New Faces Make A Splash

Above: Poolcourt of Ireland wowed the judges with this commercial pool project, officially the 2012 SPATA Pool Of The Year.

With four, first-time winners and 16 individual companies taking gold, this year’s SPATA awards have never been more evenly spread…

It was a case of the old guard making way for the new as a number of first-time recipients stood up to accept awards at the recent  Swimming Pool and Allied Trade Association presentations. With no less than 16 companies all taking home golds; the  celebrations were more evenly spread than in living memory. The SPATA organisation represents 178 pool building and retail companies, the majority based in the UK. It announced this year’s winning projects at a ceremony held at the De Vere Grand Hotel in Brighton, in February. The competition was fierce with 133 projects vying for victory in 21 categories compared with 85 entries in 22 categories last year.

The big winners on the night were Cresta Leisure and Tanby Swimming Pools who shared The Dick Millward Trophy for Pool Contactor of the Year with an equal points tally. Wensum Pools won the coveted Peter Geekie Trophy for top UK retailer of the  year while Kris German of Harris Pools took the title of Young Pool Star Of The Year.

The Pool Of The Year title went to Irish-based Poolcourt with an outstanding commercial pool project, pictured above. Poolcourt Limited was established in 1989 by Paul and Bridget Hillis installing small domestic pools and hot tubs slowl. In 1994, the  company took on its first commercial project in Co. Cork. Poolcourt is just completing the 50m pool filtration package at University College Dublin, designed by Devin Consulting and one of the largest pool projects built in Ireland to date.
Poolcourt joined SPATA in 1990 and were previous winners in 1995, 1996, 1997, 2004 and 2006. The company’s main area of  work is commercial installations from design stage to completion. They install their own concrete pool shells and all associated  work on filtration and air handling units when required. All contracts to date have been in Ireland, but the team is tendering for  some contracts in the United Kingdom at present.

NATIONWIDE SPECIALISTS Alba Pools receive the gold award for Inground Commercial Spas and Health Pools.

Winners of the Inground Commercial Spas and Health Pools, Alba Pools are specialists in providing all types of swimming pools   and spa facilities to a broad range of clients throughout the UK. The company offers a design, supply and installation service  which is geared to match individual requirements, aiming to consistently provide a quality comprehensive service which is second to none within the swimming pool industry. From relatively modest domestic pools, hotel spa developments to large  commercial pools, whatever the size of the project, Alba’s approach is one of top quality product and service

UNRIVALLED LEGACY The Asher Swimpool team won the Environmental Award for 2012 with this energy-efficient residential pool.

 The Asher Swim Pool team, based near Grantham in Lincolnshire,was formed in 1968 by John Asher who went on to serve as president of the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers and the Swimming Pool and Allied Trade Association during a distinguished  career that has spanned four decades. Still retaining its family values and now a multi-award winning business, the   Asher team boasts an unrivalled legacy of  pool building. Its latest award-winning project shows the company is moving with the  times, winning the Environmental Award for most energy-efficient design and construction.

FAMILY BUSINESS Spata members since 2009, Oasis Pool Products is a family run business that was established in 1979.

SPATA members since 2009, Oasis Pool Products is a family run business. Established in 1979 as a trading name of P.A.Hollingworth & Co Ltd, they offer construction, repair and maintenance of swimming pools along with a showroom and UK based online store, providing a wide range of swimming pool supplies plus a wide array of spares and accessories from their  warehouse near Sandwich. The two directors Peter Hollingworth and Peter Hunnisett have spent over 30 years in construction   and building high quality bespoke swimming pools has become a large part of their business. Sam Hunnisett joined her father in the business back in 2010 as sales manager and she quickly and successfully established Oasis Pool Products as a market leader  selling swimming pool supplies and kits on the internet.

FOURTH SUCCESSIVE WIN Gillingham Pools, of Guernsey, picked up its fourth gold in succession with victory in the residential outdoor pool section.

Winning a gold for the fourth year in succession, Gillingham Pools Ltd is a locally run family business based in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. They install and refurbish pools throughout the Channel Islands, France and the UK. The team specialises in the
design and construction of concrete pools and spas and also in the installation of fibreglass and liner pools. Gillingham prides itself on employing local tradesmen with extensive in-house pool building experience – each taking pride and pleasure in their workmanship. Their craftsmanship and attention to detail are a big part of what makes us an award winning company – along with our business ethic and strong commitment to customer satisfaction.

TOP RETAIL AWARD Boasting extensive indoor and outdoor displays, Wensum say its showroom is the vital hub of its business.

