Trent Bridge Quays releases Nottingham’s latest £1 million apartment

Nottingham’s latest £1 million apartment is under construction at the luxury Trent Bridge Quays development on the banks of the river Trent.

Developers Elevate Property Group are bringing the development’s flagship penthouse apartment to the market with the promise of a bespoke specification.

The first phase of the development is well on the way to selling out with 85% reserved and so Elevate is now launching the second phase, including the £1 million apartment.

The top floor three bedroom penthouse will offer a giant 1,722 sq ft of interior space and it comes with 904 sq ft of riverside terrace perfect for chilling out or having a party on a warm summer’s evening.

Elevate’s sales and marketing director David Hofton said: “Whoever buys this apartment, if they reserve early enough, will have a say in its final specifications and finish and we are excited to be bringing this opportunity to market.”

The latest, revised plans for the penthouse provide a general improved reconfiguration of the space, a wider main entrance corridor with double width, black painted, tulip wood glazed doors.

The luxury apartment will feature three double bedrooms, all with en-suites and fitted wardrobes, direct views of the river, and sliding doors opening to the private roof terrace.

An impressive open plan kitchen area with island and breakfast bar has been designed with fully integrated appliances and quartz stone worksurfaces – again, with the opportunity for the buyer who reserves early to influence.

Other features include wide plank herringbone floor to reception and principal rooms, en-suites fully tiled, bespoke lighting design throughout.

Mr Hofton added: “When it comes to the terrace area, we are ready to talk to the ultimate buyer on finishes, planting and facilities such as an outside bar.

“Depending on the client’s budget, further optional extras can be incorporated at this stage. Professional interior design could include wallpapers, lighting, furnishings, curtains and blinds.

Trent Bridge Quays is a new waterfront neighbourhood that forms part of Nottingham’s vision to transform and regenerate the heritage of the river and canalside areas. Rich in history, this is where the city and the river reconnect in perfect harmony.

Mr Hofton said: “The 95 contemporary homes and apartments come with panoramic views of the river and landscaped areas that add a natural flow to the living experience. This is life at the water’s edge, and it’s a place you’ll love to call home.”

For those without a spare £1 million, the last few remaining in 1st phase of Trent Bridge Quays start at £192,500 for a one bedroom luxury apartment, from £345,000 for a two bedroom waterside apartment with balcony and river views, from £349,000 for a townhouse with three double bedrooms and garden and £495,000 for a four bedroomed town house.

Joint agents are Savills Residential Sales on 0121 200 4567 and FHP New Homes and Waterside Living on 0115 841 1155.

Ends (480 words)

For further information, please contact:

David Hofton, Sales & Marketing Director,

Elevate Property Group, St Pauls House, St Pauls Square, Birmingham B3 1RB

0121 272 5729

Editors’ Notes

Elevate Property Group creates exceptional architectural spaces that respect how important your home is for easy living and wellbeing.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 07990 978257

Experienced property expert drives 80% boom in lettings at Nicol & Co

A top Worcestershire estate agency has seen a near 80% increase in lettings, thanks to the determination of an experienced manager who joined the company last spring.

Sarah Jenkins joined Nicol & Co as lettings manager in April 2020, and since then has completed on 152 deals, up from 85 in the previous year.

She is also responsible for expanding business in the portfolio landlords’ sector, with those customers rising by nearly 30% from 157 to 204 since she joined

Ms Jenkins, who manages lettings across Nicol & Co’s three offices in Malvern, Worcester and Droitwich, has worked in property for 22 years, focusing on lettings since 2013.

She said: “The lettings market is through the roof since we came out of lockdown, with a huge demand from potential tenants looking for new homes.

“We been particularly successful here at Nicol & Co because of the way we’ve streamlined our operations.

“The traditional agent puts a property on the market, handles incoming calls and can then be involved in anything from five to ten viewings before a letting is agreed, with each viewing taking at least half an hour.

