THE award-winning York Handmade Brick Company has played an important role in the creation of a stunning new airfield control tower.

The company, based at Alne near Easingwold, was awarded a £130,000 contract to supply 100,000 specially-made bricks for the hexagonal control tower at Turweston Flight Centre at Brackley in Buckinghamshire.

York Handmade was approached by David Owen, flight centre owner, after he saw the company’s impressive Maxima bricks at the base of the Shard building in south London.

David Armitage, chairman of York Handmade, said: “The new control tower at Turweston is an exceptional building, at home in its surroundings.

“Our long thin Maxima bricks, which are becoming increasingly popular, provide a distinctive and sensitive look.

“It was crucial we got this look right, otherwise the new tower would have looked utterly out of place in its distinctive airfield environment.

“It was especially pleasing that our bricks at the Shard, of which we are very proud, led to this prestigious order. It is often forgotten that the Shard is not just made of glass!

“The bricks there are a great advertisement for our work, right in the heart of London”.

Mr Owen said he was looking for a buff colour brick. “In my search, I looked at several new buildings and when I saw the Shard base, I felt it was as close as I was likely to get to what I wanted,” he said.

“Initially, I was under the impression that the bricks were imported, so when I found they were made in England, that was a bonus.

“I was also worried about batch variation and particularly the making of specials, as we were building a hexagonal building and wanted to recess the windows and doorways.

“I was very pleased to discover, when I visited York Handmade’s headquarters, they were able to provide exactly what I wanted.

“I did look at other manufacturers but most were not interested in specially-made bricks; they were just maximising volume.”

The new tower, which includes offices, a flying school and café, was designed as a hexagonal building to reflect the triangle of land lying within the three original Second World War runways at Turweston.