Cormac to join multiple Cornwall community events in 2024

The Cormac team supported Cornwall Pride 2023 and intends to do so again in 2024. Image provided by Denhams Digital


Cornwall Pride 2023. The Royal Cornwall Show 2023. The Eden Sleep Out 2023. Volunteering with the Cornwall Heritage Trust at the Castle an Dinas Iron Age hillfort near St Columb Major in 2023. Supporting the annual ‘Women in STEM Day’ (known as ‘Engineering Her Future’) event at the Tamar Bridge in June 2023. Attending Trevithick Day 2023 in Camborne.

These events in 2023 were supported by the workforce of one of the biggest companies that operates in Cornwall. Jason Peel, head of business development at Cormac Contracting, tells us that Cormac staff were ‘fully committed and out in force’ when it came to supporting an array of events and activities across the Duchy during 2023.

For 2024, Cormac is once again ‘committed to a wide variety of regional community events’, according to Jason Peel. He tells Proper Cornwall that the company’s volunteer initiatives ‘will be supporting even more charity and community events’ in Cornwall throughout 2024.

He also says that community events ‘represent valuable experience for colleagues from Cormac’s workforce’, as well as ‘encouraging our visibility and accessibility’. He adds that this level of community engagement is ‘all linked to regional commitments to social value reporting and improving our community’.

Jason Peel, head of business development at Cormac, smiles as he support Cornwall Pride 2023. The Cormac team also supported Cornwall Pride 2022
Jason Peel at Cornwall Pride. Image provided by Denhams Digital

Providing civil engineering and community support

Cormac — which comprises Cormac Solutions that delivers highways and environment council services, and Cormac Contracting Ltd, which focuses on the external commercial market across the South West region — is a specialist civil engineering company, wholly owned by Cornwall Council.

The firm delivers major civil and highway schemes, as well as surfacing and aggregates. There are also significant levels of in-house design resources at Cormac alongside a sample laboratory for testing and a full suite of ground investigation (GI), asbestos and drone survey capability.

Cormac was formed in 2012. It also provides recycled aggregate from its Castle-An-Dinas quarry in Penzance. The recycled aggregate provision at the quarry, says Jason Peel, was launched in 2023 and it ‘is fully mobile and supplements the usual array of quarry product range we supply’.

The company operates comprehensive fleet management services including electric and biomethane — a renewable natural gas — powered vehicles. In fact, the firm has added new biomethane vehicles to its fleet and has electric vehicles under consideration as EV infrastructure across the region becomes more robust, says Jason Peel.

But there’s also an evolving focus for Cormac of late. And that’s ‘more direct engagement in order to enhance its communities’, says Jason Peel. He tells Proper Cornwall that the company ‘supported a wide variety of regional communities with exciting engagement events’ across Cornwall throughout 2023.

“For many years now,” he says, “we have delivered a fixed term maintenance contract for Cornwall Council but over the past three years, we have developed a new external growth strategy. We really do see our integrated, turnkey market solutions as a USP (unique selling point), so it proved a natural step to face outwards and engage with the commercial market.”

Cormac’s head of business development says that during 2023, Cormac established new office facilities in Winslade Park just outside Exeter, which he says ‘aligned well with our existing Exeter depot and demonstrates a new, more robust geographic footprint to support our expansion’.

Cormac staff in yellow hard hats and jackets at work. Cormac supports community engagement projects in 2023
Cormac’s team at work. Image provided by Denhams Digital

‘Full calendar’ of community engagement in 2024

Jason Peel says there’ll be a ‘full calendar’ of community, school, college and career fair events (some with STEM or graduate focus) for Cormac’s teams to support during 2024. And that all builds on the success of the 2023 events.

He says that in 2023, Cormac’s teams had a presence at many events across the Duchy, with one of the highlights being the Royal Cornwall Show 2023. He says that both the June 2022 and June 2023 editions of the show were ‘striking successes’, in fact. At the 2022 show, the team helped children to paint pots and sit in a special biomethane truck. In 2023, the team’s stall — for the first time ever — featured a Minecraft game for the children which proved to be incredibly popular for all members of the public.

Another successful activity undertaken by Cormac’s volunteer teams took place in July 2023. This was a joint project with the Cornwall Heritage Trust at Castle an Dinas hillfort near St Columb Major, itself just inland from Newquay. The site is seen as ‘one of the most important hillforts in the South West’, dating back to around the second and third centuries BCE. The Cornwall Heritage Trust acquired the site in 1986. Jason Peel says that the Cormac team helped to clear and tidy bracken and hedgerows.

