All those to have made the shortlist to be named this year’s outstanding contractor have demonstrated exceptional performance and standards.
Dragon Infrastructure Solutions
Dragon Infrastructure Solutions is one of the UK’s leading independent connections providers, working with many of the UK’s top construction companies.
The firm expanded its capabilities last year, targeting the renewables sector with success and connecting 13 per cent of the UK’s large-scale solar projects.
It developed a new piece of technology in 2014, too, creating the Dragoncam – a special underground monitoring system which checks the inside of cable ducts for ridges and damage.
Elliott Thomas Group
Elliott Thomas Group’s turnover continued to grow in 2014/15, with further growth projected for this year.
The company achieved 1.5m man-hours without a reportable incident, with an AFR rate of 0.17, and worked for some of the UK’s most high-profile organisations including Network Rail, St. Paul’s School and the University of Oxford.
It employed a full-time SHEQ director last year and introduced a raft of new initiatives to improve health, safety and sustainability, including a new occupational health programme, a training school, and a work-safe reward scheme that incentivises staff and contractors to report hazardous situations.
Interserve Construction continued to trade in line with expectations in 2014, while reporting its lowest ever AIR and a low voluntary staff churn.
It won high-profile projects including Factory 2050 in Sheffield and the Royal Opera House’s new Costumer Centre, and handed over schemes under the West Yorkshire Police PFI and Jaguar Land Rover’s Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton.
Employee satisfaction is very high, too, with the firm’s in-house training centre delivering 4,100 training days.
Kier Group secured £1.9bn of work in 2014 and successfully completed the integration of May Gurney, welcoming 6,500 new employees to the business.
The group’s ambitious Vision 2020 plan aims to double the size of the business over the next five years, with the acquisition of May Gurney one of the first steps in achieving this.
New individual flagship projects include the £450m Mersey Gateway and work at EDF’s £16bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, as well as work at Cheltenham Racecourse and in Dubai.
The company also improved safety standards, driving down its number of RIDDORs and reducing its AIR rate by 32 per cent.
Lagan Construction Group
This third-generation privately-owned family business continued to perform well in 2014, delivering a number of high-profile contracts across the UK.
The company’s building division grew its turnover significantly, covering a diverse range of sectors including education, retail, commercial, industrial and aviation.
A major contract win included a place on Highways England’s £5bn Collaborative Delivery Framework (in partnership with John Sisk & Son), which will see the JV deliver schemes valued between £25m and £100m up to 2020.
In 2014, Mace achieved a turnover of £1.2bn, a 31 per cent increase on 2013 and four years ahead of its 2020 plan.
The year saw some ‘business-changing’ contract wins, including the £160m Royal Wharf development, the £475m East Village project, and the £400m redevelopment of the BBC Television Centre.
Repeat business accounts for 85 per cent of the firm’s work, and its in-house Business School has trained more than 4,500 individuals from more than 55 supply chain partners.
Workforce numbers grew too, with 530 people joining last year, including 75 graduates and construction trainees.
Sovini Property Services
Sovini Property Services was formed in 2010 to provide an in-house repairs and maintenance service to One Vision Housing in Merseyside.
The company was so successful that turnover grew from £10.7m to £25m within its first four years of trading, and it was awarded the housing association’s regeneration programme after just a few months.
It arranged 592 staff training days last year, equivalent to 2.5 days per employee, with staff numbers set to increase to over 271 this year.
It has also established Sovini Trade Supplies, an in-house supplier whose primary remit is to provide SPS with supplies to complete contracts to an affordable and high standard, and this one-stop shop approach has greatly increased productivity and reduced inefficiency.
Speller Metcalfe adapted its business strategy to anticipate post-recession growth opportunities, with a key focus on the West Midlands.
The strategy has paid off so far, with turnover rising from £80m to £125m, and staff numbers increasing by 30 per cent.
A project highlight saw it deliver the highest rated BREEAM project in the world on behalf of Western Power Distribution, achieving a post-completion score of 101.9 per cent by targeting every viable BREEAM credit while delivering an extremely functional building.