Pioneering Pylon Hits Nottinghamshire Skyline

Innovative is in the air at Ainscough Crane Hire, with the erection of the UK’s very first T-Pylon in Nottinghamshire for the National Grid and Balfour Beatty.  The new look electricity pylon is not only the first of its kind to be erected in the UK, it’s also the first new kind of pylon to be erected in almost 90 years. 

Two Ainscough cranes, a 350Te and a 100Te, were used to erect the sections of the 35m high ‘T’ shaped pylon in to position with the goal to assemble it all and have it fully operational in a day.  Traditional pylons take up to a week to erect and also stand a third higher than the new and version created by architect, Bystrup. 

Over the years Ainscough Crane Hire has been at the forefront of supporting the UK’s infrastructure and utility needs.  The National Grid will bring on stream the first new T-Pylons when the new Hinckley Point Nuclear Power Station comes on line.

Appreciating Ainscough’s Apprentices

National Apprenticeship Week ran from 9th to 13th March 2015 and celebrates apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

For years, Ainscough Crane Hire have provided placements for apprentices; developing them in to key positions within the company.  In fact out of 60 engineers currently employed, 25 of them started out as apprentices.

Gareth Evans, an apprentice Fitter working out of the Falkirk depot, is half way through completion of a Level 3 (4 year) apprenticeship.  For the past two years Gareth has been working hard, both at the depot and with his studies when he travels to Myerscough College in Preston, and soon he will be qualified in Construction Plant Maintenance at NVQ level 3 (equivalent to a Certificate of Higher Education / BTECs).

Gareth said “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way to learn and earn a real wage in a very practical way.  We study so much at college, it’s then great to take it back to the workshop and put theory into practise.”

Ainscough Crane Hire has always been dedicated to the progression of its colleagues and provides a great environment for training and development.  From the apprentices that were awarded placements at Ainscough Crane Hire the retention rate is a massive 98.8%.  The overall national apprenticeship retention rate for 2013/14 was 68.9%.

So please join us in thanking all the apprentices that have helped us shape Ainscough Crane Hire into the company it has become today.

Ainscough Group strengthens its QHSE Team

Ainscough are pleased to announce that Keith Stableford has joined the business as Group QHSE Manager.

Keith brings a wealth of experience to the Group having held board and senior management positions at Keltbray, Balfour Beatty Rail, Laing O’Rourke and Alfred McAlpine over the past 15 years.

His main objective will be to further develop and implement our strategic QHSE plan and enhance our position as the ‘Safe Choice’ for Lifting Solutions in the UK. He will also support our Wind Energy Turbine erection and maintenance business AWES.

Keith said he was “delighted to be joining the market leader at this exciting stage of Ainscough’s growth plan”

The QHSE Team will report into Keith – welcome to the Ainscough team!

“Remember to be proud” £1000 raised for Alzheimer’s Society by Ainscough Crane Hire team

A nationwide Christmas jumper event was organised by Ainscough Crane Hire team in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. The charity was voted for by teams from across the country after an inspiring email was sent out by resources and retention manager, Amanda Hesketh. The email told of how Alzheimer’s and dementia directly affected Amanda’s life after her father was diagnosed and so the challenge was quickly set up to help raise funds and awareness.

So, with an incredible show of charitable spirit Ainscough Crane Hire teams donned their festive jumpers and raised an amazing £1000 for charity!

Amanda Hesketh said ‘My Father and some of my friends’ grandparents have been affected by dementia so I thought it would be good to show support and raise funds.  I was hoping that the teams would raise a bit for the Alzheimer’s Society but I never imaged they would raise this much.  Everyone’s support has been overwhelming and I can’t thank everyone enough for contributed along the way. The work they do is fabulous at keeping individuals in the community.  My Father currently goes to Karaoke on Wednesday afternoon’s, organised by the charity.  It’s weird how he can remember the words of the songs but not what he was doing ten minutes ago.’

to: left to right shows, Maggie Langford HR Director, Amanda Hesketh Resources and Retention Manager and Helen Cannell Alzheimer’s Society.

