Anthony, 54, a third generation member of the famous Rea ice-cream family and author of 'Manchester's Little Italy', who had grown up among the terraced streets of Ancoats, adjoining the city centre, said the sympathetic Armitage Construction development was totally in-keeping with the history of the area and would be much appreciated by residents.
In his speech he talked about the impact on the community following the arrival of Italian families in the 19th Century, like his own ancestors, who set up homes and businesses and for the next 100 years created what has become known as 'Ancoats Little Italy'.
Many of Manchester's movers and shakers, city based entrepreneurs, building industry professionals and leading members of the Italian community were welcomed to the event by the sounds of Northern Soul music and themed cocktails and were able to literally 'get a taste of Ancoats' by sampling some of the local delicacies served from barrows by waiters dressed in the outfits of Scuttlers, neighbourhood youth gangs of the 19th century.
Guests visiting the new Armitage Construction HQ, which has been converted from a former electricity sub-station and two terraced houses in Jersey Street, were hugely impressed by the development.
Daniel and Andrea Armitage, now the fifth generation family members to run the £10 million turnover, 45 employee business, said the company had remained loyal to its 143 years old reputation and ethos by taking the existing building and re-using as many of the original features as possible during the restoration.
Jersey Street, Ancoats, won via a HCA competitive tender, has brought back into use two historic buildings within the Ancoats Conservation area.
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"We have always found the company to be extremely proactive with strong leadership and a skilled labour workforce"
Thomas Worthington Design
"I recommend this company highly and would be glad to discuss their work if required"
St Hilda's Church
"The Manager on site was always courteous and considerate of the care environment that they were working in. Daniel was always helpful and interested in the standard of work being undertaken and took a personal interest in the project."
Care Concepts LTD
"Thank you again for the cooperation, effort and skill of your team in delivering the Chemotherapy Unit ahead of programme. This has been much appreciated by the Estate Department at Stepping Hill"
Stepping Hill Hospital
"Armitage Construction carried out the alteration works to a high standard and the Parish and I remain delighted with their work, team and organisation"
Gramham Holland Assocaites
"The Armitage team managed the delivering of the project within budget and programme restrictions, whilst providing the desired quality. The helpful nature and resourcefulness they exhibited helped to overcome numerous complications."
"Without question this goes to the wider team and more so to Armitage Construction for their delivery, patience and communications. Without the levels of persistence you showed, it could have proved a little more difficult."
University of Manchester
"I wish to record my appreciation of the contractor's efforts to regain some of the delay recorded and on the quality of the end product. The work was of the highest order and the south side of the church now looks in very good order."
Lloyd Evans Prichard
"We have found that attitude to the project from all members of the contractors team, from Site Foreman, Site Managers, Project Manager, Contracts Manager and Managing Surveyor, to be most refreshing in these days of construction activity."
"Armitage are a thoroughly good contractor, and I recommend them highly"
University of Manchester
"We are delighted to have employed Armitage Construction as the Main Contractor on the building of our new Medical Centre. They have displayed a very professional, organised and helpful approach."
Heaton Moor Medical Centre
"The management of the site from a client perspective has been very good, this is a great reflection on Steve."
National Trust â€“ Quarry Bank Mill