“Nicol & Co has invested in the new Gavl app, which allows us to video and livestream viewings as part of the initial marketing, resulting in real interest from people who can see what’s on offer

“We then take a single preferred potential tenant to physically view the property, which means we save precious time that was previously spent on multiple viewings.

“That’s at least two hours of time saved, per deal, which means our staff can focus more time on providing the service to our clients that they have come to expect.

“This has made a huge impact, as we’re attracting more stock, achieving more lettings, and yet we’re able to do all that with the same number of staff.”

Ms Jenkins explained that Nicol & Co’s success in growing portfolio landlord customer numbers was the result of determined and active management during the recent pandemic.

She said: “We’ve found that landlords have been disappointed with traditional agents whose efforts seemed to be slackening because they were working from home during COVID-19.

“Landlords with multiple properties have been asking ‘What’s happening?’, and are questioning why they are paying for a service that is not delivering.

“In short, it’s easy to be an agent for landlords when everything is normal, but the real value of a quality agent comes through when times are tough, as we’ve experienced in the last year.

“What they have found is that at Nicol & Co we have been working even harder because of lockdown, making sure tenant issues are resolved, that vacancies are quickly filled and that this is all done with top quality customer service.

“This has led to nearly a third more portfolio landlords coming to us, and we’re looking to grow this further in the next few months.”

Ms Jenkins added: “I liken it to getting your insurance renewal letter through every year, when you know you can probably get a better deal, but you don’t always get round to it.

“What we’re saying to portfolio landlords is: ‘Come to Nicol & Co and we will not only ensure that the process of moving across is effortless, we are confident that your portfolio will work better for you and that your tenants are well looked after.”

Anyone looking for assistance with lettings can contact Ms Jenkins on 01905 675999 or by emailing

Ends (581 words)

For further information, please call:

Matt Nicol, Managing Director, Nicol & Co, 226 Worcester Road, Droitwich Spa, WR9 8AY

Tel: 01905 779072

Notes to Editors

Established in 2009, Nicol & Co is an award-winning estate agency offering advice on sales, lettings, new homes and land purchase. The company combines the latest in digital media with traditional high street courtesy and service to provide the perfect blend of old and new technology.

Prepared and issued by ASAP – 01608 651203, mobile 07990 978257

REI boosts dividend as business looks set for brighter 2021

Birmingham-based Real Estate Investors plc (REI) is to buck the commercial property market trend and pay a fully covered dividend of 0.75p for the quarter 1 April to 30 June 2021. In the same period last year the company paid 0.50p.

The Stock Exchange-listed real estate investment trust with a 1.6 million sq ft portfolio of commercial property across all sectors in the Midlands, pledged last year to continue with its progressive dividend policy.

In 2020, REI paid a total dividend for the year of 3p, making a total of £36.4 million paid out since the company commenced paying dividends. The business also carried out a share buyback costing £2 million during the year – at the same time maintaining its dividend policy.

REI chief executive Paul Bassi said: “We enter the second half of 2021 well positioned to take advantage of the regional economic bounce back and any market opportunities that will reveal themselves and benefit from renewed occupier demand, in particular for our convenience retail and our out of town offices.

“We are starting to see the economic boost from HS2, Coventry City of Culture 2021 and the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

“As the marketplace normalises, we anticipate a healthy recovery in valuations and sales at pre-COVID-19 levels with a strong investor demand for regional assets that performed well during the global pandemic, supported by high levels of equity and low costs of debt available for real estate.”

REI ended 2020 with £9.725 million of property sales which have unconditionally exchanged contracts and completion is expected in 2021. They included an Aldi store in Birmingham which the supermarket chain is acquiring for £5.35 million.

The company also announced that well-known Birmingham lawyer and businessman John Crabtree OBE retired as chairman at the end of May 2021, with William Wyatt, CEO of Caledonia Trust, assuming the role.

