2015 News

In the Christmas spirit...

December 2015

Vic Handley, Van Elle Group Director, drove up to Carlisle earlier today (Tuesday 22nd December) to deliver a van full of equipment for the Cumbria Flood Appeal. Although many homes have been devastated by the recent floods and an unfortunate few are unlikely to be at home for Christmas, we are playing a small part in helping with the clean up operation and to help those affected have a better start to the new year.

Flood1     Flood2     Flood3

Supporting the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital to do what it does best...

December 2015

Henry Lindup, son of Van Elle's Group Managing Director, Tom Lindup, travelled to London with his parents last week to present representatives of Great Ormond Street Children's Hopsital with a cheque for more than £15,000. Born with a life threatening heart condition, at only a few days old, Henry underwent major surgery and spent the first few months of his young life being cared for by the fantastic nurses and doctors of GOSH.

"As the grandchild of company Chairman and founder, Michael Ellis, this charity is close to the hearts of all of our employees and they were more than happy to make a monthly contribution in the form of a salary sacrifice to enable GOSH to continue to carry out cutting-edge research and surgery for other children born with such conditions. We hope this money will help to save other children's lives and enable them to enjoy the activities which other children take for granted as they grow older." Jon Fenton, Group CEO.

Cheque     Charity Logo     Cheque2

Van Elle gets an early Christmas present...

December 2015

To round off a fantastic year in terms of award wins, financial results & flagship projects successfully completed, we are pleased to announce that, in their 80th anniversary year, we have just received the Award for New Business Achievement at the BC Live Annual Construction Achievement Awards.

"I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our employees, clients, suppliers and industry colleagues a very Merry Christmas and we look forward to working with you all in the New Year. Please keep safe." Michael Ellis, Group Chairman.


Van Elle backs Central Midlands Football League team, Pinxton FC

December 2015

We are proud to announce that the home of Pinxton FC, local team to the company's head office, will now be known as 'The Van Elle Welfare Arena' following the 2 year sponsorship deal.

"As many of our head office staff live in the local vicinity, sponsorship of this successful local team's ground was an ideal opportunity to put something back into the community who support our business so well. We already engage with local schools through our 'Engineering in Education' programme and we regularly participate in the recruitment fayres promoted by local MP, Gloria De Piero, but we are always looking for new opportunities." says Vic Handley, Group Director.

Ground1     Logo     Ground2

Van Elle supports the SMA Trust and SMA Support UK

November 2015

We are pleased to announce that Van Elle will be supporting both the SMA Trust and SMA Support UK as the chosen charity for the coming year.

Every year, the Group chooses a charity which is close to the heart of one of our employees and this year our employees will be making a salary sacrifice in support of those trying to cure and alleviate the symptoms of Spinal Muscular Atrophy and those supporting the families affected by this inherited neuromuscular disease.

Charity events run throughout the year will also contribute to the Group's donation at the end of the year.

Logo1     Logo2

Henry brings home the silver

November 2015

8 year old Henry Williams, son of Group Business Development Director, Mark Williams, has just returned from the WMKF World Championships in Malta with the silver after a hard-fought contest for the 2015 Martial Arts World Title.

After stepping up into the higher age group (11-13 years) he made his way through the qualifiers and into the final to challenge 2 of the Team India competitors. Although he enjoyed the competition greatly, he loved meeting new competitors from the other nations and seeing friends made at last year's World Championships in Tunisia.

He will now be training hard to compete at the British and European Championships as well as hopefully qualifying for next year's WMKF World Championships and the WUMA World Cup.

Logo1     Logo2     Logo2     Logo2

Safety is Key

November 2015

There is nothing more important to Van Elle than the health and safety of our staff and every precaution is taken to protect both them and fellow contractors on site.

Van Elle have recently worked with Total Construction Supplies to fit a brand new RCL Super-Latch splicing system to prefabricated pile cages, the first of its kind.

