Building success through solid foundations

November 5, 2019

Paul Watson, Esh Group’s executive director, began his career as a quantity surveyor with Monk Construction 32 years ago. He has worked in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber contracting industry ever since. Having experienced significant industry change throughout this period, and significant business expansion during his 20 years with Esh, Paul now heads up the commercial and social new build and property refurbishment repair and maintenance divisions of Esh Construction — the group’s main contracting arm. Here, he shares the board’s vision for the company as he helps to prepare Esh for its next phase

A clear vision

Esh Group works hard to be the local employer and contractor of choice in the North East and the Tees Valley. We do this by fostering strong employee, client, consultant and supply chain relationships that are built on mutual trust, confidence, satisfaction and respect — while delivering sustainable cash-backed profitability to our shareholders.

We’re in good shape as a business; this year has been profitable, and we expect to be debt free by the year end. We also have a record order book that’s built on a solid foundation of repeat business heading into 2020. This momentum has been achieved through solid strategy — focusing on larger and longer-term repeat business schemes and frameworks that play to our local core strengths. This allows us to plan more effectively and deliver more efficiently.

Recent local blue-chip contract and new framework wins are testament to the progress we are making. Our capabilities and the growing reputation we have in the marketplace are evident in schemes such as the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Foundation NHS Trust Framework. We are one of three appointed to the Trust’s five-year capital spend framework.

We were also appointed as lead contractor for the next phase of Sunderland’s multi-million- pound project to improve Sunderland’s road network — Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor Phase 3 (SSTC3). This £35.5 million design and build contract for the city’s council includes utility upgrades and the construction of nine retaining structures.

Right people lead the way

Key to our success is having the right people in the right positions and the right culture within the business. Where other companies may bid on every available job, we understand our core competencies and, maybe more importantly,
our limitations, so we are very methodical in our bidding process. We are working hard to develop and enhance our reputation with our workforce, our clients, consultants and supply chain.

We believe we are well placed in the market and in a strong position to achieve our objectives. We have a well-informed group of shareholders who have supported our change programme and we pride ourselves on having a strong balance sheet standing at £36 million, with more than £13 million of that in cash.

Couple that with our highly capable team, our enviable project pipeline and our private housing business, which is well established across the North East, and our business is well positioned to drive forward our clear and deliverable strategy in markets that, despite Brexit, continue to provide long-term visibility and sustainability.

We are proud of our success in reshaping Esh over the last two years and we’re excited about what we will achieve with our partners going forward.

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