Proud winners of the Peter Geekie Award For Retail Excellence, sponsored by Certikin International, were Syd and Andrea  Morrison and the team from Wensum Pools in Fakenham, Norfolk, pictured above. Underlining their credentials as one of the   most professional pool and spa teams in the country, Wensum were popular winners of the coveted title. Entrants in this far-reaching sector are marked on individual elements of business from their welcome to showroom visitors to after sales care and everything in between. Boasting extensive indoor and outdoor displays, Wensum say its showroom is the vital hub of its business; the company’s most important sales asset where first impressions are of paramount importance. Pro-active marketers with more than three decades of trading experience, Wensum promote the Catalina, Elite and Jacuzzi hot tubs alongside their pool  building, maintenance and service business across all sectors of water leisure.

TRIPLE CROWN Richard Carrington, chairman of SPATA , Jamie Adams of Golden Coast Ltd, award sponsors, Philip Pamment, director of Fowler Swimming Pools, Tom Holman, chairman and managing direct, and Kevin Dack, service director for their gold-winning pool project.

FOWLER Swimming Pools of Cowfold, West Sussex, chalked up its third major award within eight years as it took the gold for  residential pools over £75,000 and under £150,000. The award was given for a magnificent indoor heated pool, worth near  Billingshurst, West Sussex. The indoor pool in the landscaped grounds of a large country house is superbly designed with brilliant  use of natural stone on the surrounds.
“We are particularly proud of this pool,” says Tom, “because it is superbly finished with a unique overflow slot around the edge instead of the usual grid. It’s what we call a deck-level pool in which all the levels integrate.” “We are delighted to have received this award,” says Tom, who lives in Henfield. “It is a real honour to win gold three times within eight years. We won gold in 2005 and 2009 and we all feel very proud to have won this third great award.”

DOUBLE DELIGHT Double gold winners Whitewaters, receive their award from Tony Welsby, outgoing BSPF president, and David Bland, on behalf of the award sponsors, Portrait Pools.

Founded by Mick Guthrie in 2002, Whitewaters only joined SPATA last year and have picked up two gold awards in their first year  of trying. Working alongside Mick are key staff members include Lyn Williams, office manager, pictured, and Andy Garside the company foreman who controls everything on site. Although based in the North East, approximately 50% of Whitewaters contract work is out of the immediate area. At present, the company is working in Central London, Cheshire, South Yorkshire and Glasgow. The company’s winning residential indoor pools up to £75,000 – was an 8m x 4m deck level pool with stainless steel finishes and overflow grating built near Newcastle-upon-tyne. It featured largeformat tiling, Roldeck automatic cover housed in wall ‘cave’ and colour changing LED lighting.

MAIDEN WIN John Preston Pool Services scooped gold in the SPATA awards at their first attempt.

First time SPATA winners this year, John Preston Pool Services was founded in 1999 by John Preston, joining SPATA ten years  later. The JP team is particularly noted for its high specification, indoor domestic pool and spa installation throughout the North
West and beyond in some cases, having constructed pools as far afield as Dumfries, Anglesey and Hereford. The company also maintain and service a number of commercial sites for major hotel and health club chains and carry out work on the Isle of Man.
Their winning pools was set in a modern building but keeping a traditional style with the use of limestone on the surround to maximise the amount of natural light into the pool hall. The slate effect tile, run from the base of the pool to the ceiling, allowing the additional creation of the bespoke water feature, designed to the exact customer specifications. The pool also boasts a counter current unit and strategically placed selection of underwater lights to create a more desirable swimming experience.

Tanby Pools Award Winning Project
SUSTAJoint Pool Contractors of the Year for 2012, Tanby Pools took two gold awards in the Concrete Pools over £60,000 and the Refurbishment sector.

 Joint Pool Contractors Of The Year, Tanby Swimming Pools took two gold awards in the categories ‘Concrete Pools £60,000 and Over’ and ‘Refurbishment’, and a silver in the category for ‘Concrete Pools up to £60,000’ Tanby, based in Warlingham, Surrey,  was founded in 1966 and was one of SPATA’s earliest member companies. The company has enjoyed sustained success in the SPATA awards, previously winning six golds; six silvers and six bronze awards. Tanby’s work covers all aspects pool and spa construction, refurbishment, service, and maintenance. Tanby has been Involved in a wide variety of interesting projects including a pool built in one of three 400 year old cellars of a former brewery with up and coming prestigious projects in
London. Key personnel include Martin Borley, managing director, Delyse Borley, director, Ian Webster, construction director, Clair Bryant, client liaison, Mark Bryant, site manager and Sue Hutchins office director.

