Ainscough Crane Hire, the UK’s leading lifting solutions company, has won a prestigious industry award in recognition of its approach to safety.

Ainscough was awarded a Silver in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Health and Safety Awards, the longest-running industry awards scheme in the UK.

Having received the same award in 2018, Ainscough is the only crane company to have achieved the honour consecutively in the past two years.

It is the latest recognition Ainscough has received for its approach to safety this year, having been awarded the Engineering Construction Industry Association (ECIA) Safe Working Award in June.

The RoSPA Awards scheme recognises achievement in health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Ainscough was recognised for Make the Safe Choice, the company’s guiding principle that underpins its commitment to the safety of its people, customers and members of the public.

Tony Morley, Head of QHSE at Ainscough Crane Hire, said: “We’re very pleased to be recognised by RoSPA in its Health and Safety Awards. Safety is paramount to every aspect of our operations, and all Ainscough employees ensure Make the Safe Choice is followed on every project we work on.”

For more information about the RoSPA Awards visit


From playing in stadiums to helping build them, 59 year old Bob Beardmore has had an interesting professional career compared to most. We sat down with him to talk about his journey from playing scrum half for Rugby League’s Castleford Tigers to becoming a Heavy Cranes Technical Manager for Ainscough Crane Hire.

When I’m driving across the country I play a little game with whoever will listen to me. It’s where I point out all the things I’ve helped construct in my career. From bridges to buildings, over the last 30 years I really have been involved in it all. It’s been an amazing job, seeing these impressive structures going from a hole in the ground to something spectacular. If you had told me 40 years ago what I’d achieved, I don’t think I would have ever believed you.

When I left school at 16, there was a question of ‘what next’. While I enjoyed my time there, more for the social aspect, I always knew further education wasn’t for me. I was sport crazy when growing up, you couldn’t keep me away from a ball. At this age I was on the books at Castleford Tigers but I started a Mechanical engineering apprenticeship as well so I always had practical skills to fall back on.

When I turned 18, I signed my first professional contract with Castleford and made my first team debut in 1979. As a lad growing up in Castleford, they were my team growing up so it was a dream to play for them. I would go on to create many magical memories that will last forever including playing at the old Wembley Stadium in front of a crowd of 82,000 including picking up the Lance Todd Trophy for the man of the match to being the club’s leading points scorer in a season. But I knew rugby wasn’t forever.

Even in my peak playing years, I still worked part time as an engineer. It certainly wasn’t as glamourous as the modern day game!

1989 was the year of change for me. My wife gave birth to our beautiful daughter, I left my boyhood rugby team and I found a new job in a new industry. It all changed after a conversation with a gentleman following a game and we were started talking about the future. I knew I was coming to the end of my playing career and we got on to the conversation that would shape the next part of my life.

To be frank, I’d never considered a career in the crane industry. In fact I didn’t know the first thing about them, but he told me that I had all the right skills to consider it and he was right.

As Heavy Cranes Technical Manager for Ainscough, it allows me to work on some of the most exciting projects in the country. It really is a labour of love. From the Scottish highlands to the bustling London skyline, I get to travel the length and breadth of the country meeting inspiring people and working on some fantastic projects. All the hard work is made worthwhile when I see the finished product being used by thousands of people every day.

There have been many career highlights over the years. Being a sportsman at heart, it’s always been great to get up close and personal to some of the UK’s most impressive sporting stadia and structures. From placing the first set of beams on the Olympic Park to using the biggest tower crane in Europe for the Etihad’s new stand in 2015, it’s been a great pleasure to work on projects close to your heart.

There are a lot of similarities between playing rugby and working with cranes. Most important of all, it’s a team game. One person can’t do the job of ten, you need to be able to rely on your teammates. Thankfully, in all my careers I’ve worked with some excellent people that have made the job much smoother.

You also need to be level headed. When the pressure is on, whether that’s to score a try or deliver on a scheme, keeping calm is a necessity. Knowing when to react and when to hold back, it’s something I’ve been doing my whole career!

I look back on my career with great fondness and wouldn’t change it for the world. I have met so many inspirational people who have passed on great advice. I hope that I can continue to be a mentor to those new starters building their careers in the industry.


An Ainscough Crane Hire apprentice has been given a top honour at a national trade association awards ceremony in the Midlands.