Helen Cannell, Alzheimer’s Society Community fundraiser for Greater Manchester said: ‘We are so pleased and grateful that Ainscough Crane Hire chose to support Alzheimer’s Society. It’s a fantastic achievement to bring all the teams together in one event and the effort and commitment has resulted in raising vital funds to support people with dementia and their carers’

Ainscough Crane Hire is taking delivery of 8 Bocker AK44/4000 cranes

The MPC 44 is extremely versatile thanks to its compact and lightweight construction,  low outrigger loadings, light travelling weight, remote operation, precise manoeuvring, 44m main boom and the ability to work in areas with poor ground conditions.

Ainscough Crane Hire Managing Director Robin Richardson, said “Having trialled the MPC 44 last year with an unrivalled combination of compact design, flexible operation and positive customer feedback, this multi-purpose crane compliments our current fleet”.

Currently available at our Maidstone, Bristol, Southampton Cambridge depots with the balance delivered during February and March.

Are you interested in booking the new MPC 44 or for more information call 0800 272 637

Ainscough Crane Hire are inspiring a new generation of recruits to the construction industry

Ainscough Crane Hire is supporting the CITB Construction Ambassadors Scheme. The Construction Ambassadors programme raises awareness of the industry and the career opportunities that are available to young people, encouraging young people to join the industry.

Photo: left to right shows Amanda Hesketh Resourcing and Retention Manager, Janet Ainsworth Learning and Development Manager, Roland Saltys Heavy Cranes Project Engineer, Joanne Little Contract Lift Manager Plymouth, Gary Dixon QHSE Advisor South, Lynsay Robinson Commercial Manager Heavy Cranes

Ainscough Crane Hire are working with the CITB to motivate young people to join the industry, Ainscough’s ambassadors will go into local colleges and talk to students about their own experiences and help bring to life career pathways for crane operators, hire controllers, depot managers, engineers and encouraging participation in the construction apprenticeship programmes.

Janet Ainsworth Ainscough Crane Hire Learning and Development Manager said “we want to forge closer links between education and construction, with the aim of bringing cranes and construction to the attention of students and apprentices at an early age.”

‘Construction is a unique work environment, attractive, needs varied skillsets, offers great training opportunities along with good prospects and job security’ said Amanda Hesketh Resourcing and Retention Manager.

Ainscough Crane Hire are committed to help inspire the next generation of operators, engineers and aspiring professionals to choose Construction as a career.


Ainscough Crane Hire is the first lifting services company to be awarded a 5 Star rating by the rail industry. The RISQS Audit is the GB rail industry’s programme that pre-qualifies suppliers to work in the industry. The 5 Star rating demonstrates Ainscough Crane Hire’s uncompromising approach to QHSE and our commitment to being “The Safe Choice” for the rail industry. Ainscough Crane Hire was assessed under the RISQS Audit programme and recognition scheme, run by Achilles.

Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme‘ (RISQS) has been developed from the GB rail industry’s Link-up scheme and audited by Achilles.  The scheme is governed by the newly formed RISQS Board. The 5 star rating is highly reputed and recognises our safety practices.

“I am delighted that Ainscough Crane Hire is the first lifting services company in the country to be awarded five stars. QHSE is embedded in everything we do” Ian Balmforth Ainscough Crane Hire Operations Support Director added: “Being the first lifting services company in the UK to achieve this high 5* star rating is a credit to our team and the specialist knowledge they have developed to support the needs of the rail industry.”

Long-serving Ainscough Crane Hire staff celebrate 195 years of service

Ainscough Crane Hire long service employees celebrated combined service of 195 years in their jobs with an exclusive reception at Wrightington Hotel and Country Club – as a thank you for decades of dedicated service.

Photo: left to right shows Alan Broxton (25 years) Hire Desk Assistant at Preston Depot, John Davies (25 years) Crane Operator Heavy Cranes, Ian Balmforth Operations Support Director, Colin Fish (25 years) Hire Controller at Newcastle Depot, Robin Richardson Managing Director, Tony Williams (25 years ) Crane Operator at Cardiff Depot,  Joan Broadbent (25 years) Hire Controller at Leeds Depot, Howell Thomas (35 years) Crane Operator at Cardiff Depot, Maggie Langford  HR Director.

Joan Broadbent, who started work at Ainscough at the Leeds depot in 1989, said ‘We had a really lovely night, and it is nice to see that Ainscough appreciate what we have done and the dedication we have put in over the years”

The seven long-serving colleagues from across the UK who share 195 years of experience with the company were invited by Ainscough managing director Robin Richardson to attend a dinner reception at the Wrightington Hotel.

