All posts by In Spired

UltraCrete protest helps to bring extra UK pothole funding

The recently announced UK budget will include £2.5bn to be made available to fix potholes and resurface roads over five years.


Official National Pothole Day sponsor, UltraCrete, is delighted to have received the news that the new budget will bring more than £600bn to be spent on roads, rail, broadband and housing by the middle of 2025. Ministers say this represents the largest capital investment in infrastructure for generations, with 2.5bn will be made available to fix potholes and resurface roads over five years.


This budget announcement comes after UltraCrete, and ally, Mr Pothole (AKA Mark Morrell), protested about the deficit in funding for road repairs by driving a bright orange tank through London earlier this year. Their mission was to draw attention to the current shortfall in road repair funding and to help local authorities and the like, tackle the crumbling road networks permanently, and they seem to have succeeded.


Richard Moss, Brand Manager at Instarmac said: ”This is great news. We are really pleased that the government has listened to and acted on our calls for more funding to repair potholes. We certainly raised awareness on 15 January with our protest, you only have to see the video footage of National Pothole Day around London and Westminster, as well as the fantastic national media coverage we received, to realise that it must’ve had an effect. While we feel there could have been more investment released, with the careful use of good quality, permanent repair materials and thorough material training, this additional financial injection should provide some much needed repairs to our vital road network.”


For more information about UltraCrete permanent repair products or to book a demo or training please contact UltraCrete’s team of experts by emailing or calling 01827 254402.

UltraFloor rises to the challenge of a speedy Greggs refit


Level IT Super30 and Prime IT MSP make last minute floor installations a piece of cake.


Nationally recognised, high street bakers, Greggs, opened a new retail outlet at Ventura Park in Tamworth, West Midlands, in October 2019. Before opening, the unit required a complete refit and change of purpose from the previous occupant. This included laying a new floor.


The challenge

The refit needed to be undertaken within a tight schedule, with only one week to complete the installation.

The flooring contractor for the project, Stoll Flooring, had selected 131m² of Karndean and Altro flooring to lay as part of the refurbishment.

Given the popularity of Greggs stores and usual level of foot traffic through the outlets, the installation products needed to be high performing and robust.

As food would be prepared on site upon opening, the installation products used also needed to be low odour.


The solution

Fast acting, effective primers and underlayments are bread and butter for UltraFloor. Having successfully used these products before on other installations, Stoll Flooring selected Level IT Super30, and as UltraFloor recommends that subfloors should be primed prior to the application of a finishing compound, contractors Stoll Flooring, also selected Prime IT MSP.

Prime IT Multi-surface Primer is a moisture tolerant, water based acrylic primer, sealer and bonding aid. Formulated to promote adhesion to all UltraFloor smoothing underlayments, Prime IT Multi-surface Primer reduces pinholing, minimising the risk of costly failures.

With a coverage rate of 200m² at 3:1 dilution, Prime IT Multi-surface Primer is a must-have product for all retail or commercial flooring installation projects.

Level IT Super30 is a ‘level and lay in a day’ product which utilises specially blended cements and a high quality polymer liquid.  It is a speedy product for fast turnaround projects. The product sets in 30 minutes and can be overlaid with bonded floor coverings after just 3 hours.

As Level IT Super30’s formulation is free from ammonia and protein, it creates a very low odour and is suitable for confined spaces and is ideal for use in biological sensitive areas.

In addition, the product is designed to compensate for shrinkage and is polymer modified, both adding to its high performance and compatibility.


The results

The project was completed successfully and on time. Barry Marsden, Director at Stoll Flooring said: “Prime IT MSP and Level IT Super30 were the perfect pairing for this retail project. The speedy walk on time, even in the colder autumn temperatures, allowed us to complete the job on time and get on to our next job much quicker than if we were using a standard set floor leveller. Also the low odour properties of Level IT Super30 were perfect for a food preparation environment. We find we can always rely on UltraFloor products to get the job done properly and on time.”