Ends (307 words)

For further information, please contact:

Paul Bassi, Chief Executive Officer,

Real Estate Investors plc, 2nd Floor, 75/77 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2AP

0121 265 6406 or 0121 212 3446

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner at ASAP, 01608 651203, mobile, 07990 978257

About Real Estate Investors plc

Real Estate Investors Plc is a publicly quoted, internally managed property investment company and REIT with a portfolio of 1.6 million sq ft of mixed-use commercial property, managed by a highly-experienced property team with over 100 years of combined experience of operating in the Midlands property market across all sectors.  The Company’s strategy is to invest in well located, real estate assets in the established and proven markets across the Midlands, with income and capital growth potential, realisable through active portfolio management, refurbishment, change of use and lettings.  The portfolio has no material reliance on a single asset or occupier.  On 1st January 2015, the Company converted to a REIT.  Real Estate Investment Trusts are listed property investment companies or groups not liable to corporation tax on their rental income or capital gains from their qualifying activities.  The Company aims to deliver capital growth and income enhancement from its assets, supporting its progressive dividend policy.  Further information on the Company can be found at

UK’s appetite for pizza sees leading oven supplier double the size of its Redditch headquarters, with the help of John Truslove

When you were taking a bite of your freshly delivered lockdown pizza over the last year, odds on it was baked in an oven supplied by a company in Redditch.

The huge surge in demand for delivered pizza has now seen White’s Foodservice Equipment doubling the size of their premises, expanding into the unit next door, with the aid of Ben Truslove at commercial property agents John Truslove.

Business boss Tim White supplies pizza ovens, spares and food preparation equipment to major names including Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s and a host of independent operators up and down the country.

Now, in the wake of a record year, he has expanded his base and is looking to recruit new workers.

He said: “We have known Ben Truslove since we first moved to Redditch. The town is a great location with ideal transport links, and Ben proved to be helpful and knowledgeable when we were looking for a site. It became clear last year we needed to expand, so of course I got in touch with Ben and it turned out the unit next door was going to be available.

“It’s the ideal solution, as we have spent six or seven years investing in our current unit on the South Moons Moat estate to get it just right, with a fully fitted showroom so clients can try out the equipment before they buy it.”

Ben Truslove arranged a five year lease with White’s Foodservice Equipment for the 6,468 sq ft Unit 7 on Padgets Lane, adjoining the firm’s existing based at Unit 8, more than doubling its floorspace.

Tim added: “Business has gone through the roof over the last year. Obviously everyone was phoning for a pizza during lockdown and that demand is just continuing. We operate a spare parts website as well, and supply both wood-fired and normal commercial pizza ovens made by the leading manufacturers in the industry.

“We now have around 15 full time staff and will be aiming to recruit two or three more over the next 12 months.”

It was while working as a chef in commercial kitchens that Tim became involved in the design and equipping side of the business, finally focusing on equipment for pizza restaurants. With major names as clients, the firm is a leading operator in its field and has seen turnover grow to a record £4.5m over the last year.

Ben Truslove, joint managing director John Truslove, said: “I have known Tim and White’s Foodservice Equipment since we helped them first move to Redditch and it has been a pleasure seeing the business continue to grow.

“We are delighted to have been able to help them take the next step – it underlines the strength of Redditch as a centre for businesses with a nationwide reach. We have the premises and the infrastructure that are vital for any growing business.”

Wadsworths Solicitors in Shirley acted for White’s Foodservice Equipment.

Redditch-based chartered surveyors and valuers John Truslove was recently named Most Active Agent in Worcestershire in the Radius Data Exchange survey produced in conjunction with EG, the commercial property market magazine.

Joint managing director Ian Parker was also named Worcestershire Dealmaker of the Year AND Warwickshire Dealmaker of the Year for 2020. The survey year, which runs from August to August, saw John Truslove record a 36% increase in deals negotiated over the 12 months.

Ends (561 words)

For more information, contact:

John Truslove, Daralbee House, Archer Road, Redditch, B98 8DJ

01527 584242

Issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, mobile 07990 978257.