Our piling division met with Total and had the vision and foresight to see the potential benefits of trialling the Super-Latch system on a project where they needed to install a number of piles with a two-part cage - 750OD x 16B40 with an overall length of 19.5m. The piles went into the ground smoothly and no site personnel had to put their hands inside the cage, which addresses a highly hazardous safety issue. Not only safe, the speed and ease at which the cages were spliced together was impressive – the cages simply lock together, no time is wasted by having to line up bands and then tighten up bolts.

This type of innovation is something that we at Van Elle welcome and support. To improve processes for safety and efficiency purposes can only be good for the industry and we aim to be a big part in this.

Cage 2     Cage 1

Taking Pride in the Job

October 2015

Van Elle was a key part of the site team that recently helped Gladman Homes achieve a 'Pride in the Job Quality Award 2015' with the NHBC for their Portishead site.

“We fully appreciate the efforts that your company and employees have invested in helping our site team reach the required standards for the award. The award indicates the extra mile taken on the project by everyone involved. A big “Thank You” to all of your operatives.” said Lee Pitchford, Contracts Manager for Gladman Homes.

At Van Elle, we continually strive to excel in our activities and ensure our clients always get the right solution, first time. Receiving such positive feedback is extremely rewarding and shows us that we are on the right track with the service we provide.


Railstaff Awards 2015

October 2015

The Van Elle Rail team had a fantastic night at the RailStaff Awards 2015. Truly embracing the ‘Out of Africa’ theme, they went all out on the fancy dress and arguably had the best costumes of the night.

Despite being finalists in 6 of the categories, unfortunately, none of these were converted into winners, however, the team were highly commended in the Rail Infrastructure / Possessions Team of the Year Award!

Team     Stage

Successful trip to Celtic Manor

September 2015

The home of the 2010 Ryder Cup was the venue for our latest CPD Breakfast Seminar. Fine weather, a fantastic view and a cooked breakfast kicked off the morning in style, followed by a presentation with Mark Williams (Group Development Director) and Sean Kenyon (Regional Business Development Manager).

This demonstrated the variety of techniques available, the capability of the latest rigs and equipment in the market and differing solutions designed to address the requirements of all sectors.

These seminars are always a great opportunity to discover developments in the industry, as well as seeing new innovations which can help to improve efficiency and save costs. We thank those who attended and are looking forward to the next event…

Course     Presentation

East Midlands Chamber Nottinghamshire Business Awards 2015

September 2015

This year, the East Midlands Chamber Nottinghamshire Business Awards were held at Goosedale and it proved to be a very successful evening for Van Elle. Not only did we win ‘High Growth Business of the Year’ but amazingly we took the overall ‘Business of the Year Award’ - this is the Chamber’s most sought-after award! It is chosen from the winners of the individual categories by a judging panel made up of Chamber board members, sponsors and representatives of the local business community.

Here is what Phil Bloxham (Managing Director of Ryley Wealth Management - Category sponsors) had to say:

“Congratulations to you [all] at Van Elle on not only winning the High Growth award but also the overall Business of the Year. A great achievement and you can all be justifiably very proud.

What David Ryley said about the strength of the applications before he presented our award was very true, the quality of the businesses we had to judge was outstanding and that make your achievement even more impressive.”

2015 is proving to be a very good year for Van Elle, with 6 awards already tallied up and hopefully more to come. Bring on the RailStaff Awards...

Stage     Award Photo

1,000,000 hours without a reportable incident!

September 2015

Health & Safety is incredibly important to us at Van Elle and we are over the moon to have reached the amazing 1,000,000 hour mark without a RIDDOR. This also equates to just over one year! Our "Think Safety, Act Safely" campaign has helped increase the reporting of hazards and 'near misses', has improved awareness and has helped prevent accidents, not only to our site staff, but also to members of the public, engineers and to other contractors working alongside us. Let’s continue to stay safe!

Safety Logo     Helmet

RailStaff Awards 2015...

September 2015

Due to our success on the UK’s rail projects carried out in the past year, Andy Howard and members of his team were nominated for the 2015 Rail Staff Awards in a number of different categories.