Cornwall Pride is also close to many volunteers’ hearts at Cormac, according to the head of business development. In August 2023, the Cormac team were at the final Cornwall Pride event of the year in Truro. It was a big deal as they met the public in Lemon Quay in the heart of the city throughout the day and promoted ‘mutual policies of inclusivity and diversity’ throughout the day.

The team also supported the annual Trevithick Day celebrations in Camborne in April 2023 and Falmouth’s Armed Forces Day in late June 2023. And in September 2023, the team got involved with the National Trust EXPO Ertach Kernow, also known as the Cornish Heritage EXPO, at the Godolphin estate just outside Helston. Cormac sponsored the free event, which featured heritage talks, demonstrations, crafts, performances, house tours, food, music and heritage sector careers advice for young people.

On a rain soaked and chilly Thursday 16 November 2023, the head of business development says he was ‘joined by a great colleague, Steve Oakley, for the big Eden Sleep Out 2023’, which involved sleeping under the stars next to the famous biomes to raise cash for homelessness charity St Petrocs. He says there was a choir and ‘speakers with real homeless experience’ alongside food preparation activities. “Lights out was at 11pm,” he says, “and that went on until 6am the next day. Little sleep and aching bones but the event made a significant contribution to a major crisis across Cornwall!”

In other news, Cormac became a member of both the Cornwall Marine Network Ltd and The United Kingdom Harbour Masters Association towards the end of 2023, with a launch event at Falmouth Golf Club in late November. Jason Peel notes: “It’s clear that 2023 has been a successful year in terms of outreach for the company.”

Check out this video of the team at Cornwall Pride 2022…

Click on the above video of Cormac representatives at Cornwall Pride 2022

New videos and a new website

“Video footage of our projects,” says Jason Peel, “will be made available for inclusion within our social value reporting. We also launched our brand new website in 2023, which is designed to enhance the user experience with its intuitive architecture and dramatic case study information.”

The new Cormac website – as can be seen via this link: cormacltd.co.uk – opens to a newly filmed video of the company’s many activities, starring members of the team. It captures the dramatic Cornish landscape, with iconic locations such as Jubilee Pool in Penzance – possibly the most beautiful art deco seawater lido in Europe – and was, as Jason Peel puts it, ‘an opportunity to include many of our workforce from across our business divisions, who are filmed conducting their daily duties’.

“In both 2022 and 2023,” he says, “we supported Cornwall Pride. We had a stall laden with merch and Cormac carried the Pride flag through Redruth to promote diversity and inclusivity. This was a true first for us in 2022 and was another great success in 2023. We are certainly planning to support Pride again in 2024.”

Jason Peel says Cormac colleagues will once again support both the Devon County Show 2024 and the Royal Cornwall Show 2024. He says: “We are enhancing a wide variety of regional communities with exciting engagement events in 2024. In fact, we will be supporting even more charity and community events in Cornwall throughout the year, however many of these events are not yet confirmed. Events like Pride or small community events or careers fairs are all exceptionally rewarding and we can’t wait to get involved once again in 2024.”

He adds: “Next year, I will be increasing our support for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, who will become another charity of choice for Cormac.” He says he met with trust members at the Cornwall Business Show in October 2023 in Wadebridge and discussed ‘support and volunteering going forward’.

Jason Peel says: “We continue with our support of careers days at local schools and colleges. Notably in 2023, we supported careers days at Richard Lander School and Truro and Penwith College. Sadly, a careers day at Treviglas Academy in Newquay towards the end of the year did not go ahead due to Storm Ciarán but a revised date will be announced shortly.”

“Our team will take on any challenge as long as it supports local communities or charity,” he concludes. “For instance, in 2022 we supported CAAP and disAbility Cornwall by opening a bug hotel at Hayle Rugby Club as part of CAAP’s End of Summer Festival, which had been made using waste materials from our depots. It was a big hit with kids, who populated it with insects. Cormac also supported a ‘Women in STEM Day’ careers event at the Tamar Bridge. These projects inspired us to take on more with the Cornish community in 2023 and we are looking forward to getting engaged with even more in 2024 and beyond.”

View all of Cormac’s events throughout 2023 at cormacltd.co.uk. The Cormac head of business development adds that organisations are welcome to approach Cormac with ideas for events and activities the team could support in the future. He says: “We always welcome new opportunities. After all, it all comes down to that most famous of Cornish slogans – onen hag oll! One and all!”

Interview by Matt Fleming