Thursfields advises on unprecedented demand for flexible or serviced office spaces on short leases

There has been a notable surge in the demand for flexible or serviced office spaces on short leases as businesses adopt hybrid working following COVID-19, according to Thursfields Solicitors.

Tony Gibb, a director at Thursfields and head of the commercial property team, was commenting after a Centre for Cities think tank report suggested that a blend of home and office working is expected to be popular while the UK recovers from the pandemic.

Some analysts then anticipate that a shift back to pre-Covid working patterns of the five-day office week could become the norm again within two years.

Mr Gibb said: “If this becomes a reality in the coming months, it means that the demand for office space will be on the increase again.

“During the pandemic and the lockdown that followed, many businesses reviewed and even gave up their office leases, which prompted a lot of discussions about the future of office spaces.

“But office space demands have risen since the slow unlocking of the nation, shown by significant increases in office space take-up in the UK’s six biggest regional cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester – in figures collated by Savills estate agents.

“There is also now an unprecedented demand for flexible or serviced office spaces on short leases as some businesses adopt hybrid working.

“Whilst they want the spaces to be flexible, most firms still want a five-day office. This does not mean that office spaces are necessarily cheaper as the flexibility that businesses are demanding is priced into the cost of the lease.

“For our landlord clients, this means that they need to be willing to enter into more flexible leases depending on the different needs and requests of the prospective business tenants.

“This will reflect the tenant’s requirement for shorter term contracts, more flexible space, and better assignment terms in their leases.

“As solicitors, we also have to ensure that there are sufficient clauses that protect the rights of our landlord clients even in shorter, more flexible leases.”

Mr Gibb added: “For those tenant clients, our role is to negotiate leases that take account of all their needs for flexibility, whether in terms of the arrangement of the space, and provision for early termination of the lease.”

Any businesses needing commercial property advice can call Mr Gibb on 0345 20 73 72 8 or email him at

Ends (394 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: Tel: 01905 677066


ASAP PR – 01608 651203, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn –

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Birmingham suffering from major shortage of homes for sale in prime postcodes

A major shortage of homes in two of Birmingham’s prime post-codes has been caused by a “perfect storm” of market factors, according to one of the city’s top estate agents.

Ben Davidson, managing director of Davidson Estates, said the scarcity of residential properties to buy has hit the B15 area of Edgbaston – including the much sought-after Calthorpe Estate area – and the B17 area of Harborne.

He explained that the lack of homes available was due to a combination of property chain bottle-necks, worries over COVID-19 and significant over-pricing.

Mr Davidson, whose estate agency has offices in Edgbaston and Birmingham city centre, said: “There are long queues of potential buyers for homes in the B15 and B17 post-codes, due to the large and distinctive properties in those areas and their convenient, premier locations.

“However, there’s never been such a shortage of properties available, a situation that’s been caused by a ‘perfect storm’ of market conditions.

“To start with, people living in these lovely areas are finding it difficult to find anywhere as attractive to move to, either in the Midlands or even in some cases in the south-west and London area.

“They just love the pleasant environment they live in, with its easy connections to a major city and transport links, close to great educational, health and leisure facilities, and cannot find properties available anywhere else that equals that.

“This ‘stay-put’ mood has been exacerbated by COVID-19, with home-owners in the prime Edgbaston and Harborne areas feeling they have benefited from what are often huge gardens.

“They know they have been lucky to have such great outside spaces to safely relax in during the last year, and they are nervous about giving those up for smaller yards in, say, London, where they might feel trapped in potential future lockdowns.

“The third reason for the B15 and B17 shortages is overpricing, a factor partly caused by those first two factors.

“We have a saying here at Davidson Estates that if a B15 or B17 property for sale is still on the market after two weeks it’s because it’s overpriced, and we’re seeing that a lot in recent months.”

Despite the property shortages, Mr Davidson said he had still handled more business in the last 12 months across wider Birmingham and the city centre, which meant Davidson Estates was growing and taking on more staff.

