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Willmott Dixon to broaden scope

Adam Atkins joined Willmott Dixon Construction as head of business development at the start of 2005.He talks to Joanna Booth about the company's plans for the future

What are your goals in your new role?

Our turnover last year was £200 million.

Our plan is to have increased that to £400 million by 2009.

How will you go about that?

We're focusing our efforts on controlled growth, not only in our target sectors - local authority work, education, health, leisure and national government projects - but also in emerging sectors. It's early to predict exactly what those will be, but we're definitely looking to get into building budget hotels.We'll also be promoting our tailored products and services, like Building Schools for the Future and Rethinking Space, which provides environmentally friendly build solutions.

Is Building Schools for the Future a major focus?

Yes.We've just won one of the first BSF projects in Sheffield. The contract is for £8.2 million - it's a one-off project to totally refurbish a secondary school.Willmott Dixon has lots of experience in the education sector, so we're going to be developing the way we approach BSF work.

In the health sector, the Local Improvement Finance Trust programme is getting our biggest input.

In the process of doubling your turnover, will you have a major recruitment drive?

There will be jobs created, but nothing is concrete yet. I think recruitment is a major issue for the industry at the moment.We need to change the external image of construction if we want to attract the best people.

Willmott Dixon is starting to second its management trainees to the Building Research Establishment.How will this programme work?

All trainees will spend two weeks of their final year at the BRE's headquarters, getting the most up-to-date information on current research and development areas and BREEAM accreditation.