50 years ago, when Krol Corlett first began as a fledgling construction company, we could never have envisaged celebrating half a century at the forefront of the sector in the North West. But the past year has been our best ever as we continue to advance into new sectors and new geographical locations as a growing and thriving business.
In this blog, we’ll share with you some of the highlights of 2019 and look forward to the start of a new decade of success in 2020.
Checking in to the Hospitality Sector
After completing our first project for The Lowry Hotel in 2018, we built on our relationship with the five-star hotel and our reputation in the hospitality sector with three major projects during 2019.
We carried out a major refurbishment of the lobby and reception at The Lowry Hotel, creating a temporary entrance and reception to enable business-as-usual operations and a high end guest experience while carrying out the project. With lots of bespoke joinery and high end finishes, the completed project has given a fresh look to the lobby and reception, delivering impact from the moment guests arrive.
We followed this project with a remodelling and refurbishment of the hotel’s restaurant and bar, working to a business-critical programme to bring a contemporary, relaxed look to this key space. Once again, our project management expertise and in-house joinery team were central to the success of the job.
Our final project for The Lowry in 2019 was the refurbishment of five suites, which was carried out in a phased, rolling programme to optimise availability.
The calibre of the refurbishment work we have carried out at The Lowry Hotel has opened doors for Krol Corlett and we’re looking forward to a busy year in the hospitality sector in 2020.
Building on our Heritage
Another sector that’s shaping up to be busy for us in 2020 is heritage and conservation. We’ve carried out a number of heritage projects and one of the highlights of 2019 has been a major conservation and refurbishment project at the Grade II listed Church Drive Primary School on the Leverhulme Estate in Port Sunlight.
The project has involved external repairs to the building, including repairs the timber-framed windows, along with a full internal refurbishment. It has leveraged our expertise in operational refurbishment as well as conservation and we erected a birdcage scaffold in the main hall to enable the school to use the space while we continued working at high level to get the project completed on time.
Back to School
Krol Corlett has always been strong in the education sector and we’ve continued that tradition in 2019, working around schools’ operational and safeguarding requirements to deliver high quality projects without disrupting lessons or routines.
Over the past 12 months we have successfully handed over 14 school projects, across Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, and our project pipeline will see us working in more schools in 2020, some of them outside our traditional geographical boundaries.
A Healthy Track Record
Healthcare also continues to be a key strength for the company and it looks set to be another sector where we will thrive in 2020 with funding in place for improvements to primary care property assets.
Over the past year we have completed improvements to 13 health centres, all of which involved phased working to enable business-as-usual operations for the NHS and uninterrupted services for patients. We’ve already secured a number of similar projects for 2020.
In the Frame
Our success in being appointed to a number of frameworks is set to contribute to our thriving new project pipeline in 2020. We have recently been appointed to the £30bn Crown Commercial Services Framework, which adds to our portfolio of framework appointments, including both local authority and blue chip procurement vehicles.
The past year has seen Krol Corlett push the boundaries of where we deliver projects and 2020 is set to see us expand into even more new locations.
It’s a process that began in 2018 when we opened our Manchester office, which has resulted in our involvement in more projects across Greater Manchester. Now, with project wins in Lancaster, Colne and Halifax under our belt, we’re continuing to grow across the North West region and are planning to open our third office in 2020 at a location in Lancashire.
To help us manage the growth in new projects, new sectors and new locations, we’ve also been focused on adding to our team in 2019.
Training the next generation of construction professionals and creating opportunities for young people has always been part of our mission at Krol Corlett. In the past year, that commitment has meant taking on three new apprentices, two in site-based roles and one in the office.
We’ve also added to the team at various levels. New office manager, Julie Grains, who brings with her a wealth of construction industry experience, having previously worked for a tier one contractor. Assistant quantity surveyor, Liam Bently, is a Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) graduate who has wide-ranging project delivery experience gained with a number of regional contractors. We’ve also added several site managers to the team.
As we continue to grow over the course of 2020, we’ll continue to add to the team to ensure our high service standards can be maintained as our work increases and we expect to fill a number of key roles in Q1 and 2 of the year.
We believe that success should be accompanied by a responsibility to give back to the communities in which we operate: that’s why social value remains embedded in our company culture.
It takes various forms; from facilitating school visits to site for students interested in a future career in construction to delivering guest lectures for students already working towards that goal on the Construction Management course at LJMU.
We’re also proud to continue supporting the Owen McVeigh Foundation; a local charity that helps children with cancer and their families. Once again this year, director, Simon Krol, has taken some significant steps to raise awareness of the charity thanks to his hike up Kilimanjaro and his successful completion of the Three Peaks Challenge.
Providing high service standards and accurate real-time reporting for clients is just as important as the calibre of skills we offer on site and 2019 has also seen us invest in the business to ensure our systems are efficient and scalable.
We’ve made significant investment in our IT infrastructure to enhance the efficiency of everything we do – from developing tender submissions to project delivery – ensuring that any member of the team can access the information a client needs quickly and fuss-free.
An Award Winning Year
It’s not only the Krol Corlett team that thinks we’ve enjoyed success to be proud of during 2019; we’ve also been recognised by a number of awards programmes too.
Named SME of the year at the North West Construction Awards, we also beat strong competition at the Merseyside Independent Business Awards to be named Trades & Manufacturing Business of the Year. We were also shortlisted in the Growing Business of the Year category of the BITA Awards (British & Irish Trade Association).
Celebrating 50 in 2020
With such a successful year behind us in 2019, the stage is set for us to celebrate five decades of success in 2020. We’re putting plans in place to make it a meaningful and memorable milestone for Krol Corlett, so watch this space!