For further information on UltraFloor contract flooring solutions, please call 01827 254400 or email

Instarmac successfully transitions to ISO 45001:2018 OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY

Award winning, UK manufacturer of pothole repair, highway maintenance, tiling, floor levelling, paving and drylining products, Instarmac Group plc, is delighted to confirm its successful transition to ISO 45001:2018.


ISO 45001 is the world’s international standard for occupational health and safety, issued to protect employees and visitors from work-related accidents and diseases. The certification also ensures legal compliance, provides improved risk management and positions Instarmac to meet current and any future regulatory challenges.


ISO 45001 standard was launched in 2018, companies already certified to OHSAS 18001 are obliged to migrate to the ISO 45001 standard within three years of this date, the Instarmac Group plc has undertaken its transition well in advance of the directed timescale.


Emma Kavanagh, QHSE Compliance Manager for Instarmac said: “This is an important recognition, not only does this transition provide our customers with further confidence that we are committed to the continual improvement in Health and Safety, it is also central to creating safe working conditions for our most important asset, our people.”

Tough Patch® delivers fast, reliable and consistent pothole repairs for Kier


UltraCrete successfully fills the gap with its first time permanent repair material for planned and reactive maintenance in all weathers

The background

Leading UK construction and infrastructure service suppliers, Kier, are responsible for the maintenance of the major roads in Gloucester, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcester and Herefordshire. This is Kier’s largest UK Contract for the Highways Agency.

The challenge

In order to manage the increasing pothole maintenance issue for these extensive road networks, Kier had been using a mixture of pothole repair products from multiple suppliers, which were giving inconsistent and mixed results, in particular during the winter months.

The infrastructure services company was also under pressure from the Highways Agency to keep road closures and disruption to a minimum whilst undertaking repairs, so were seeking a solution that would provide a first time permanent repair for planned and reactive maintenance to address this.

The solution

The UltraCrete team met with Kier’s Operations and Enhanced Customer Response Unit (ECRU) teams to help them find a solution to standardising their patch and pothole repair methods.

Having analysed the issues, Tough Patch® was recommended by the UltraCrete team due to its consistent reliability and quick installation.

Tough Patch® is a PTS PAS approved, cold lay surface material for road repairs, which utilises a reactive binder that rapidly cures to create a first time, permanent repair that will accept traffic immediately after installation. By ultilising Tough Patch®, the amount of time needed for closures on a highway can be reduced, resulting in a significantly safer working environment for the Keir operatives carrying out the work.

Tested in accordance with MCHW SHW Volume 1 Clause 104.15 and 104.16, Tough Patch® has been proven to provide a permanent repair in a variety of environments and weather.

As well as complying with all the test requirements of the revised Specification for Highway Works (SHW) Clause 946 and as defined in Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways (SROH),Tough Patch® has been proven to outperform these standards in a number of areas.

SROH requires all cold lay materials to be capable of being cored within 6 months of installation and thanks to its superior formulation, Tough Patch® surpasses these requirements, allowing cores to be taken after 24 hours.

In addition to the SHW and SROH test requirements, Tough Patch® 6mm and 10mm grades have been assessed for wheel tracking and permanent deformation at 60ºC – the standard is only 45ºC – and both grades demonstrated enhanced performance to classify as suitable for “very heavily stressed sites requiring very high rut resistance.”

Tough Patch® permanent surface repair material can be used in all weathers and is proven to last the life of the road, eliminating costly repeat visits to site.

UltraCrete SCJ was also recommended to be used in conjunction with Tough Patch®. This product prolongs the life of the repairs, improves bond, prevents water ingress and is BBA HAPAS approved.

The UltraCrete team demonstrated Tough Patch® at the meeting and subsequent trials of the product were undertaken by Kier between December 2019 and February 2020.

The results

The trials were successful and Tough Patch® has been adopted by Kier to use on major roads in Gloucester, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcester and Herefordshire.

