barrow, known as “Cooke’s Building”, a Grade II-listed structure dating from 1875 which had fallen into decay but has been restored as a hub for creative media organisations.

Askins & Little had to remove and replace rotten timbers, and strip and re-slate the roof and restore its historic leadwork.

Stones that had deteriorated on the front of the building had to be cut back and replaced with hand-dressed stone to match the original.

Areas of historic brickwork were re-pointed in traditional lime mortar, and new timber windows, roof lights and metal railings fitted.

The project took six months and the quality of work was praised by the client, Barrow Council, and by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The firm has also carried out work at Armathwaite Hall near Bassenthwaite, Carlisle Cathedral, Holme Cultram Abbey at Abbeytown, the Killoran Hotel at Wetheral, Nelson Thomlinson School at Wigton, St Kentigern’s Church at Aspatria, and St Michael’s Church, Stanwix, Carlisle.

The winners of the CN Group Business Awards will be announced at a dinner at Rheged, near Penrith, on October 17. Barclays Bank is the main sponsor.

Entrants can put their names forward in any number of categories and previous entrants and winners are welcome to enter again.

All short-listed entries receive coverage in CN Group newspapers and on its websites.

All finalists get two complimentary tickets for the awards event at Rheged.

Businesses can enter online at www.cnbusinessawards.co.uk – alternatively, email businessawards@cnmedia.co.uk or call Alison Sisson on 01228 612617 to ask for an application form. The deadline for entries is Monday, July 29.

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