Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Specialist Contractor of the Year: Winner

Winner: Keltbray Group

Judges declared Keltbray the winner of this category because of its exceptional commitment to improving every aspect of its business.

The panel was impressed with how the firm underpinned that mantra with a clear vision and determination to raise standards across the industry.

Keltbray demonstrated these attributes in several ways, including its expansion in the past year with the launch of Keltbray Structures: a business providing concrete structure solutions.

The new unit allowed the group to go beyond preparing new sites for infrastructure and developments, and contribute to a project for a longer period.

Having delivered a number of smaller complex projects with the new division, the company stepped things up by securing a two-year £110m contract to construct more than 500 homes at Battersea Power Station.

The panel praised the way in which Keltbray combined its ambitions for growth with a continued push for efficiency within the business.

Its emphasis on innovation drew similar admiration, with several outstanding examples singled out.

These included the introduction of a road rail wiring unit that halved overhead line electrification installation times, as well as software for piling applications that enables staff to share information in real time as work progresses.

“Keltbray’s attitude made a lasting impression; this is a business that cares deeply about its employees and its supply chain”

Judges’ comment

Many of these innovations have been developed by Keltbray’s staff, and the business has structured itself in a way that enables employee ideas to become reality.

This was apparent not only through the firm’s structure, but also in the investments it made: in 2017 it spent £2.4m on training and £15m on technology and equipment.

Such investment has allowed staff to devise new and innovative solutions, as well as providing the workforce with high-quality tools and up-to-date skills and expertise.

The judges were pleased to see that Keltbray went that extra step when it came to best practice, sharing its innovations and methods with the rest of the industry in an effort to raise standards for all.

They were left with the clear impression that the business cares deeply about its staff and supply chain, and that it wants to improve them as much as possible.

Keltbray sees these factors as critical to its financial performance, and has been rewarded with significant growth in recent years.

The company’s attitude made a lasting impression on the judges, its dedication from top to bottom convincing the panel to name Keltbray Specialist Contractor of the Year.

Highly commended: SES Engineering Services

The judges commented that this was a particularly challenging category to call, with SES Engineering Services running Keltbray extremely close.

Demonstrating industry-leading performance on several levels, SES was praised for not only providing a strong example for others to follow but also rolling out impressive innovations.

These included a pioneering mental health programme to improve employee wellbeing, as well as a ground-breaking mobile app to assist health and safety reporting.

Its various efforts led judges to label SES as an “inspirational” company in its field.


  • Lee Marley Brickwork
  • M Lambe Construction
  • NG Bailey
  • Reconomy
  • Skanska UK (Utilities Team)
  • Styles & Wood

Groundforce logo 1

Groundforce logo 1

Sponsored by: Groundforce

Groundforce offers total solutions to the construction industry dealing in shoring equipment, piling equipment, pipe stoppers, air pressure testing, trenchless technology, temporary bridges and excavation training.

With 30 years of experience, Groundforce has an substantial portfolio of products and services developed to meet the stringent safety requirements of today’s market, operating in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.