Meet the Site Manager: a Conversation with Samantha Torevell

13th February 2024

Meet the Site Manager: a Conversation with Samantha Torevell

Stonewest News

Samantha Torevell joined Stonewest over a year ago. As well as being a valued team member, she has been pivotal to the success and progress of the Manchester Town Hall project.  Stonewest is the specialist contractor and forms part of a collaborative team on site, working to repair and restore one of Manchester’s greatest cultural and civic assets.

From inspiring the team, to navigating the complexities of the project, Samantha’s meticulous planning and effective decision making has kept the project on track. So much so, she recently won the Project Director’s Award, in the Manchester City Council Awards, a fantastic and well-deserved accolade.  Here she tells us a little about her journey so far.


Congratulations on your recent Awards! How does that feel?

It feels great!  It was completely unexpected, but I’m over the moon to have been recognised for doing a job I absolutely love doing.  The team on site at Manchester Town Hall is outstanding and I really enjoy being a part of it.

What have been the biggest highlights of your Stonewest journey so far?

Working on the Clock Tower.  It’s one of the main elements of the Manchester Town Hall’s external facade and contributes to Manchester’s incredible skyline.  The clock’s four faces are visible from different points in the city and it’s a privilege to be contributing to its revival.

How does it feel to play a key role in the UK’s largest heritage project?

We regularly visited Manchester when I was a child and so the Town Hall has been a constant presence; it’s part of Manchester’s cultural identity.  I’ve attended functions inside the Town Hall and visited the Christmas markets which sit on the square outside the Town Hall and so I’ve always known its restoration would be a colossal undertaking.

Tell us what you are most excited about in terms of Stonewest’s contribution to such an important project for the people of Manchester.

Manchester Town Hall is almost 150 years old and the project to revive it will guarantee it lives on and can be enjoyed by the people of Manchester for the next 150 years.  Before work commenced, stonework and balustrades were crumbling, windows were broken. To see people with such an array of artisan skills coming together to bring the building back to life is wonderful.  Artwork, lead work, mosaic specialists, wood work, there are so many traditional crafts and trades involved in this project.  We’ve hosted events to give the people of Manchester the opportunity to see the work that is being undertaken, which have been well attended and thoroughly enjoyed.

Tell us a little about you and what made you pursue a career in heritage building restoration?

Before working with heritage buildings, I managed demolition sites, a site for Metrolink and, more recently, new-build construction sites, but the buildings lacked character.  I’ve always loved history and architecture and so it made sense to combine my site management experience with my love for heritage buildings.  We’ve made so many incredible discoveries on site – we found a newspaper from 100 years ago recently.  It really is the perfect job for me.

What would you say to encourage other women interested in pursuing a career in the industry?

Go for it!  There are so many more opportunities now for women wanting to pursue a career in stone or construction.  It’s not always been the case, but the industry is open to everybody and I would love to see more women in senior roles.  Apprenticeships are also an excellent route to a successful career in building conservation.

What was your dream job as a child? 

I always wanted to be a police detective, but at the time I left full time education the police had height restrictions as part of their recruitment criteria.

If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t take no for an answer.

The Stonewest brand has become synonymous with quality, dependability and innovation, how is this achieved and maintained?

We are incredibly thorough.  We implement rigorous and stringent management processes across every site and ensure there is a paper trail for everything we do.  Safety is non-negotiable and excellence and accountability are at the forefront of everything we do.  Quality inspections are carried out frequently by internal and external representatives.

We encourage an innovative culture on site where team members are supported to explore new methodologies, technologies, and workflows.  We also carryout out collective problem-solving sessions, as well as craft and project operatives feedback sessions.