He said: “Although there was around a ten-week long hiatus of property moves during the first lockdown, we’ve still seen a growth in our year-on-year statistics, albeit with a marked trend towards more lettings than sales.

“Some of this activity has been driven by property lettings for key workers who needed to stay in specific locations, such as near hospitals, and in those cases we’ve almost been giving properties away to support the battle against the pandemic.”

Mr Davidson added: “The main message is that for homeowners in the B15 and B17 areas considering a move, there is a ready market of keen buyers out there for you.

“And for buyers wanting to move into those prime post-codes, here at Davidson Estates we know exactly what’s on offer at all times – whether it’s properties for sale or providing a premium letting in the short-term while waiting for the right home to buy.”

Properties for sale with Davidson Estates are at, and lettings can be found at Or buyers or sellers can call Mr Davidson on 0121 455 7727 for more details.

Ends (575 words)

For further information, please contact:

 Ben Davidson, Managing Director, Davidson Estates,

Unit 2, Liberty Place, Sheepcote Street, Birmingham B16 8AE

Head office: 14 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 1JD

Tel: 0121 455 7727

Mobile: 07834 561 537


Editors’ Notes

Davidson Estates is an established estate and letting agency based in Edgbaston and Birmingham city centre, specialising in residential property lettings, property management, PRS Management (Build-to-Rent), residential sales, new build (presale) sales, land/site finding, development consultation, furniture, maintenance and refurbishments. Founded by Ben Davidson in January 2009, the business has built up an excellent reputation for its high level of service and is now regarded as one of the best and most reliable property agents in Edgbaston and Birmingham city centre.

Nottingham’s first time buyers can move in this summer at Trent Bridge Quays

Elevate Property Group is to hold an event solely for first time buyers at its Trent Bridge Quays riverside development in Nottingham.

The development has been approved for the next tranche of Help to Buy (HTB) and Elevate wants to demonstrate to first time buyers just how affordable luxury living can be.

Trent Bridge Quays offers the only new brand-new build waterside apartments on the river below Nottingham’s HTB regional threshold of £261,900.

David Hofton, sales and marketing director of Elevate Property Group, said: “Trent Bridge Quays has a great choice of one bed apartments and duplexes for first time buyers from £192,500 to £237,500.

“They are available to purchase with the aid of the government’s Help to Buy scheme and can be bought with just a 5% deposit, the HTB equity loan of 20% and a low interest rate mortgage on the remaining balance of 75% of the one bed apartments which start from just £192,500.

A special viewing event for first time buyers has been created on Saturday and Sunday 12 and 13 June and those interested can arrange social distanced appointments by contacting joint agents Savills Residential Sales on 0121 200 4567 and FHP New Homes and Waterside Living on 0115 841 1155.

A conveyancing solicitor and mortgage consultant will be on site to answer any queries that first time buyers may have.

A new micro-site at has been created to give a real insight into what buyers can expect.

Mr Hofton cites the one bed duplexes and three bed townhouses as proving exceptionally popular.

“Some of the one bed duplexes have a terrace enabling occupiers to step out of their living room, on to the board walk and be immediately on the river front. These one bed duplex apartments start at £220,000.

“For those in a position to proceed, they could be in their new riverside home this summer,” he said.

He noted that house prices across the UK are currently rising and Nottingham is being seen as an increasingly attractive place to live.

Other properties becoming available this summer at Trent Bridge Quays include townhouses with four double bedrooms and garden from  £485,000 and two bedroom waterside apartments with balcony and river views from £345,000.

Ends (371 words)

For further information, please contact:

David Hofton, Sales & Marketing Director,

Elevate Property Group, St Pauls House, St Pauls Square, Birmingham B3 1RB

0121 272 5729

Editors’ Notes

Elevate Property Group creates exceptional architectural spaces that respect how important your home is for easy living and wellbeing.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 07990 978257

Elevate appoints Bode Contracting to deliver Priory House redevelopment

Elevate Property Group has appointed Leicester-based Bode Contracting Ltd to deliver the Priory House development of 79 luxury apartments in the former Birmingham forensic science laboratories.