Van Elle Rail


Van Elle Rail


James Kay


Richard Smedley


Andy Howard


Andy Howard

We are really pleased to announce that after the voting period all of our entries have made it through as finalists! We thank everyone who voted and will keep our fingers crossed for the big night (10th October)…

Railstaff Logo     RRV

BBC Radio Derby pays Van Elle and Radleigh Homes a visit...

August 2015

On the 26th August we invited Sally Pepper from BBC Radio Derby to have a go at driving one of our new rigs and find out more about what we do within the construction industry. The 'British weather' had us worried initially as it rained during the morning but by the time we were on air, the glorious sunshine was out in full force, perfect! Vic Handley, not shy of the spotlight, took the lead and provided Sally with an insight into what Van Elle was doing for this particular project. With health and safety fully adhered to, Sally got to have a go in one of our beasty rigs; the Soilmec SF-50 (weighing nearly 40 tonnes and towering over 20 metres!). Our friendly and professional onsite team looked after her and did a great job of making her feel welcome. She’s even thinking about sending in her CV...

Rig     Rig     Rig

Nottingham Dragon Boat Challenge (Sunday 2nd August)...

August 2015

The Van Elle employees had a brilliant time at the Nottingham Riverside Festival, where they took part in the Dragon Boat Challenge - in aid of Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. The event was a huge success: gorgeous weather, full of life, and a big crowd who were buoyantly cheering on their favourites. A total of 36 teams were entered by local companies, of which we entered 2, the 'Van Elle Vikings' and 'The Big Cahoona’s Revenge' - both put in an amazing effort. They were both stars but it was only 'The Big Cahoona’s Revenge' who managed to get into the semi finals, where they competed in the closest fought race of the day; the top 3 all finished within a second of each other! Sadly, they just got pipped to the final but there were many positives to take from it all and it was great to see other companies from the industry competing including CR Civils, Faithful & Gould, BWB and the NHBC. It was a great day for a worthy cause! We'll hopefully see you next year.

Vikings     Logos

...And the 2015 CN Awards' 'Contractor of the Year' goes to...

July 2015

...Van Elle!! We are extremely proud and humbled to receive another award in recognition for our success over the past 12 months. We couldn't have achieved this without the reliable service and quality products from our many great suppliers and the professionalism and opportunities from our fantastic clients.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our extremely hard-working and dedicated workforce.

Winner     On Stage

Van Elle engineer swaps his rigs for armbands...

July 2015

Tom Milner, Van Elle estimating engineer, is about to begin a torturous 135 mile swim the length of the UK's 3rd longest River; the Trent. Thought never to have been attempted before, this epic journey is expected to take 8 days in one of the UK's largest and most dangerous rivers. Tom will be raising money for 4 fantastic charities based in the regions he will be passing through; Rainbows, Treetops Hospice, Matthews Hub and Alzheimer’s UK. He has been in training for some time and having swum some sections of the Trent last year, he knows roughly what to expect for the 1st 50 miles or so. After that he is into new territory.

He will be supported by a kayak team, however, from Cromwell Weir, due to the Trent being tidal, he will be accompanied by a motor boat and rescue team. This will ensure he makes it as far as one of Europe's busiest shipping lanes - the River Humber. Until last year, Tom had never swum in open water and the furthest he had managed in one go was 8 miles so 15/20 miles per day over 8 consecutive days is a challenge and a half. All he's hoping for now is plenty of rain to help him along his journey...

To show your support for tom and help fundraise for these 4 fantastic charities, please visit

Swimmer     Trent     Swimmer 2

Van Elle takes delivery of even more new kit...

June 2015

Continuing the company's growth, success and investment, we have, this week, taken delivery of the world's first Hutte 207MP Restricted Access Piling Rig, two new Klemm 709-2 Restricted Access Piling Rigs and the Van Elle Rail team have yet another new top-spec Colmar T10,000FS.

Next week we expect the arrival of the latest spec powerpack for our Hutte 308 which will make it one of the UK's first 'Tier 4 Final' spec machines. The Rail team are also expecting another Colmar T10,000FS.

Klemm709-2     New Hutte     New Colmar

2nd 'Education in Engineering' day proven to be a huge success...

