Gilbert-Ash has been crowned Contractor of the Year at the prestigious Construction News Awards 2018. Gilbert-Ash received the renowned accolade in front of fellow members of the construction industry at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
The Construction News Awards, which celebrated its 22nd year, brought together more than 1,200 of the UK’s leading clients and contractors for a glittering evening of celebration and recognition.
Gilbert-Ash received the Contractor of the Year award after face to face interviews, with the entries reviewed by a panel of 70 expert judges.
Speaking on the decision to name Gilbert-Ash as Contractor of the Year, the judging panel noted that, over the past year, the company has become “a contractor which has increased in size and changed its core principles to reflect that. This business has a great focus on its people and is building breath-taking projects. The focus on design, technical difficulty and investment in people blew the judges away.”
The judging panel continued to commend Gilbert-Ash for its array of complex projects and efforts to improve workforce culture, highlighting how its investment in people made Gilbert-Ash a worthy winner. Judges hailed the contractor’s design-led approach, deeming the company “a class act”.
Gilbert-Ash has completed a three-year business strategy, leading to it doubling in size with a turnover of £175m. The company has achieved an employee retention rate of 87%, with women making up 21% of the team. It is continually striving to attract and retain more females in the workplace and has been an early adopter of gender diversity initiatives.
Ray Hutchinson, Managing Director, Gilbert-Ash commented: “Gilbert-Ash is truly honoured to have achieved this award success and be named Contractor of the Year. This is due to the commitment across our team, the high quality of our projects and to the excellent collaborative relationships we have developed with our clients, partners and suppliers. This award demonstrates the strong growth being driven by our continued focus and investment in our chosen markets and cross sector capabilities including landmark buildings, arts and culture, workplace, hotels and leisure, science and technology, retail and residential.”
Tom Fitzpatrick, editor of Construction News, said: “Gilbert-Ash should be proud that they are raising the bar for this industry. From more than 400 entrants, it is a deserving winner, showcasing the leadership, ingenuity and passion to make this sector world class.”
Gilbert-Ash was also Highly Commended in the Project of the Year (under £15m) category for the City of London Freemen’s School Swimming Pool. Over the past 12 months, the company has performed strongly on a national level with several high-profile projects, including the £21.5m AC by Marriott Hotel in Belfast City Quays and the £19.5m Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts project in London.
Current projects also include the Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque in Cambridge, the new £17m headquarters for the Royal College of Pathologists in London and the £22m student accommodation scheme at Great Patrick Street, in Belfast.
The company also continues to work with hotel group Whitbread on numerous projects throughout the UK including its next generation, technology-enabled Premier Inn hub hotels. It was named Whitbread Supplier of the Year 2017, delivering more than 1,800 hotel rooms in the last three years with the same amount under construction today. It was also recently named as “the one to watch in 2018” in the prestigious annual UK Construction News report.