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Dawnus targets civils and building expansion as it opens new North-west office

Welsh contractor Dawnus has opened a new office in Manchester to target infrastructure and building work in the North-west.

The Manchester base will be led by new North-west director Kevin Lucas, who was previously with the group’s north Wales business for six years.

Dawnus has grown turnover from £2m in 2001 to nearly £200m in 2015 and will now target civil engineering and building jobs across the region from its North-west office.

The firm is headquartered in south Wales and has opened offices in Swansea, Exeter, Thatcham, London, Bangor, Birmingham and now Manchester.

The firm has already won a place on Warrington Borough Council’s £25m capital works framework and will undertake a bridge replacement for Wirral Borough Council, Mr Lucas revealed.

The £7m project will see Dawnus work on two bridges on the Mersey freight network, replacing an existing steel truss bridge with a new steel box girder bascule bridge.

The project is currently at the design stage and Dawnus will start on site in the new year.

The firm is also targeting major utilities work with provider United Utilities and has tendered for work with Merseytravel, Capenhurst Nuclear Services and Springfield Fuels, Mr Lucas said.

Dawnus timeline

Dawnus timeline

Dawnus has won places on a number of high-profile civils frameworks in the past 12 months, including Wessex Water’s £350m capital works framework for AMP6.

The firm’s building business is currently converting a warehouse in Chester into 11 luxury flats for client Urban Space.

“We got to know [the developer] because of a job we had done in Colwyn Bay,” Mr Lucas said.

“The developer we were working for there knew the developer in Chester and recommended us for the job.”

Dawnus is also tendering for Stockport Council’s new building framework, as well as a new care home, an office development and a 150-bed hotel development in the Manchester area.

Mr Lucas said that, while Dawnus was “trying to get on as many frameworks” as possible, the firm “won’t be tendering for everything”.

“We’re versatile and multi-skilled, but… we carry out a risk assessment before we decide to tender.”

He added that although many of the firm’s subcontractors active in north Wales also work in the North-west, there will be opportunities for North-west suppliers to win work with the company.

“Our policy is to be a regional business; we want the money we get from clients to be spent in the region we’re building in,” he said.

“We do try to keep things local if we can.”

The firm has hired five management staff for its North-west office, with one member of staff joining from the north Wales office with Mr Lucas.

He said the company will directly employ its own workforce on jobs in the region.

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