The boss of a County Durham-based concrete reinforcing company says he believes the region’s construction industry is well on the mend, with his firm seeing a sharp rise in both inquiries and contract wins.
After a depressing lull in business, Allan Oliver Reinforcing, of Newton Aycliffe, has won a 50-week, £550,000 contract from construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine, involving 1,800 tonnes of reinforcement and foundations at a Teesside chemical plant.
The company, consisting of 17 full-time staff and several more contractors, is also carrying out work for Sir Robert McAlpine on various North East schools, working for Bam Nutall on a sewerage plant in Morpeth and undertaking a housing project with Wearmouth Construction in Stockton.
It is also juggling a number of smaller contracts for various civil engineering companies.
The spike in business follows a difficult two-year period for Allan Oliver Reinforcing.
However, Oliver said things have been picking up steadily and he is now convinced the construction sector is on the up again.
“There’s probably about a dozen companies who use us all the time, with the majority of our work coming from repeat business,” he said.
“That shows we perform on time and within budget, so I always felt that, when the industry started to recover, the work would come back again, and that’s been the case up to now.
“We had to make sure we came out at the other side, because if you’re ready to go again in the recovery, you’d probably do well.”
He added that the tide had started to turn about six months ago and that the firm was now receiving two or three inquiries a week.
“The construction industry is the first one to be hit in any depression,” he said.
“Money on building just stops. But on the other side of the coin, it’s the first one to pick up.
“Luckily I have a good bunch of lads, and morale is good. I always find if you treat your staff right, they’ll repay you with hard work.”
As well as running his business, Oliver spends his spare time managing Newton Aycliffe’s Northern League football club.