Dorset businesses and individuals triumph at seventh annual South Coast Property Awards

Rosanna Parker, Associate, Steele Raymond, who was named Young Property Professional of the Year.

By Andrew Diprose [email protected]

Published: June 10, 2024 | Updated: 10th June 2024

Dorset businesses and individuals triumphed at this year’s South Coast Property Awards.

Successes on the night included:

  • Workplace of the Year: Foundry, L&G Real Estates
  • Property Law Firm of the Year: Lester Aldridge
  • Housebuilder of the Year: AJC Group
  • Regeneration Project of the Year: Livingston Academy Bournemouth (Noviun Architects)
  • Residential Development of the Year: The Sloop (AJC Group)
  • Young Property Person of the Year: Rosanna Parker, Steele Raymond

The winners across 15 categories were chosen from an impressive list of nearly 60 finalists.

Independent judges helped ensure the selection process was thorough and fair.

The seventh annual awards brought together developers, agents, planners, consultants, property lawyers and dealmakers to recognise the achievers.

Highlighting a notable recent trend, Richard Thompson, Chief Executive at The Business Magazine, which staged the awards, said: “Companies are becoming used to new ways of working, with technology bearing the strain for the hybrid working practices of most businesses.

“The move from fully remote working has meant a need for flexible, high-quality office space resulting in the significant growth of that market.”

The awards’ headline sponsor was Amiri Construction.

The other sponsors were AECOM, Lester Aldridge, MSP Capital, Cobweb Solutions, South Coast CPS, LGCS Fitout, The Escape, Eddisons incorporating Daniells Harrison, Blake Morgan, Gracelands and SHW.

In addition, Moore Barlow sponsored the drinks reception and event programmes.

This year’s charity was Hannah’s Holiday Home Appeal, which supports children’s oncology wards by providing families with free holiday breaks. On the night, generous donations totalled over £3,400.

Comedian Simon Evans hosted the proceedings.


Dorset successes were:

  • Workplace of the Year – sponsored by LGCS Fitout

Winner: FOUNDRY, L&G Real Assets

“Working at the Foundry gives people a community and engagement – we call it the Foundry Factor. It’s not about them coming here for the headspace, but building a community of people who can help and support each other. We help businesses to grow as a collective. Working from home is a ‘grey’ area and people miss the ‘black and white’ of going to work, getting it done, then coming home and switching off. We have people who started coming here one day a week who now do three days. We have a mix of larger companies using our offices for their staff and individuals starting their own business,” Ema Armstrong, General Manager, The Foundry

  • Property Law Firm of the Year – sponsored by Goadsby

Winner: Lester Aldridge

“About one-third of our business is property: we’re one of central south’s largest real estate practices. Around a third of this work is real estate finance, which is a growth area for us. We are also building up our specialism in affordable homes. As part of our drive to be one of the best employers in the area, we appointed a Head of People to help make sure employees have everything they need. The last year has seen a tough market but it has been really good for us and we are looking to grow by more than 10% next year.” Mark Benham, Head of Real Estate, Lester Aldridge

  • Housebuilder the Year – sponsored by Lester Aldridge

Winner: AJC Group

“We are always very community focused. In every development, we reach out to local schools, work with local hospitals and organisations, getting people involved in a development. For example, local schoolchildren chose the name of one development and it’s initiatives like this that give people a sense of ownership in it. Our ESG focus encourages an interaction between staff and local people and we can all learn from the experience.” Natalie Gomez, Client Relations Manager, Hannah Bentley, Operations Manager, AJC Group

  • Regeneration Project of the Year – sponsored by AECOM

Winner: Livingstone Academy Bournemouth – Noviun Architects

“About 75% of our work is in the education sector. We also work in leisure and healthcare. For Livingstone Academy, we needed to have great sympathy towards the heritage of the building while also fitting modern teaching requirements into the existing infrastructure. We had a challenge in having three buildings on two elevations that we had to tie together. The three different-looking buildings had to work as a cohesive unit, for example, by creating general colour schemes that weren’t overpowering to the buildings themselves.” Daniel Smith, Director, Noviun

  • Residential Development of the Year – sponsored by Gracelands

Winner: The Sloop – AJC Group

“The Sloop provides much-needed new homes and rental opportunities for the community. Having a large structure relative to the size of the site came with its challenges in terms of movement of materials and general manoeuvrability. Careful planning of operations using the knowledge and experience of the AJC project team and specialist contractors resulted in the successful completion of each task. We are conscious of the impact new construction projects have on the local community, especially during the build phase, and we make continued efforts to mitigate disruptions. Generally speaking, the feedback from the local community and council has been extremely positive.” Tarek Tabbah, Head of Technical, AJC Group

  • Young Property Person of the Yearsponsored by SHW

Winner: Rosanna Parker – Steele Raymond

“I joined the firm as a secretary and wanted to be a paralegal. They had never had paralegals before and I was the first. Now I’ve shown it can be done we have a lot more. I had studied languages but decided I wanted to be a lawyer – and found I was good at it. What has really helped me is having a great team of the nicest people around me who are all good at what they do and who really care about people. I specialise in commercial property and industrial, in particular. One client even named their industrial estate after my middle name: Parveneh Park in Ringwood.” Rosanna Parker, Associate, Steele Raymond

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