2017 – the year that brought us a snap general election, more Brexit, Hull’s rule as the City of Culture and a Royal engagement! At Hardscape it has been a year of innovation, hard work and collaboration as we unveiled some of our most spectacular and complex work to date. Here we look back at some of the highlights of the last 12 months.

2017 has seen the completion of some of our most landmark projects since our inception.

We are proud to have played a central role in the transformation of Hull as it began its tenure as the City of Culture at the beginning of this year. This project has made a dramatic difference to the city with unprecedented economic benefits set to be seen for years to come.

Alongside Hull Public Realm, The Piece Hall in Halifax was another standout regeneration. The re-opening of the UK’s most significant heritage project this summer made headline news and put the Grade I listed building firmly on the map.

Over in Belfast, the ambitious ten-year vision of a public nature way came to fruition, linking the public parks of East Belfast following the watercourse of the Connswater Greenway and Loop Rivers.

Read our full review on Hull, Piece Hall and Connswater.

From large-scale transformations to complex engineering feats, 2017 also saw the opening of Angel Court in London, which recently scooped ‘Best Tall Building’ at the Architect’s Journal Awards. Hardscape supplied the unique split-stone cladding to the garden floors. A project that required precision and stringent attention to detail to create a unique and stunning finish not seen before in the UK.

At Baron’s Quay, Northwich we unveiled our largest Artscape creation to date – a 100 metre squared medieval depiction of the salt brining industry, which stayed true to the artist’s original drawings. Made from 100 pieces of polished granite, cut to 0mm tolerance, the tactile piece of public art takes centre-stage in the new public realm, a project which saw Hardscape supply 3000 tonnes of materials.

Other notable completed projects include Westquay Watermark in Southampton, Westgate in Oxford, Waterford Apple Market and Tralee Public Realm in Republic of Ireland.

Our partnership with the Landscape Institute continued to go from strength to strength this year as we participated in sell-out CPD events in London and Birmingham. 2017 also saw the Institute bring its annual conference to the North West. This gave us the opportunity to provide attendees with in-depth insights into some of the regions most standout public realm and regeneration projects via Hardscape hosted walking tours. We ended the year with the sponsorship of the LI Awards, which recognised the industry’s most accomplished projects of the year.

We continued to lead the way in championing ethical supply chain and adherence to the Modern Slavery Act. Earlier this year, MD Mathew Haslam and Ethical Trade Manager, Glenn Bradley, visited India and China to identify new quarry sources and carry out due diligence from an ethical supply chain point of view. The trip covered 19,129 miles by plane, train, car and even camel, taking in key sites in both countries. Training was provided to all supply chain staff, reinforcing Hardscape’s position as a leader in responsible sourcing.

Continuing our commitment to sourcing and supplying the widest range of innovative materials, in June we launched our new Kellen Brochure in print and digital format featuring 120 pages of new and updated products.

As a North West based company, this summer, the Hardscape team came together to support the victims of the Manchester Arena attack, raising £1,175 at a fundraiser hosted at the home of MD, Mathew Haslam.

In wider team news, in November we were pleased to welcome Darren Roberts as commercial manager. Darren brings with him a wealth of experience in people management, concrete technology, business reporting and development, specification sales, production management and more recently, commercial management of natural stone. He will focus on supporting Hardscape’s continued growth through various business improvement initiatives.

2018 is already shaping up to be as exciting as 2017 as we continue to drive forward in all areas of design, innovation and sourcing the highest quality materials for each of the projects that we specify. We would like to thank all of our customers and partners for their continued support and we look forward to a prosperous 2018.

See what the UK’s leading industry experts think 2018 has in store with our look ahead to the next 12 months.