FRONT RUNNERS The XL team was celebrating at this year’s SPATA pool awards.

Based in Kent and SPATA members since July 2010, XL Pools specialise in brand name pools such as Polypool, Signature Products and Compass. Since starting the business eight years ago, managing directors Tony Exell and Helen Smith have led XL Pools from the front. Winning a SPATA gold at their first time of trying, their winning project was an unusual project. The customer requested a large pool to be installed within a confined space. The pool is built inside the walls of the property but doesn’t have a roof. As the pool was only 2.7m wide an infinity edge was incorporated within the design to stop turbulent water while swimming. The pool is constructed from an above ground concrete shell using C30 concrete with an insulated panel system pool installed inside the shell with a fibreglass coating applied to allow the pool to be tiled. The plant room needed to be hidden  due to the location of the pool.

SPECIAL POOLS Yorkshire-based David Hallam Pools took home the top spot in the category for Special Requirement Pools.

Winners of the Special Requirements Pools Award, sponsored by Heatstar, David Hallam was founded in 1964 and has previously won SPATA golds in 2006 and 2011, plus an array of other awards. This year’s award winning project centred around the Regency High School at Worcester that was undergoing a major refurbishment and extension to the school. They already had a small hydrotherapy pool on site that was over 30 years old. The pool wasn’t big enough and the filtration was in a poor state of repair.
As part of the extension to the school a new hydrotherapy pool was to be built. David Hallam Ltd got involved early during the design stage and were responsible for sizing the 7m x 11m pool and its design features such as the recessed bench seat, floor massage feature, the pool was raised 500mm out of the ground so that the therapist could work with the children without having to bend over into the pool.

INNOVATIVE DESIGN Winning double golds in both the residential and commercial overseas pool categories, Dubai-based Belhasa Projects, based in Dubai, has an unrivalled reputation for innovative design and build.

Winning double golds with both the residential and commercial overseas pool honours, Belhasa Projects, based in Dubai, has been changing the face of the region for more than 25 years, with projects as diverse as clients’ demands. BHP has always been at the forefront of unique design-andbuild schemes such as the latest project – building the largest aquarium in the world. Innovative designs with a local flavour have included a swimming pool in the shape of a coffee pot, and a camel race grandstand in the shape of a tent. From its beginnings as a pool construction company, BHP has grown to encompass five separate divisions, each with a unique function.Belhasa Projects LLC (BHP) was established in 1980 and incorporates five separate divisions run under the leadership of managing directors Majed Belhasa and Nigel Finzi. The company now employs more than 200 staff and has a
labour force of nearly 2,000, working on anything from private pools to blue chip construction projects.

PINNACLE ACHIEVEMENT Cresta Leisure won the category for liner pools up to £30,000 and two silvers and a bronze to share the 2012 title of Pool Contractor of the Year.

Joint Pool Contractors of the Year, Dorset-based Cresta Leisure has won a number of SPATA awards over the years in both the residential and commercial sectors but 2012 was the pinnacle, as the awards covered nearly every aspect of pool and spa provision. Founded in 1985 by managing director Tim Bareham, the company initially built panel pools and provided local service until 1989 when the opportunity to build a holiday park pool, resulted in a fast track learning curve in commercial filtration and environmental control. Cresta operates out of purpose-built premises in Dorchester with a full time staff of ten people, covering all aspects of pool supplies and servicing with the exception of internet sales. Cresta joined Spata in 1988 and Tim served on SPATA’s National Council from 1995 until 2010 holding the position as National President in 2000. He is now a member of the BSPF Board and a SPATA inspector involved in member re-inspections
throughout the Country.

COMMERCIAL SUCCESS Established in 1965, Cheshire Wellness is no stranger to SOATA success and top honours in the Innovation category.

No strangers to SPATA success, Cheshire Wellness UK design and build award winning and innovative spas, swimming pools and heat experience rooms, from traditional saunas and steam rooms to the more exotic mud baths, igloos and meditation rooms. Established in 1965, the company works for commercial and private clients throughout Europe. the Middle East, the USA and South America. Cheshire Wellness UK has grown into one of the largest pool and spa shell manufacturing operations in Europe, operating from a current 30,000sq ft factory unit with further expansion planned to cope with the anticipated growth in business.
The company offers a complete in-house service from concept to completion from initial design in our design studio to mould
making and complete shell manufacturing. They also offer a design and installation service for commercial and residential swimming pool, hydro spas, Hammam tables and all types of heat experience rooms from saunas to snow rooms.