Brett Approved Installer Awards

The annual jamboree that is the Brett Approved Installer (BAI) Conference and Awards evening rolls on and grows ever more relevant. A new venue this year, Heythrop Park Hotel near Chipping Norton, nestled on the edge of the Cotswolds, is a swanky location which offers far more space to allow sponsors and supporters to show what they have that might make the task of earning a living from laying paving that bit easier.

And more from Brett too. An on-the-day contractors' vote for patio and driveway of the year was a great stimulus for discussion and actively encouraged contractor participation, not to mention a healthy dollop of ribbing and urine extraction. However, a simultaneous celebrity-based quiz competition " for the ladies " smacked a little too much of insisting they drink only a glass of white wine or a fruit-based cocktail. At least it wasn't given a pink background!

A good display of tools, marketing aids, ancillaries, and new opportunities was buzzing with interest all afternoon, with one room set aside to showcase some of the new products that will be available this year, along with a highly select range of products, including some very appealing Italian manufactured ceramic paving from Atlas Concorde, that will be exclusively available to BAI members for the first 12 months. The timber-effect options were, apparently, generating most interest amongst the buzz of contractors.

Corridor display
Just one part of the Sponsors' Display
Brett Ceramic
Stone stylings of the exclusive BAI-only ceramic paving
Ceramic timber decking effect
The timber decking effect porcelain paving that was attracting so much attention

It was a far more considered presentation from the Brettsters at the conference, with an insightful contribution from MD Alan Smith and a very useful briefing on the relevance of Health and Safety issues from Brett's Lead SHEQ Manager, Rachel Stone. Calvin Jackson effortlessly overcame his natural reluctance to address a large audience to give a comprehensive and honest appraisal of the BAI scheme, what it can do for contractors, what it would like to do for contractors, and what the organisers perceive as gaps in their service to contractors.

And as with all such events, getting the contractors attending the conference to actually confer, to speak their minds publicly, to voice their thoughts, ideas and concerns was a little like pulling teeth. A reluctance to speak up before ones peers is understandable, but at least no-one can say they weren't given the opportunity.

BAI conference
Alan Smith addresses the conference

In the evening, a sleek and smooth award ceremony with none of that awful hanging around waiting for summat to happen. Lovely food, even if the spud portions were completely underwhelming for anyone with Irish blood in their veins, and plenty of drink freely flowing all helped stoke a highly convivial atmosphere.

big dinner
The Big Dinner - more spuds please!

All in all, this has to be acknowledged as the best BAI Conference to date. There was a real sense that the event has reached a level of maturity where it carries genuine weight and respect without losing that spirit of camaraderie which makes for such an enjoyable evening. And I have my paving-ignorant partner's permission to say that!

So: who won what?

National Installer of the Year and Regional Installer of the Year (South)

Woods Paving


Regional Installer of the Year (South-West)


Reading, Berkshire

Regional Installer of the Year (North)

Leicester Drives & Gardens

Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Best Small Patio(<50m²)

Muddy Boots

Southport, Lancashire

Best Large Patio(>50m²)

Leicester Drives & Gardens

Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Contractor's Choice Patio

R & J Mole Ltd

Brewood, Staffordshire

Best Small Driveway(<50m²)

Paramount Paving


Best Large Driveway(>50m²)

Bowen Paving

Canvey Island, Essex

Tel: 01268 660006

Contractor's Choice Driveway

Bowen Paving

Canvey Island, Essex

Tel: 01268 660006

Outstanding Project Portfolio

Paramount Paving


Special Recognition Award

for exceptional work on Bruntingfield Airport Project:

Martin Block Paving

Thrussington, Leicestershire

Excellence in Customer Service

Mason & Turner Construction Limited


Newcomer of the Year

NH Home Improvements Limited

Edgware, Middlesex

BAI winners
BAI Award Winners 2015