Preparation work has been carried out in the seven storey Priory House since Elevate acquired the former home of the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham from Rainer Developments in March this year.

Bode Contracting Ltd will begin a 55 week, multi-million pound build in late June with completion scheduled for the third quarter of 2022.

Priory House was constructed in the 1950s and was occupied by the Forensic Science Service for more than 40 years before it closed in 2011. It is located in the Southside district of Birmingham on the corner of Kent Street and Gooch Street North.

Elevate intends to repurpose the landmark 77,000 sq ft building in the style and aesthetic of its renowned Concord House development on Holloway Head, one of its first projects in the city.

Formed in April 2020 by managing director Dan Bodell and co-director Jodie Bodell, Bode Contracting Ltd has already carried out work for Elevate Property Group on its recently completed Sheldon Court development in Wagon Lane, Birmingham, and on Victoria Point in Ashford, Kent.

Dan Bodell said: “We are really excited to have been appointed to such a prestigious project – to develop premium residential living space in this magnificent building.

“Elevate Property Group has built a reputation for quality, medium rise, large town and inner city residential developments, and the design and finish of Priory House, when completed, will set a new standard for residential living in Birmingham.

James Costello, development director of Elevate Property Group, said: “We have known Dan and his team for some time and have worked successfully together. Their standards and values are very much aligned with our own and so it was an easy decision to make to appoint Bode Contracting.”

Elevate has also appointed a strong Midlands team to design and work on the contract including D5 Architects, structural engineers Farrow Walsh Consulting Ltd, and mechanical and electrical engineers Couch Perry Wilkes, with the project finance provided by Solihull-based Paragon Bank plc.

Priory House will be Elevate’s latest development starting on site in quick succession following the recent award and commencement of the 56 unit Heaton House Scheme.

Elevate property Group have a number of further projects in the advance stages of pre-development including 258 units at Castleward Boulevard off Liversage Street in Derby, 58 units in the second phase of Trent Bridge Quays in Nottingham, and 60 units in the second phase at Princes Gate in Solihull.

This in addition to the detailed planning application recently submitted for 84 apartments at 51-61 Price Street in Birmingham’s Gun Quarter.

It is anticipated that work is due to start on all four developments this year – a total of 460 properties.

Ends (543 words)

For further information, please contact:

Steve Dodd, Managing Director,

Elevate Property Group, St Pauls House, St Pauls Square, Birmingham B3 1RB

0121 272 5729

Editors’ Notes

Elevate Property Group creates exceptional architectural spaces.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01608 651203 or 07990 978257

Gunsmith House restoration to lead Elevate’s plans for Price Street

Elevate Property Group has applied for detailed planning permission for 84 apartments at 51-61 Price Street in Birmingham’s Gun Quarter.

The scheme, designed by Birmingham firm K4 Architects Ltd, will include the restoration of the existing, locally-listed, Gunsmith House, and provide 34 one bedroom, 44 two bedroom and 4 three bedroom apartments in total.

The development was granted outline planning permission for the conversion and building work in May 2020.

The multi-million pound project is Elevate Property Group’s tenth scheme in Birmingham alone, with work also currently underway or due to start in Ashford, Kent, Nottingham, Derby and Malvern.

The scheme is currently in for planning and if approved construction will begin in the third quarter of 2021 with completion projected for the end of 2022.

Development director James Costello said: “With work already having started on our recently acquired development at Priory House in Southside, this is another scheme in a great location for those who live and work in the city.

“The Gun Quarter has a great heritage and we look forward to restoring Gunsmith House as part of the development, furthering our commitment to protecting the best of the old alongside fantastic new living accommodation in a popular part of Birmingham.”

