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Specialist Contractor of the Year (turnover up to £25m): Finalists

The shortlist is made up of firms involved in projects including Battersea Power Station, construction of a Welsh hospital, investment in an offsite facility, and a complex scheme at a whisky distillery.

A1 Flues Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

A1 Flues Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

A1 Flue Systems

If one project exemplifies 2018 for this company it’s the securing of a contract in September to design, manufacture and install British-made chimney systems inside two of the four towers at the iconic Battersea Power Station.

Indeed, the family-run business was specifically requested by the Battersea Power Station Development Company.

Other notable achievements include creating its own Flue School to continually develop the skills of its employees, increasing its share of the UK commercial market by 5 per cent and growing exports that now account for 10 per cent of turnover.

Bennett Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Bennett Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Bennett Architectural

In February 2018, Bennett Architectural began work on its biggest DfMA project to date with the £350m New Grange Hospital in Cwmbran, South Wales.

This required 510 windows to be fabricated at Bennet Architectural’s workshop and then transported to Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Industrial Park to be added to concrete panels.

Bennet’s strategic position looks strong with government backing for more modular building and the business is ready to capitalise on this increasing industry trend.

Clarke Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Clarke Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Clarke Facades

Based on strong growth, Clarke Facades made the twin decisions for an office move as well as to heavily invest in a fabrication facility to service the offsite and glazing market.

The fabrication facility includes a 5-axis CNC machine, enabling it to double the capacity of its fabrication process.

Currently employing 38 personnel, Clarke Facades investment and expansion will see a further 30-plus members of staff being employed in the next three years. 2018 also saw the firm maintain a now 22-year record of zero major and minor incidents on site.

JECS Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

JECS Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Jecs Offshore Scaffolding

This family-run business is especially proud of one thing, and considering the sector it operates in, it’s not hard to see why. The firm has not lost a single working hour lost in 2018 due to an incident.

While it admits to using this as a marketing tool to promote the company, more importantly it says this is something the whole family is proud of.

In fact, the company says that since it began in 2014 it has not experienced an incident or injury, or been involved in an accident.

Matrix Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Matrix Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Matrix Networks

Last year connections provider Matrix Networks completed the multi-utility infrastructure works for the 283 ha SEGRO Logistics Park: East Midlands Gateway.

This 12-month project included the design, installation and commissioning of a water main, a medium pressure gas main, a new 33/11 kV primary substation and on-site 11 kV infrastructure.

The challenge was intensified by the 12.5 km excavation route from the M1 site to the nearest Western Power Distribution connection point- the longest route Matrix had ever worked on and permissions were needed from three local authorities, four public bodies and many private landowners.

In July the contractor achieved ‘power on’, on-time and on-budget.

Metek Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Metek Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Metek

Among a range of 2018 projects that light steel frame manufacturer and installer Metek team is proud of one is North Road Student Accommodation in Durham.

Earlier project delays concentrated the programme, requiring Metek to work on all four blocks at once. Early offsite manufacture and storage of its frames, combined with a 180-operative installation team, allowed it to provide additional labour to complete the job five weeks quicker than the original programme.

The firm also innovates with technology and initiatives include VR headsets used to walk through its light steel frame design to identify clashes and health and safety risks, while a bespoke app for site project managers’ smart-phones means they can view drawings and project documents ‘on the hoof’.

Richardson Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Richardson Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

Richardson Roofing

Three projects illustrated the quality of this contractor’s work last year.

The first was for the Lawn Tennis Association, where roof failures had caused leaks throughout the main building. It required re-striping of the existing roof and a completely new installation and redesign of Zinc, sarnafil and substrate.

The second was Three Minsters - Headquarters of Hampshire County Council Architecture, Design and Property Services. Again, this project included a total re-striping and removal of existing roof and a complete replacement of roof covering and substrate due to leakage.

Lastly, Richardson Roofing stepped into the breach left by an exited subcontractor due to project complexities on the Battersea Arts Centre.

This Grade II-listed building had an immovable opening date and with the upperparts of the Grandhall having been devastated by a fire, the firm undertook all the slating works in time for a successful grand celebrity opening.

SH Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

SH Specialists 2019 Specialist up to 25

SH Structures

Completed projects for the firm include the new Macallan Distillery in Scotland, new footbridges in Bristol and Telford as well as numerous other complex architecturally driven structures.

Aside from contracted projects, its office accommodation has been completely updated to create a fresher more open working environment for staff.

It supports education with involvement in STEM events from Key Stage One children to those looking at careers in Key Stage 6.

In higher education it has mentored engineering students from Sheffield University, while also supporting a technology symposium at Leeds Beckett University.

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