“I’ve always loved my job and after working here for all these years the service that Ainscough offer just gets better and better.  Ainscough have always given a first class service”  said Colin Fish , “it’s nice to feel that what you have done hasn’t gone unnoticed and that they have taken the time and expense  to show that”

Ian Watts QHSE Manager, who started in 1979, said “Although I couldn’t make the dinner it is nice to see Ainscough rewarding and recognising employees after the amount of years we have been with the company”

Maggie Langford, Human Resources Director, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our loyal workforce and we always enjoy recognising and celebrating important milestones, like today when our colleagues achieved 25 and 35 years with Ainscough Crane Hire.

“To be celebrating with the team with over 195 years between them is a real testament to the quality and dedication of our employees. Our depots have evolved significantly over the years, but good customer service is, and has always been, central to everything we do at Ainscough Crane Hire.”

Ainscough wins J Murphy & Sons Never Harm™ Culture awards

As part of the J Murphy & Sons Ltd Never Harm™ Culture Development Programme, Ainscough Crane Hire and lift supervisor Chris Clark were nominated in the Sub-contractor category in their annual awards scheme.  This scheme recognises individuals, project teams, as well as clients and sub- contractors who actively support and promote the award winning Murphy Never Harm™ approach.

Yvonne Bennett, Group Head of the Culture Development Programme, said she was “delighted” to award Ainscough with the winner’s trophy on behalf of J Murphy & Sons Ltd, having beaten stiff industry competition.  “The approach and attitude of individuals such as Chris towards safety is paramount in the delivery of successful projects.  Sending everyone in our supply chain home safely is all that matters”.

Ainscough lift supervisor Chris Clark, who received an individual nomination for going the extra mile and embracing Murphy’s Never Harm Culture, accepted the award. Photo: left to right shows John Murphy – Managing Director, Derek Gow – Ainscough Commercial Director, Chris Clark – Lift Supervisor, Yvonne Bennett – Group Head of Culture Development Programme and Robin Richardson – Ainscough Managing Director.

Derek Gow commented that “Ainscough are delighted to receive this award, we recognise the importance of Murphy’s unique approach to behavioural safety through their Never Harm™ Programme, it recognises the deep commitment of Ainscough and J Murphy & Sons to promote a Never Harm™ safety culture”.


Ainscough got into the festive spirit on Friday 12th December as part of the revolutionary Christmas jumper day.

In aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, staff the length and breadth of the UK spread Christmas cheer by wearing their favourite festive jumper to work to raise money for the company’s chosen charity.

It’s been an amazing team effort with the Ainscough charity spirit holding no bounds!

We had elves, Father Christmas, dancing snowmen and even a full Christmas decorated suit donning the offices today, showing a fantastic display of team effort.

GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all Ainscough staff for showing some goodwill this Christmas and helping a great charity.


As our business grows we recognise the need to modernise our facilities across the UK. We have carried out a number of projects already with more plans in the pipeline.

We have invested in a complete refurbishment of our headquarters in Standish. The refurbished HQ opened its doors on the 4th of August, providing a modern working environment for our head-office staff.

The Hayes depot in West London has received a complete modernisation, too. The original infrastructure has been removed to accommodate a new purpose built depot. We would welcome our London customers to come and visit and see our new facility for themselves. We have also recently relocated our Cambridge Depot to a new location.


Stockton refubishent centreIn July of this year Ainscough committed to invest in the Stockton Refurbishment Centre.

We have recruited 6 fitters and in July have refurbished the stores and offices to a modern and fit for purpose workshop, the plan is to refurbish 30 cranes per year.

During July the team embraced the 5S philosophy and transformed the Workshop, Stores and Offices into a safer, cleaner and more efficient environment. The change was stunning.

The process launched on August 25th and production is now in ‘full flow’.

To date five cranes have been completed and a further three cranes are progressing well…a great start!


We have opened up a new training facility in Falkirk to deliver a selection of courses to support our Wind Energy business (AWES). The centre is the first of its kind and will deliver courses to support our commitment to safety and sustainability in the wind and energy sector.

We are partnering with Siemens Wind Energy to deliver courses on their behalf as a Siemens Accredited Centre – the centre also has accreditations from Renewable UK and Global Wind Organisation (GWO). The purpose-built facilities will support employees and external clients when they train under the guidance of our training manager, Damian Napper.


