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Slow start, good start

PILING

CAINWHITE Piling (UK) was set up in name only in 2003. Managing director Paul Gildea returned to the UK only in March 2004. But he took his time assessing the market rather than diving in and taking the first jobs that came along.

'We worked out a target market of 25 clients we thought would suit a way of working and spent time seeing that list, ' he says, adding that the list mainly consisted of large civil engineering contractors with a sprinkling of housing along with a few private developers.

'We did a couple of small jobs, but didn't start going properly until December 2004 when we really went for it and entered the market properly, ' says Mr Gildea. 'We wanted to start with jobs that were in the £200,000 rather than the £20,000 bracket.' Standard jobs for the company are now valued up to £500,000. The work is broken down into 50 per cent housing, 15 per cent civil engineering and the rest in the commercial sector.

Based in south-west London, a short hop from Heathrow, the company is mainly targeting work in the south-east. 'But we will work anywhere, ' says Mr Gildea.

It has five rigs on UK soil, the largest a CM 70 Soilmec. The plan is to add one rig to the fleet every six months. Should they be needed Mr Gildea also has access to CainWhite's assorted rigs in Ireland.

'I was brought up here and trained here. It doesn't feel like a foreign market at all, ' says Mr Gildea.