Gary Wood, Senior Storeman at Kier praised the UltraCrete product and team commenting: “The interaction and collaborative working relationship between the operatives and supplier has resulted in a product that will now be used across Gloucester, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcester and Herefordshire. We invited the UltraCrete team along to view our side of the process and in doing so; they have helped us to implement improvements across the board.”

For further information on UltraCrete’s Highway Reinstatement Materials, please call 01827 254400 or email

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Instarmac Group plc acquires a 10% share of Roadmender Asphalt

Instarmac Group plc’s exciting new partnership with industry expert, Roadmender Asphalt, will build on their own extensive development work and provide fresh opportunities to support their customer’s needs for ever changing, innovative and improved products.

Instarmac is committed to developing products and systems that solve today’s highway maintenance problems. At a time of increased public scrutiny surrounding road maintenance practices and environmental responsibility, this investment in Roadmender Asphalt will ensure the company remains at the forefront of innovation and the ‘go to’ brand for all road repair solutions.

Echoing the Instarmac ethos, innovation is a key driver of Roadmender Asphalt’s business strategy which provides award winning, sustainable and environmental product development.

Richard Moss, UltraCrete Brand Manager, commented: “Instarmac’s ongoing commitment to the investment and expansion of an innovative and sustainable product range is something we’re all very proud of.” He added: “We see this collaboration with Roadmender Asphalt as a natural fit, supporting our strategy and goals for the future. There is a notable synergy between our products and this union has already really complemented and enhanced our product portfolio. The collaboration also demonstrates our focus on supporting our customer’s requirements in terms of quality, cost, and sustainability. We look forward to working together to develop more exciting material solutions to help resolve highway maintenance issues in the long term.”

Harry Pearl, CEO of Roadmender Asphalt commented: ”We are delighted to be partnering with Instarmac, we see this collaboration as the culmination of many years of development work and we anticipate this union to be a long running success story.”

UltraCrete launch Enviro Mastic – a NEW, hot applied, mastic asphalt for long term repairs

Hot on the heels of their support for National Pothole Day, UltraCrete has unveiled their latest product in the war against potholes, Enviro Mastic, a highly durable, cold supplied, hot applied, polymer modified mastic asphalt that gives superior performance when used for the patching and repairs around ironwork.


This key addition to the extensive UltraCrete repair range contains all the performance advantages of standard asphalt, but it also has enhanced handling characteristics and increased high temperature stability. The Enviro Mastic composition includes over 50% recycled material (at least 2 recycled tyres per tonne) helping road repair organisations to reduce their all-important carbon footprint. The new product saves time and costs and there is no waste, as unused material is fit for the next installation. No compaction is required so it is quick and easy to install, it can be heated and mixed on-site and can be opened to traffic after 60 minutes, minimising road closure.


Due to heightened public scrutiny of road maintenance and new legislation, the longevity of repair products has become a critical consideration. The latest edition of the Specification of the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways, due to be published later this year, is expected to outline a mandatory increase in the guaranteed period for a repair, changing this from the current requirement of 2 years to an increased period of 5 years. Enviro Mastic comfortably covers this; due to its polymer modification, the new UltraCrete product provides increased resistance to rutting with less thermal (cold-temperature) cracking and overall improved mixture durability. This is something which is reinforced by the product’s proven and certified performance by the PTS PAS accreditation.


Richard Moss, UltraCrete Brand Manager commented: “We are really excited to be launching our first hot lay product. Enviro Mastic has some impressive credentials that really deliver in the current legislative, environmental and economic repair climate. Enviro Mastic completes the UltraCrete portfolio of repair solutions for bituminous surfaces, making UltraCrete the ‘go to’ brand for all road repair solutions.”


If you would like to be one of the first to try Enviro Mastic, an exceptional NEW hot applied, polymer modified mastic asphalt from UltraCrete please email

Instarmac appoints new MD and cements future success

Instarmac Group plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Shorrock as the new Managing Director from 1st April 2020.

