A building services firm has hailed a Government cash injection into the education sector for helping the company grow turnover by more than 50% in the last year.
Hebburn-based Castle Building Services (Castle), part of the Castle Organisation, has announced an £8m increase in turnover to £23m – a rise of 53% – while also securing £34m in orders for next year.
The firm said an increase in Government funding in the education sector from the Education Funding Agency, as well as the emergence of a buoyant hotel sector, has triggered significant growth, which it believes will continue in 2015.
In October Castle secured some £5.7m of new contracts in the sector which will see its teams working on projects in Newcastle, London, Manchester and Glasgow, to convert existing buildings into hotels for both low-cost and high-end operators.
Castle has also had early success with a better-than-expected performance of its East Kilbride office, which opened in May, as well as the launch of its subsidiary, Castle Green Services, which caters for the increase in demand for improved energy efficiency within the residential sector, both of which have had a positive impact on the organisation’s ongoing success.
Looking ahead, Allan Carr, Castle’s commercial director, said the firm’s recent success has made the launch of other national offices more than probable.
Mr Carr said coming out of a recession is as challenging as being in one, yet the company is geared up for sustainable growth going forward.
He said: “This year has been another incredible year for us and with a healthy order book in place I am confident of more of the same next year but we must not take things for granted.
“Whilst pockets of the country are seeing a turnaround in the construction industry, generally there is still a lack of investment and in this respect the North East has some way to go. “That said, although some companies continue to bid for work with very competitive prices, clients are becoming more intent on gaining value for their projects, rather than the cheapest price and that’s where I believe, as a company, we come into our own.
“In response to this growth we have undertaken a major recruitment drive, creating a number of new jobs both in the Hebburn and East Kilbride offices, invested heavily in BIM training and have committed to recruiting apprentices.”
When asked where the challenges were likely to come from in the future for both the company and the industry, Mr Carr cited the skills shortage.
He said: “We are mindful of the shortage of skilled labour and rises in material costs, which is why coming out of a recession can be as tricky as being in one.
“However, we remain vigilant to these issues and, by continuing to provide our growing client base with the high level of service they have come to expect when working with us, we will adapt accordingly.”