In an acknowledgement of both longevity and financial success, Applebridge Family was awarded ‘Business of the Year’ title at this year’s Business IQ Awards. This honour comes as a testament to our sustained commitment to excellence and innovation over a remarkable decade in business.

The Business IQ Awards are known for spotlighting standout achievements in the North East business community. Securing such an accolade serves as a significant nod to organisations that not only show robust financial records but also embody the principles of leadership, sustainability, and employee welfare.

Reflecting on the award, Donny Hughes,  Founder & CEO of Applebridge, shared his thoughts:

“This recognition from the Business IQ Awards as ‘Business of the Year’ means a lot to us. It’s a reflection not just of our success but of the hard work and dedication of our entire team over the last ten years. This award is for everyone at Applebridge who helped turn our vision into reality.”


We’re thrilled to announce that the Applebridge Family has been honoured with the ‘Commitment to Employee and Training Development’ award at the Generation4Change Awards 2024

At Applebridge, we believe in the power of education and opportunity. Our involvement with local schools and colleges to promote careers within construction is part of our commitment to reshaping the image of our industry. We aim to open doors for the next generation, showing them the potential and opportunities a career in construction can offer.

Our equal opportunities policy and our “speak-out” forum are crucial tools in our endeavour to create an inclusive and supportive environment. These platforms ensure every voice is heard and valued, contributing to our vibrant company culture and an impressive 85% staff retention rate. It’s clear that our focus on people not only enriches our team’s professional lives but also makes Applebridge a great place to work.

Andy Ray, our Group Operations Director, commented “Winning this award is a proud moment for all of us at Applebridge. It reflects our ongoing commitment to our team’s growth and development. Every day, we see the positive impacts of investing in our people, and this accolade from Generation4Change is wonderful recognition of our team’s hard work and dedication.”

Thank you to all our employees, whose hard work and dedication make all this possible!


ZTL New starters Shane and Mattew

As we continue our path of expansion and innovation, we are delighted to announce the strategic appointments of Matthew Warman as our new Contracts Manager and Shane Hodkinson as Geotechnical Engineering Manager.

Matthew Warman joins our team at a pivotal moment, as we navigate an increasing workload and embark on our expansion into new regions, with a particular focus on the Midlands. Wayne Morris, our Commercial Director, shares, “Matthew’s appointment is a strategic move to enhance our management of a growing portfolio of contracts. His expertise will be invaluable as we make inroads into the Midlands, an area experiencing a surge in construction activities.”

2023 was a landmark year for us at ZTL Contracting, as we successfully secured 22 projects, leading to a turnover of around £28 million. With Matthew at the helm of contract management, we are poised to continue our focus on high-value projects in 2024, maintaining operational excellence across our ventures.

Shane Hodkinson’s role as Geotechnical Engineering Manager is a testament to our dedication to technical prowess within ZTL. “Shane’s deep expertise in earthworks and geotechnical engineering is a major asset for our technical advancement,” Mr Morris explains. “His skills in value engineering will be pivotal in delivering projects that exceed our clients’ expectations.”

The addition of approximately 20 new team members in 2023 is reflective of our ambitious growth strategy. This expansion in staffing is synchronised with our geographical growth, including our existing bases in Wakefield and Middlesbrough and our planned expansion into the Midlands with new offices due to be opened end of Q1 2024.

As we look forward to 2024, our goal is to build on the previous year’s impressive turnover and continue expanding our geographical boundaries and service offerings. The appointment of Matthew and Shane is a clear demonstration of our commitment to investing in exceptional talent to support our growth and uphold our reputation for delivering top-notch earthworks and geotechnical solutions.


Defibs at Applebridge Family

We are proud to announce our recent investment in the Red Sky Foundation by installing defibrillators across our offices in Middlesbrough and Wakefield. As a group comprising ZTL Contracting, AD Plant Hire, Applebridge Construction, Applebridge Utilities, Applebridge Building Services, and Retaining UK, we are committed to making a positive impact on our communities.

This decision was motivated by a personal experience that hit close to home for our Managing Director, Chris Brown. When his friend Oliver Williams suffered a cardiac arrest while out jogging, Chris realized the critical importance of having defibrillators readily available. Despite Oliver’s peak fitness, his life was saved thanks to the quick response of off-duty police officers who provided medical assistance until paramedics arrived with a defibrillator.

The Red Sky Foundation, a registered charity, has been working tirelessly to raise awareness about the necessity of defibrillators. We are delighted to support their cause by installing defibrillators at our offices in Middlesbrough, Wakefield, and Imperial Park.

Founded by Sergio and Emma Petrucci, the Red Sky Foundation obtained full charitable status in 2020 as a way to express gratitude to the heart unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. The foundation has since raised over £950,000 to provide state-of-the-art machinery for treating heart conditions in babies, children, and adults across the North East and the wider UK. Sergio and Emma, recently honored with MBEs, continue their efforts to raise awareness and save lives.

Defibrillators are crucial life-saving devices that can treat cardiac arrest effectively. Every minute that passes without urgent CPR and defibrillation decreases the chances of survival by 7-10%. That is why having defibrillators available in public places, such as schools, workplaces, and gyms, is paramount. The Red Sky Foundation offers free training on their website ( for anyone interested in learning how to use a defibrillator in just 15 minutes.

As part of the Applebridge Family, we are dedicated to making a positive impact on our communities and prioritizing the well-being of those around us. Our investment in defibrillators is just one way we contribute to the greater good.

Together, we can create safer environments and save lives. Stay tuned for more updates on our initiatives and contributions as we continue to work towards building a better future.


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