Esh building on success one year after start-up

Construction director John Moore, left, with regional MD Simon Phillips. Picture: Sandy Young
Construction director John Moore, left, with regional MD Simon Phillips. Picture: Sandy Young
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A SOLID pipeline of work on schools, hospitals, factories and golf clubs has given Esh Border Construction the foundation to ramp up its Scottish presence with scores of jobs likely to be created.

The business came into being just a year ago after priv­ately-owned Cumbrian company Esh Group acquired Border Construction, adding more than 140 staff to the group, and creating the new subsidiary.

Since then, Esh has added an office in Livingston and 
secured a string of contracts across the south of Scotland. Those include a project to renovate Gullane Golf Club ahead of this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, social housing programmes in Hawick and deals with NHS Lothian.

Last month, the firm was app­ointed as contractor for Historic Scotland’s £8.9 million Engine Shed scheme in Forthside, Stirling, which hopes to create a “world-­leading” education centre for building conservation.

Simon Phillips, the regional managing director of Esh Border Construction, said the business had grown strongly a year on since the acquisition, with revenues projected to grow by a further 30 per cent this year.

“We have taken on the additional office in Livingston and increased staffing considerably for the upturn in business that we have already seen and are further anticipating,” he said.

The workforce in Scotland, where Esh Border also has an office in Earlston, now stands at about 160, and Phillips said that was likely to grow by 15 to 20 heads per year, with a knock-on impact for sub-
contractors, as new work progresses.

“We need to increase head count to make sure we have the people available for when projects land,” he added. “As a group we also have a commitment to take on 150 apprenticeships over the next three years. At Esh Border we are taking on 17 apprenticeships this year and will look to grow that.”

Company wide, the head count numbers more than 1,000 and Esh Group has a turnover of about £270m.