Esh Border Construction is targeting further growth throughout the Central Belt following a strong first year of trading under its English owner.
The company, which is the Scottish arm of Esh Group, has secured a steady stream of public sector work since opening its office in Livingston in March of last year. This includes a £2 million deal to extend three primary schools in West Lothian, the construction of a new £1.9m care facility in Midlothian, and a £1.6m contract to build a new health centre for NHS Borders.
In a sign of its expansion aspirations, the firm has also been appointed to Glasgow City Council’s framework for public sector construction, making it eligible to bid on projects valued at up to £15m. Its first win under this is a £105,000 deal to repair parapets on the Balmuidy Bridge in the north of the city.
Simon Phillips, regional managing director for Scotland, said the Livingston office has proven a “fantastic springboard for growth” that has underlined the group’s ambitions north of the Border.
“Under the stewardship of John Moore, our construction director for Scotland, the team has enjoyed a strong first year with a fantastic pipeline of work including three local primary schools, new build developments, sympathetic regeneration work and high-quality social housing,” Phillips said.
“While we initially reinforced our position in the south of Scotland, we are now looking to target new opportunities across the Central Belt, where there is significant investment from both the public and private sectors. That strategy is already yielding results.”
Border Construction became part of Esh Group in 2014 following its acquisition by the privately-owned company headquartered out of County Durham.
The group’s activities include a variety of construction- related services such as plumbing, landscaping and plant hire, but the major operational core is Esh Construction, which last year generated a profit before tax of £9.1m on sales of £253m.
The group employs roughly 1,200 people, including more than 100 in Scotland.
The opening of the office in Livingston was accompanied by the roll-out of the group’s “Added Value” programmes, which provide funding to assist community charities and help young people with employment.
So far, six schools from five local authorities in Scotland have signed up to the “Building My Skills” initiative.