Prices will offer great value to prospective buyers with prices expected to start at around £180,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Elevate Property Group has already this year received planning permission for 258 apartments at Castleward Boulevard off Liversage Street in Derby, 57 new homes at Heaton House, Camden Street Birmingham, 58 in the second phase of Trent Bridge Quays in Nottingham, and in the second phase at Princes Gate in Solihull.

Work on all five sites is due to start this year – a total of 512 properties.

Elevate Property Group has built a reputation for quality medium rise large town and inner city residential developments.

Ends (309 words)

For further information, please contact:

Steve Dodd, Managing Director,

Elevate Property Group, St Pauls House, St Pauls Square, Birmingham B3 1RB

0121 272 5729

Editors’ Notes

Elevate Property Group creates exceptional architectural spaces.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01608 651203 or 07990 978257

Woman looking to succeed in male-dominated construction industry, thanks to BCTG

A Birmingham woman has revealed her passion for bricklaying after starting a course with a top Midlands training group.

Ruksaar Altaf said she had stepped outside her “comfort zone” by enrolling on BCTG’s post-19 Bricklaying course at its Construction Skills Centre at Kelvin Way Trading Estate, West Bromwich.

But the 26-year-old from Longbridge, who left behind an office-based career to take on the OCN level 2 course, said she was now looking forward to working in the construction industry.

Ms Altaf said she learnt about the bricklaying course from her support worker at Birmingham Children’s Trust after being brought up in a children’s home.

She said: “I was really anxious to start with because it’s a male dominated industry, isn’t it? But everyone is lovely and we get along really well. They don’t see me as a woman, they just see me as another trainee on the course.”

Ms Altaf, who obtained a social sciences degree from the University of Warwick, added: “The course is really good. And it’s something out of my comfort zone because, until then, I have been at uni and working in offices.

“There aren’t many females in the construction industry and I know we can excel so I thought let’s give it a try.”

Her previous jobs after graduating from university were as a receptionist and an office manager, but she lost the manager’s role last year due to the coronavirus lockdown.

She added: “I then became a warehouse operative with Amazon, but when we went into a second lockdown last December the opportunity came about to do this bricklaying course.

“I was actually doing a beauty training course at the time, but my support worker, who forwards me work opportunities, told me about the bricklaying.”

Ms Altaf says she hopes to qualify in August when she then plans to go on a level 3 course followed by a BTEC construction management course.

“I am hoping for a job in the construction industry, which is something I never imagined when I was at uni or working in offices. But I am really enjoying it.”

Russell Simms, BCTG’s centre manager at the Construction Skills Centre, said: “It’s a real pleasure to welcome Ruksaar onto the bricklaying course, where she’s showing a real aptitude to the job.

“I’m sure she’ll succeed in her aspirations to work in the construction industry, and she is just one of the great examples of people from diverse backgrounds on our courses.”

Lisa Kelly, business development manager at BCTG, added that the Construction Skills Centre was currently working with both Wilmott Dixon and St Modwen, who are offering work experience placements for projects in Birmingham and Digbeth.

Anyone interested in a course at the Construction Skills Centre can find out more by calling 0121 544 6455 and select option 1, or there are more details on the BCTG website at

Ends (479 words)

For further information, please contact:

Lisa Kelly, TAW Agency & BCTG Business Development Team Manager

T: 0121 544 6455 Option 1


Note to editors:

BCTG Group is a West Midlands-based training organisation which supports almost 10,000 young people and adults each year.

The group has ten sites in Birmingham, the Black Country, Staffordshire and Newcastle-under-Lyme, and includes PTP Training, trading as Performance Through People, BCTG Ltd, Eurosource Solutions, Further Training and The Apprenticeship Works.

The group offers 166 different types of apprenticeship, 84 different adult upskilling and reskilling courses and 27 pre-apprenticeship programmes for 16 to 18-year-olds. These include everything from healthcare and early years care to construction, engineering, manufacturing and logistics, through to business skills in IT, management and team leading.