June 2015

March 2015 saw Van Elle's first 'Education in Engineering' day with local Nottinghamshire school, Frederick Gent. This month we hosted Quarrydale Comprehensive school's year 9 engineering hopefuls for a fact-packed day demonstrating the various aspects of engineering encompassed within the Van Elle Group's service offering. From material science and why geotechnical information and improvement is required, to what determins which ground engineering method is most suited to a given situation, the students were treated to a day of thought-provoking discussions, innovation and learning how we maintain and plan the movements and productivity of our state-of-the-art fleet. They even got to see the first of it's kind, a brand new Hutte 207MP, a brand new Klemm 709-2 both of which had just been delivered and the production Director, Darren Senior, took them on a tour around our new precast production facility and batching plant.

By the end of the day all of the students were wanting to work within engineering, half of the students would consider working within ground engineering and one of the accompanying teachers stated that she would love to become a rig operator.

New Hutte     Aggregate Grill     Kids Factory

Van Elle WINS much sought after 'Contractor of the Year' title in the 2015 Ground Engineering Awards...

June 2015

Having undertaken and successfully completed many high-profile, challenging projects over the past year as well as significantly growing the business through continued investment in the latest plant and technologies, innovative solutions and entering new and exciting markets, Van Elle has been named 'Contractor of the Year' in the 2015 Ground Engineering Awards. Our engagement with communities local to our office locations and support of local schools and students through our 'Education in Engineering' scheme has no doubt played its part also. The awards judges commented "An independent company with a good track record of growth, developing exciting innovations in difficult markets and working on many challenging projects. They have a diverse customer base and place an emphasis on happy employees and working with the community."

Congratulations to all of the other finalists and winners and a big thank you to the many clients, developers and other specialists with whom we have worked over the past year.

Click here for more details of this year's winners.

Stage     Wayne     Logo

Van Elle picks up 2 prestigious global awards; 'Best Global Piling & Ground Engineering Contractor' and 'Best in Class for Commitment to Excellence'...

April 2015

In temperatures as low as -22 celcius, driving snow blizzards and working offshore 8000 miles from the UK, Van Elle successfully completed an extremely complex and challenging project in the Falkland Islands at the end of 2014. It involved installing deep rock sockets to anchor large diameter steel driven piles into the seabed for a series of 125t GPS positioned dolphin platforms. Each corner of the 4 platforms had a 1150mmØ circular hollow section leg which acted as a guide for the 1060mmØ steel piles to be driven into the tillite bands using a 36t hammer. Each dolphin then raised up its new legs and was welded into position 6m above sea level to create a piling platform. Once the void between the pile and the leg annulus had been grouted, we lowered the 660mm casing within the pile down to 3m into the seabed and drilled a 610mm DTH at 4000CFM and 25bar up to 37.5m from platform into the granite with a tolerance of only 15mm. A specially designed 595mmØ 40m long anchor pile was lowered to the toe of the void in 2 sections to create the rock socket which once grouted was welded to the 1060mm pile.

Click on the link for more information.

Offshore     Drilling

Home run for Van Elle Rail at Stockley over the Easter weekend...

April 2015

Following our successful works at Stockley over the Christmas blockade, the final section of this project was completed quicker than expected over the Easter weekend. Working alongside Carillion and Network Rail, the whole team worked efficiently, safely and collaboratively to install over 550 sheetpiles in only 4 1/2 shifts, night and day. We used restricted access drilling rigs to pre-auger the locations to minimise resistance and the time taken to vibrate the sheets to depth using a number of excavator mounted Movax side-grip vibrating hammers. To avoid any likelyhood of dropping the sheets whilst installing them, a second, smaller excavator was used to hold them safely in position. Both Carillion and Network Rail commented on how pleased they were with the progress achieved and the professional, no-nonsense attitude of our site teams.

Site     Sheets

Van Elle host an 'Education in the Workplace' day for students of Frederick Gent School...

