North East construction firm, Howard Russell, has secured £8.5m worth of new contracts in the first quarter of 2014.
The independent company, based in Cramlington, Northumberland, has been appointed as main contractor on four major projects in what its anticipates will be its most successful year since the business was established in 1997.
The latest work has seen the firm recruit five new members of staff, including two quantity surveyors, a project manager, a site manager and an apprentice. Further appointments are likely to follow later this year.
Contracts manager at Howard Russell, Barry Wilkinson, said: “Last summer we reported a general increase in enquiries and instructions as the market started to pick up. We anticipated increasing staffing levels by 40% and we are delighted to have exceeded this and to have taken on our first apprentice in five years.
“As the construction market continues to improve we are now returning to pre-recession turnover and staffing levels in what is proving to be a very exciting year for the business.’
The firm’s new contract wins include the reconfiguration of a 135,000 sq ft manufacturing and distribution facility for Lonestar Group in Wolverhampton, the redevelopment of a production plant for Gestamp Tallent in Newton Aycliffe, the conversion of the former Pickford’s warehouse on Team Valley on behalf of UK Land Estates to create a new manufacturing facility for Flowserve, and the conversion of a former doctors’ surgery in Benwell, Newcastle, into a Sure Start Centre on behalf of Healthworks.
Craig Muldoon, pre-construction manager, added: “We have secured three out of these four new projects through negotiations directly with clients rather than going through the tender process. We also have a number of negotiated projects in the pipeline and believe this is a positive reflection on our client’s faith in our professionalism and ability to deliver a quality project at a competitive price.”
The new contracts follow Howard Russell’s completion of three major projects in December, including the construction of Darlington College’s new £2.4m Learning Resource Centre and Construction Department, a £950,000 project to convert the former Ambassador hotel in Whitley Bay into a day care centre for New Prospects and the construction of a £1.1m manufacturing facility for Lionweld Kennedy in Teesside.