A Sunderland-based company involved in delivering some of the region’s most eye-catching buildings is celebrating being named the North-East’s construction industry’s SME of the Year.

Identity Consult, which supported the development of both The Beam and The Beacon of Light in Sunderland, won the title against stiff opposition in the prestigious Constructing Excellence In The North-East (CENE) Awards.

And managing director Mark Doherty believes that if there was one thing that caught the judges attention, it was Identity Consult’s decision to invest in staff development at a time when many in the hard-pressed construction industry were looking at cutting back.

Mark said: “What underpinned our success more than anything this year, was investment in people development.

“That might have felt counterintuitive in an industry currently facing a challenging climate but it has been key to achieving our goals.

“More than that, it has contributed to a growing sense of togetherness in a period where our workforce grew by more than 20 per cent and we opened a third office in Yorkshire, adding to our existing offices in the north-east and north-west.

“The award is a huge recognition for the hard work we’ve put into creating a company that aims to exceed our clients’ expectations, really invests in its staff in terms of training, job satisfaction and health and wellbeing but also recognises the importance we can play in our local communities by supporting local charities and donating a percentage of our fees to good causes.”

The company received the news and the award in a ‘virtual’ presentation with the high-profile awards night being held online because of Covid-19.

Mark said: “We’d love to have been there in person but some of the board watched it in our boardroom dressed in tuxedos to get in the mood, which wasn’t a bad second best!”

Identity Consult, a development and construction consultancy based at Quays West, next to the Alexandra Bridge has steadily grown in size and scale since its founding, nearly 15 years ago.

It supplies a range of services to the construction industry, including project management, employer’s agent cost management and digital services.

As well as being involved in the construction of The Beacon, (for which it won national awards), and The Beam, it was also involved in the refurbishment of Hays Travel’s national HQ in Keel Square.

The company has been involved in numerous health and education projects and is delivering a series of projects with the University of Sunderland straddling both fields.

Among high-profile projects Identity Consult has recently supported are Lower Steenberg’s Yard as part of the wider Ouseburn Regeneration in Newcastle and the redevelopment of Smith’s Dock Shipyard in North Shields on the banks of the River Tyne.



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