Tim Smith, Commercial Property Manager at Greendale business park (left) with Ryan Dobson, Exeter Depot Manager at Ainscough (right)

Ainscough Crane Hire, the UK’s leading crane hire company, has opened its 30th depot in the UK, in Exeter. The new one-acre site on Greendale Business Park will be in operation from 1st December 2013.

Mark James, Southern Operational Manager at Ainscough said: “We have been looking to expand in the South West, and are very pleased to have a home in Exeter. The new depot will help our growing customer base and also to take some of the dependency away from Bristol and Plymouth, which have been jointly supporting the area from a distance. Customers in the Exeter area can benefit from a more proactive and localised approach with easier access to our fleet.”

Greendale Business Park hosts a variety of other businesses including FedEx and DHL Express.  The site, which will hold approximately 12 cranes, is Ainscough’s third depot in the South West. The new depot is in addition to its Bristol and Plymouth sites.

Gareth Jones, Commercial Director at Ainscough said: “We are extremely proud to be able to open our 30th depot. This milestone outlines our commitment to customers and our determination to remain the UK’s leading crane hire company.”

Headquartered in Wigan, Ainscough Crane Hire is the largest lifting service company in the UK, now with 30 strategic locations spanning the UK from Aberdeen to Plymouth.


Ainscough Crane Hire, the UK’s leading crane hire company, has recently completed a Halloween stunt that involved suspending a giant pumpkin 150ft in the air and dropping it onto the floor below in front of a crowd of hundreds.

The event was held at the University of Bristol as part of a family fun weekend hosted by resident artist Melanie Jackson. Along with the main event that saw the 150cm diameter pumpkin being smashed, there were various other activities to get involved with such as jack-o-lantern making and vegetable sculpturing.

Ainscough’s Regional Operations Manager, Mark James, said: “This has been a very interesting project from start to finish and we are pleased to be involved with the activities at the University. We took notice from an American company who have done several of these drops, and our thanks to Jason White at “Unusual Rigging” for assisting us with the automatic release mechanism. All credit to our supervisor Mike Wools who certainly felt the weight of expectation of the crowd but the stunt was a great success.”

The crane used during the event was Ainscough’s 75 tonne Liebherr’s. The crane was positioned to ensure a sufficient ‘splat radius’ to protect spectators from low-flying pieces of pumpkin!

Talented artist Melanie Jackson, designed the event as part of her residency at the University of Bristol, where she has been exploring the work and ideology of space alongside the Biological Science Department.

The pumpkin stunt was coordinated by VINCI Construction.

Penarth Learning Community construction hits the top spot

Ainscough Crane Hire swung by Penarth Learning Community to take part in a traditional topping out ceremony on Wednesday 18th September, celebrating the school’s construction reaching its highest point. The medieval ritual required a 40-tonne Liebherr to lift a yew tree to the top of the new combined mainstream and SEN (special educational needs) school building.

The £39.4 million project will create two new schools in a single building on the site of St Cyres School in Penarth. The project will provide facilities for the mainstream comprehensive school, and will also create a new SEN school, Ysgol y Deri. The new SEN school will accommodate pupils from three others in the area: Ysgol Erw’r Delyn, Ysgol Maes Dyfan and Ashgrove School.

Jane Wade, Operations Manager Property for Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “This is a very exciting project for the Vale of Glamorgan Council and forms an important part of the council’s 21st century schools programme. The topping out marks an important date in the progress of the project, which not only provides state of the art facilities for the schools but also for the whole community.”

Ainscough’s Cardiff Depot Manager Darren Williams added: “While we’ve completed thousands of lifts in our time, the topping out of Penarth Learning Community was certainly a unique experience. It was a pleasure to be involved with the enthusiastic staff and pupils of this wonderful school, and the ceremony marks an exciting new chapter for the community.”

Huw Lewis AM, Minister for Education and Skills, and representatives from the construction team attended the ceremony. Also in attendance was Rob Bradley, Managing Director of Leadbitter and Bouygues UK’s Western team, which is building the new schools.

Mr Bradley said: “The topping out marks an important milestone in construction, which is progressing very well. We are working closely with the Vale of Glamorgan and teachers, governors, pupils and parents from all four schools, as well as the local community, throughout the project. This will help ensure the new schools will provide the best possible education, social welfare and healthcare for all pupils.”