Kye Connop, who works at Ainscough’s Birmingham depot, was rewarded with special recognition in the Employer Nominated Plant Mechanic Awards category at the prestigious ‘Stars of The Future’ ceremony. The event, organised by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), celebrates the very best plant mechanic, construction plant operators and lifting technician apprentices up and down the country.

The 25 year old is in to his third year of the four year apprenticeship which is delivered in partnership with Myerscough College in Preston.

The award winners were assessed by a select committee of judges throughout the academic year on their work in college and in their work environment.

Speaking after receiving the award, Kye said: “It is a great honour to be specially recognised by the industry. Thank you to the team at Ainscough Crane Hire and Myerscough College who have helped give me the experience I need.

“This apprenticeship has been brilliant, allowing me to learn in a hands-on environment while still earning as I study. I would certainly recommend an apprenticeship to anyone looking to develop a career in the industry.”

Graham Weights, who works as a service support manager for Ainscough Crane Hire and is part of the team that oversees the new intake of apprentices, added: “This is testament to Kye’s hunger and desire. We are extremely proud of what he has achieved. He is an extremely driven individual who has excelled so far in his apprenticeship.

“We are always on the lookout for new talent to join the likes of Kye who will go on to be outstanding members of our industry-leading engineering team.”

Ainscough’s apprenticeship scheme, delivered in partnership with Myerscough College in Preston and the Construction Training Board (CITB), has trained over 30 apprentices in the last decade.

Apprentices are trained over a three-year period, achieving Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in Plant Maintenance, delivered in training blocks which are based at the college’s £4.4 million Engineering Centre, home to its Construction Plant Academy. Ainscough has a mobile crane permanently at the college to enhance the apprentices’ learning experience.

All practical training is backed by an NVQ from Myerscough College.

To learn more about Ainscough Cranes’ apprenticeship scheme, including how to become one of its latest recruits, visit

Photograph: Kye Connop & Lee Vaughn -Maintenance Supervisor, Birmingham Depot.


Ainscough Crane Hire’s Leeds depot recently answered an emergency call to fix a canal Wykewell lift bridge in Thorne.

The bridge, located at Thorne on the Stainforth & Keadby canal had failed to operate, meaning traffic was not able to cross, and Ainscough was contacted by the Canal and River Trust via their contractor, which undertakes the national contract for the Trust’s Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, Control and Automation (MEICA) Framework .

The site of the faulty bridge was attended by the manager of Ainscough’s Leeds depot, Damian Napper. Upon arrival, Damian undertook a survey and measured up the crane requirements and completed the lift plans and drawings on site, ensuring the required machinery could be dispatched as soon as possible.

Damian then rerouted a 75t crane from a nearby project which had completed ahead of schedule, and successfully applied to the local authorities for an emergency route to enable the crane to arrive at the canal.

Commenting on the work that took place, Damian said: “Once the crane arrived, my colleague Steve Crooks was directed on to the site and the crane was rigged into place. This presented some challenges, as we had to manoeuvre around the overhead BT cables with only inches to spare.

“Once we had successfully achieved this, we were able to provide man basket access to the engineers who undertook the repairing of the bridge. We were able to initially lower the bridge to enable traffic to cross, before returning several times over the next few days in order to further assist the engineers with the full repair.

“This was a complex operation that required absolute precision, and we were very pleased to successfully assist the Canal and River Trust with the repairing of the bridge in an expedient manner.”


Ainscough Crane Hire is looking for the next generation of team members after launching its 2019 apprenticeship programme.

A key route through the business, helping us find and develop the best talent for our future and prosperity of the organisation. Of its current list of crane mechanics and engineers, 40% of them came through the Ainscough Apprentice Scheme. With first-class training delivered through Myerscough College in Preston, the apprentice route is always over-subscribed and very popular with the successful candidates.

This year there are seven Apprentice Crane Mechanic placements available at a range of sites across the country.

The full list of apprenticeship placements is:


Bristol-   Apprentice Crane Mechanic
Falkirk-   Apprentice Crane Mechanic
Maidstone-   Apprentice Crane Mechanic
Stockton-   Apprentice Crane Mechanic
West London-   Apprentice Crane Mechanic
East London-   Apprentice Crane Mechanic
Aberdeen-   Apprentice Crane Mechanic

Apply here. If you require any further information or wish to discuss the above vacancies in more detail, then contact the recruitment team

Applications close on 31st July 2019.