Mark has extensive experience within the construction and manufacturing industry having served as Managing Director for Parex UK for the past 13 years. Prior to that Mark was Managing Director at TECROC from 2002 and oversaw the sale of the business to the Parex Group in 2007. The business grew from a turnover of £2 million to a £33 million operation in the UK.

The company was then ranked within the top 10 performing business units in the Parex global group and in 2019, Mark oversaw the acquisition of Parex UK by the global chemicals company SIKA AG.

Departing Managing Director, John Holcroft, has been appointed as the new Group Chief Executive of Instarmac Holdings Ltd and will be responsible for group’s strategic operations and growth that will be delivered through investments and acquisitions to expand the business portfolio.

John Holcroft said: “When we learnt Mark was available we acted quickly! Mark has proven himself to be one of the best and most experienced MDs in the industry and I am looking forward to working with him to build on our success and to start the next chapter of Instarmac.”

Mark will be taking control of the operational duties as MD from 1st April 2020 and his focus will be based around succession planning and growth with a target to deliver a £70million turnover within the next 4 years.

Mark  Shorrock, said:I am very pleased to be joining Instarmac as Managing Director. Instarmac is well respected within the industry as an award winning market leader. I look forward to building on that success and confident we can deliver the ambitious growth plans and future proof the business for years to come.”

Instarmac Holdings Ltd is headed up by John Holcroft, Group Chief Executive,  with Tim Boniface, Group Finance Director, Paul Butcher, Group Sales Director and Donna Heath, Group Company Secretary, at their new 10,000 sqft, custom built, Group headquarters, in Tamworth, which is due to be completed June 2020.

UltraCrete bring the road repair funding deficit to the forefront at Westminster

Official sponsors of National Pothole Day, UltraCrete, and ally, Mr Pothole (AKA Mark Morrell), protested about the deficit in funding for road repairs by driving a bright orange tank through London on National Pothole Day, 15 January 2020.

Potty’ as this may seem, their mission was to draw attention to the current shortfall in road repair funding, with the hope that more can be done to release cash to help local authorities and the like, tackle the crumbling road networks permanently.

Response and backing for the event from local authorities, members of the public and press was very positive, with many taking to social media to reinforce their support. Indeed, the campaign hashtag, ‘NoMorePotholesUK’ trended throughout the day, with a raft of posts covering the campaign spectacle and it’s messaging.

The UltraCrete team and Mr Pothole remain optimistic that the event and campaign has influenced the relevant bodies and that the required additional funding will be released in March of this year.

Richard Moss, UltraCrete Brand Manager, commented: “We are very pleased with the event and all it has achieved. We believe we have brought the issue of the funding shortfall to the forefront of the political agenda and hope to have provided recognition that the current funding just isn’t enough. Throughout the campaign, we have also found that local authorities are really on board with a rethink on how to approach repairs, with a drive to using permanent, durable products, a planned maintenance approach and programs to educate teams on best repair practice. The successful adoption of all these aspects should make a solution to the pothole problem very achievable.”

To help organisations involved in road and pavement repairs further, UltraCrete is offering 20% off cold lay products until the end of January. Click here for further information.

UltraCrete also offer comprehensive pothole repair training at their state of the art HQ. For more information or to book a demo click here.

UltraScape reaches for the sky in Dubai

UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System has been used to install and joint 15,000m² of paving at the iconic Residences Sky View in Downtown Dubai.

Designed by the same architects who created the Burj Khalifa, Residences Sky View is set to become the next landmark in Dubai.

The luxurious twin towers are home to a 166 room hotel and 531 serviced apartments with the complex and beautiful Sky Bridge connecting the two towers together. The Sky Bridge is home to world class restaurants, stunning ballroom and infinity pool offering panoramic views of Dubai.

