Former sergeant major confirmed as one of the best site managers in the UK at top industry awards
22 Nov 2021

After receiving his second NHBC (National House Building Council) Pride in the Job award earlier this year, Alan Gilfillan ?" a former sergeant major ?" has repeated his success in the next stage of the competition. He has been crowned as a Seal of Excellence winner for the second time for building exceptional homes at Bovis Homes’ Cherry Fields development in Bickington. The accolade acknowledges the top 19 site managers in the South West and was presented in front of an audience of sector peers at an awards ceremony in Bournemouth on Friday 12th November. Organised by NHBC, the UK’s leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes, the awards are the most highly regarded in the housebuilding industry. They recognise site managers dedicated to achieving the highest standards in housebuilding and committed to building homes of outstanding quality for their customers. As well as undergoing spot checks on the day-to-day running of the sites, each candidate is assessed across all areas of site management, including their technical knowledge, consistency in the build process and the quality controls they have in place. Alan, 66, was previously a sergeant major in the British Army’s 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment. After his service, he took courses in bricklaying and carpentry before completing his own barn conversion and now has an impressive 19 years’ housebuilding experience. He lives in Prixford and has three children and five grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys working out in the gym in his cottage and playing football. Commenting on the announcement, Alan said: “It’s been a real team effort, I know lots of people say that but it really has been. From the outset I said to everyone on site that the target was to aim for the highest quality and I’m really proud to have won my second Seal of Excellence award. “There were some initial challenges on site but the whole team has pulled together and I couldn’t be happier. The site obviously has to be tidy and well organised but it’s all about the detail and ensuring each home is built exactly as it should be and there are no ‘interpretations’. Whenever I finish a property, I walk around it and do all the necessary checks but I also ask myself the basic question: ‘would I be happy to move in?’ and if the answer is yes then I know we’ve done well as I’m quite particular!” He added: “I’ve started working with trainee assistant site managers and I’m really enjoying sharing my knowledge and experience with them. Some site managers asked to view my site as they wanted to get to the next level and it’s very humbling, I felt so pleased to show them around, especially as they went on to win an award too. Perhaps in five to ten years I might like to try progressing my career but for now, I just want to be doing what I love. “For me, it’s all about the customers being happy. I just love it when customers see their home and burst into tears of happiness, it’s so wonderful to know that you’ve made such an impact.” Managing director, Paul Moran said: “Alan is a brilliant site manager and a great leader, his attention to detail is outstanding and whenever you visit site, you know it’s always going to be immaculate. You can tell he has previous military experience as his sites are run with military precision and he always goes the extra mile. “We’re incredibly proud of Alan for winning a Seal of Excellence award ?" especially at such a challenging time ?" competition is fierce and to have won for a second time is phenomenal.” Gary French at Bovis Homes’ Blackmore Meadows development in Stalbridge also received a coveted Seal of Excellence accreditation. Commenting on the awards, NHBC chief executive, Steve Wood said: “Pride in the Job has been pivotal in improving the quality of new homes for more than 40 years and, after such a tough period for the country, it’s fantastic to be able to celebrate them in person this year. Despite the numerous challenges the industry has faced, the very best site managers of 2021 have remained focused on delivering high quality new homes for their customers. “A site manager’s role is one of the most challenging in housebuilding and recognising their persistent drive for excellence is very much at the heart of the competition. It’s no surprise that Pride in the Job winning sites have higher levels of customer satisfaction. The homes being built are amongst the best the UK has to offer.” Cherry Fields features a beautiful collection of three and four bedroom new homes in Bickington. Call 01271 552061 or visit for more details.

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