March 2015

As part of the company's corporate responsibility and our focus on developing young people and showing them what the industry can offer, we have, this week, hosted an 'Education in the Workplace' day for the year 9 students of Frederick Gent Comprehensive School in Alfreton, Derbyshire. The kids had a great day learning about piling and other geotechnical engineering solutions as well as looking around the offices, the precast factory and speaking to employees in different roles. They also took part in a 'Great Egg Race' style challenge and learned about the benefits of teamwork in the workplace. We look forward to holding similar events for other years and schools in the near future.


Investment in Kirkby-in-Ashfield site creates jobs, increases precast production capability and caters for company's ambitious growth plans...

March 2015

As well as the ever-increasing investment in plant, equipment, R&D and innovation, Van Elle has recently completed the brand new extension on its precast facility in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. This has significantly increased production capability to circa 280lm of Smartfoot precast ground beams per day in addition to Vemech restricted access precast piles and the new Smartbase OLE, signal and gantry foundation bases.

Offices     Factory

Van Elle appointed to carry out the Walsall to Rugeley ground investigation on behalf of ABC Electrification...

February 2015

Van Elle's geotechnical services team have joined forces with Van Elle Rail to deliver the ground investigation for the Walsall to Rugeley rail route. Using one of Van Elle Rail's new Colmar T10,000FS RRVs with Predator track trailers to transport the plant and equipment, we are hand-digging service pits and drilling both rotary and window sample boreholes for this Alstom, Babcock and Costain JV.

Rugeley1     Rugeley2

Van Elle is nominated for the 'Offshore Excellence Awards' and shortlisted for 2 categories of the '2015 Ground Engineering Awards'...

February 2015

Already having been shortlisted for the 2015 'Specialists Awards' and 'UK Rail Industry Awards', it has been announced that Van Elle have been shortlisted for both 'Contractor of the Year' and the 'Product & Equipment Innovation' categories of this Year's 'Ground Engineering Awards'. We are also very happy to announce that we have also been nominated for the 2015 'Offshore Excellence Awards' by our client on a recent offshore project. We will keep you posted.

What a night at the UK Rail Industry Awards...

February 2015

Proud to have been shortlisted in the Electrification category of the 'UK Rail Industry Awards', Van Elle attended with a number of clients to share the evening with all of the industry's major players. Although we didn't pick up the title, we were fascinated to meet so many great people and see what other innovations, products and achievements are pushing the industry forward. See you all next year.

Rail Logo     

Van Elle Rail Achieves Maximum 4* Rating...

January 2015

Having successfully been audited for the new RISQS accreditation, we are pleased to announce that Van Elle Rail has recently achieved the maximum 4* rating in the On-Track Plant Operations Scheme. Should you wish to discuss a particular project or on-track requirement, please do not hesitate to contact Mark Williams on 01773 580580.

We've Got Some New Toys...

January 2015

As part of our Van Elle Rail investment programme, we have just taken delivery of 2 of the only 4 tracked Colmar RRVs in the world. The all new tracked FS10,000Ts are the largest, most powerful and most versatile RRVs on the market and along with all of our other Colmars, all of which are less than 1 year old, we are well placed to to deliver the same market leading performance and the same level of reliable, professional service that our clients, the UK over have come to expect.

Tracked RRV     Tracked RRV2

Construction News Awards 'Specialist Contractor of the Year' Winner

Jan 2014

Van Elle’s financial results, service growth, investments and reputation was last night endorsed by being announced as the 2013 Construction News Specialist Contractor of the Year. As the largest and most prestigious industry awards and surrounded by many clients and suppliers alike, going up to collect our trophy was a very proud moment and a testament to everyone involved in the projects on which we have worked. Everyone at Van Elle is extremely proud that their hard work and dedication to improving sustainability, innovation and value engineering in the industry has been recognised in this way and it is a real motivator to keep on outperforming the sector in preparation for next years’ awards.

The judges commented “A specialist ground engineering company with a clearly defined vision and strategy. Van Elle’s approach to behavioural safety, training and their pragmatic problem-solving ethos sets it apart from others in this sector helping it to punch well above its weight”.


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