Residences Sky View is the epitome of elegant and grand living and so it was crucial that the materials used to create this development were aesthetically pleasing and could withstand the constant trafficking from tourists, visitors and residents.

UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System, supplied by Instarmac’s partner in Dubai, Tanseeq LLC, was used to install and joint 15,000m² of paving around the base of the complex.

UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System is made up of tested, trusted and proven materials including Pro-Bed HS bedding mortar, Pro-Prime slurry primer and Flowpoint Smooth rapid set flowable grout.

Pre-blended for ease of use, Pro-Bed HS fine bedding mortar provides the ultimate laying course for all types of paving. It can be laid from 10mm – 75mm, is shrinkage compensated and can be opened to foot traffic in just 12 hours, allowing contractors to move on to the next part of the project quickly.

Formulated to provide an exceptional bond between your paving element and Pro-Bed HS, Pro-Prime slurry primer eliminates costly failures caused by general wear and tear and heavy load bearing.

To complete the installation, Flowpoint Smooth rapid set flowable grout was used in Charcoal to joint the selected pavers.

Flowpoint Smooth is a flowable grout which allows for large areas of paving to be grouted quickly. Suitable for joints from 3mm to 50mm and as deep as 200mm, Flowpoint Smooth has been developed over a number of years to provide a durable finish which will not crack or stain – even in the extremely hot temperatures in Dubai.

With an initial set after just 15 minutes, and a walk on time of one hour, it is unsurprising that Flowpoint Smooth has become synonymous with fast application, cost-effective and robust jointing.

Residences Sky View is the latest in a long line of prestigious projects for UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System in Dubai. Other projects include MBR City, City Walk and Dubai Opera House.

Pro-Bed HS, Pro-Prime and Flowpoint Smooth are available throughout the UAE through Tanseeq LLC. To contact Tanseeq please call +971 (04) 361 7199 or visit

For further information on UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System please email or call Instarmac’s International Sales Team on +44 (0) 1827 254402.

UltraScape flowpoint and pro-bed make an entrance at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand

UltraScape flowpoint and pro-bed, part of UltraScape’s BS 7533 approved Mortar Paving System, have been used in the construction of a new paved entrance at the University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) building.



Opened in July 2019, the new UCSA building includes student welfare and advocacy spaces, an outdoor amphitheatre overlooking the Ōtakaro Avon River, as well as club, meeting, hospitality, office and event spaces.


The challenge

The new building required a paved entrance (700m² internal) and approach (300m² external). A robust mortar solution was required to accommodate heavy foot traffic, was sympathetic to the existing built environment, value for money and that would provide minimal closure time of the area to lay.


The solution

UltraScape distributor, Horizon International Limited, supplied flowpoint and pro-bed to Leighs Construction, which they used to install paving throughout the building entrance and approach.


UltraScape flowpoint jointing mortar was selected as it is simple to use, requiring only the addition of water on site. This slurry method provides an easy method of grouting large areas, quickly. It can be opened to pedestrians in just 1 hour and vehicular traffic after only 4 hours, minimising disruption. It can accommodate widths between 5mm and 50mm and depths of up to 200mm. It can be administered in a single pass and is available in 2 colours; natural grey and charcoal, with bespoke colours available upon request.


UltraScape pro-bed is a fine bedding mortar manufactured to meet and exceed the strict requirements of BS 7533, the only global standard for rigid paving constructions. It can be laid from 10mm – 100mm, can be opened to pedestrian traffic in 12 hours and has long term durability.


The results

Leighs Construction, said: ”The UltraScape products performed brilliantly! Hardwearing, they worked well with the specially designed paved areas and were quick and easy to use, providing minimum disruption onsite for the students. The new UCSA building entrance will now serve the students well into the future.”


UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System is available throughout New Zealand through Horizon International Limited. To contact Horizon International please call 0800 682 745 or visit


For further information on UltraScape’s BS 7533 compliant system, please contact Instarmac’s International Sales Team by calling +44 (0) 1827 254402 or emailing