Wates Construction continued to enjoy strong growth in 2017, with significant wins across the business including the Scape Major Works – UK Framework and the new Education and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) latest four-year schools construction framework, in addition to projects for Public Health England and MEPC. With a turnover approaching £800m and new business secured worth over £2.8bn, the business is performing well and is in a robust position entering 2018.
Our success in 2017 is reflective of the strategy to focus on core sectors of education and public sector, commercial, science and research, London private residential and heritage, all areas where we have the expertise to deliver exceptional quality projects. The award of Construction News’ Contractor of the Year in 2017 is testament of the quality of our projects, our client satisfaction and our approach to the communities in which we work.
“The award of Construction News’ Contractor of the Year in 2017 is testament of the quality of our projects, our client satisfaction and our approach to the communities in which we work.”
Local commitments continue to be key to the way in which we do business, and as a result of our successes in 2017 we spent over £900K with social enterprises, donated over 9,000 hours to community projects and continued to invest in the skills of local people through our Building Futures and work experience programmes.
We continued to make strides in health, safety and welfare with our industry- leading statistics reflecting our Safer Together, Zero Harm approach. Coupled with our continual drive to further integrate BIM and digital construction technologies into our operations, we are persistent in our pursuit to deliver further value and excellence for our clients.
Looking forward to 2018, we will continue to remain focused on our key sectors and core customers, while further exploring how digital technologies can drive value for our customers. We are excited by the opportunities presented by the Scape Major Works framework with the first projects coming to fruition in 2018. In a challenging market we are conscious of the obligation to build on our strengths and retain our financial and operational stability. A key component of long-term sustainability will be ensuring we can continue to attract the most talented people to our workforce, and our work on promoting a more diverse and inclusive workforce will be an increasing focus in the year ahead.
EXHIBITION ROAD QUARTER, LONDON
As the largest architectural intervention undertaken in the last 100 years of the V&A’s history, the extension and creation of a new entrance was a flagship project for Construction London in 2017. A colossal 1,100m2 column-free exhibition space was created underneath the former boiler-house yard, from which a new courtyard and entrance was created fronting Exhibition Road. Requiring precision planning and exceptional heritage and conservation skills, the new entrance courtyard is hemmed-in by three existing Grade I listed buildings, with the new striking features creating the perfect balance between the old and new.
The complex project saw excavations 15m deep tight to existing Grade I listed structures to create the vast new gallery space; painstaking dismantling and re- construction of the iconic Aston Webb Screen, installation of bespoke ceramic tiling within the courtyard – the first of their kind in the UK; plus a new café with glazed openings which punctuate the courtyard, giving the space sculptural qualities.
A significant residential project for client Quintain is the £90m Alto development at Wembley Park, where 362 residential apartments, retail units, a community hall and low cost employment space, are incorporated across four inter-connecting blocks.
The completion of the first phase of works for the development marks the start of a wider master plan to transform the area into one of London’s most exciting new neighbourhoods, with a further 361 apartments awarded to Wates.
Wates Construction’s work at this development also included infrastructure works which saw the concurrent installation, testing, and commissioning of a £13 million Energy Centre to provide power, water, and electricity to a large part of the Wembley Estate. Delivering to exceptional levels of quality, Project Alto was awarded an NHBC quality standards award for the installation of its striking stone and metal façade.
The first building to be constructed at CEG’s 57 acre Kirkstall Forge development, this prestigious seven storey office block project included considerable infrastructure works at the eco-sensitive river-side location.
With the client’s vision to create a brand-new neighbourhood on the banks of the River Aire, a community ethos was at the heart of activity across the estate.
As part of this commitment an innovative new skills centre for Leeds, the ‘Forging Futures Campus’ was unveiled. Launched in partnership with Leeds City Council, the Campus was jointly funded by CEG and Wates Giving, with 23 individuals benefitting from the creation of training and employment opportunities on this scheme alone.
Designed to increase employment prospects for the people of Leeds, this pioneering skills centre was established to offer vocational training for local jobseekers, and during the course of the project, provided opportunities for 12 apprentices, 46 site visits and 25 work experience placements. This included the hosting of Wates’ industry-leading Building Futures programme, an intensive training scheme giving jobseekers the opportunity to experience a variety of construction trades as well as CV workshops.
Opportunities for suppliers on this project were opened up to Social Enterprises (SE), with whom over £18,000 was spent.
The project has been shortlisted as Community Engagement Project of the Year at the 2018 Construction News Awards.
The largest not-for-profit scheme in our history, this new hospice for children with life limiting illnesses was completed in 2017 as a result of impressive community spirit.
The project, 94% funded by the community, included the conversion of two former council buildings into sensory and therapy rooms, a large activity area and three ensuite bedrooms.
Hi-tech features included a cinema within the main activity room, as well as vision and sound and movement- activated sound boxes in the garden, which trigger birdsong and other relaxing sounds from nature.
In collaboration with our partners and supply chain approximately £500,000 was saved on the build costs.
The hospice supports Rebecca Thursby, a Wates employee whose daughter receives care from the nursing team. Rebecca said:
“The project at Julia’s House is one that is very close to my heart. The nursing team has provided exceptional levels of care to my daughter over the years and is highly supportive of other families in the region.
Wates’ involvement on this significant project means the world to me. It is also truly humbling to see the participation of our supply chain, suppliers and construction partners, all of whom are fully committed to the success of the scheme.”
Rebecca and her colleagues also took part in a 100km bike ride from Julia’s House hospice in Dorset to the new hospice in Devizes, raising over £10,000 for the charity. This was combined with further funding from Wates Giving, and used to fund the hospice’s central hoist track system.
EASTBURY COMMUNITY SCHOOL,
The new £16.5m complex of buildings for Eastbury Community School in the London Borough of Barking for the EFSA, accommodates ‘all through’ schooling for 3-19 year olds, with a 26 place nursery, a two-form entry, 420-capacity primary school and a 1,800-place secondary school.
The new school utilises Adapt, Wates’ schools solutions model, a component based design that delivers time and cost efficiencies without compromising quality.
Heralded as exceptional by the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), they were particularly impressed with the community engagement around this project – a common theme across all of our projects. The site team facilitated employment and training initiatives for 54 local people, created educational opportunities for 997 students, spent over £18k with local social enterprises and invested over 1,600 hours and £85k on projects in the local community.