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Demolition Specialist of the Year: Winner

Winner: AR Demolition

The Demolition Specialist of the Year category was closely fought once again, but one company’s commitment to its staff placed it top of the pile.

AR Demolition was named this year’s winner after impressing the judges with its clear business vision and dedication to its staff.

The Leicester-based demolition firm “ticked all the boxes”, according to the judges, after increasing its client base by 30 per cent during 2015 and completing several complex and impressive projects.

These included the firm’s first ever remediation project at Brackley Saw Mills, which earned AR a sustainability prize at the World Demolition Awards.

The company also finished a decommissioning project for Centrica in Hull six weeks ahead of schedule.

This commitment to its projects saw AR receive an average client feedback score of 9.5 out of 10.

The firm’s £4m investment in new plant and equipment, including what it claims is a world-first investment in a demolition simulator for training, especially impressed the judges, who felt this demonstrated a real commitment to staff training and development within the company.

“AR talked about keeping its workforce truly happy – there’s a real human element to the business,” the judges said.

They praised the “family feel” of the company, which has invested £200,000 in training over the past year. The firm also offers full health screening for all its employees.

“AR makes sure everyone in the company understands the importance of their role, and that’s the key to its success”

Judges’ comment

AR was praised for its sustainability record, after recycling 98 per cent of all its waste in the last year. It has an urban quarry in its home city of Leicester to make sure all material is re-used wherever possible.

Managing director Richard Dolman, who co-founded the business, was commended for his “relaxed, professional and no-nonsense” approach, and the judges were especially impressed by his plan to eventually hand over the business to directors promoted from within, rather than to any external candidates.

The firm had a turnover of around £15m in 2015 and a profit of circa £2m, with the judges praising what they described as “one of the clearest business plans for any company” they had seen for a long time.

“AR makes sure everyone in the company understands the importance of their role, and that’s the key to its success,” the judges concluded.

Highly commended: Erith Contractors

Erith was unlucky to miss out on the top spot after impressing the judges with its strong turnover and profitability, alongside a clear commitment to health and safety.

The judges were especially pleased with the firm’s record on helping young people into the industry – Erith has 18 apprentices across the business and works with the Prince’s Trust to encourage disadvantaged young people to join construction.

The firm’s financial record was highly impressive, with Erith upping its turnover by more than £76m in the past five years on the back of some high-profile demolition jobs in London and beyond.


  • Cantillon
  • Cuddy Group
  • PP O’Connor
  • Scudder
  • Thompsons of Prudhoe

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