Chap Group

Site efficiencies help CHAP return to profit

(from left) Douglas Thomson, joint managing director; Shona Gee, finance director and Hugh Craigie, joint managing director

Aberdeenshire construction group CHAP (Holdings) Limited has reported a marked improvement in trading performance despite ongoing challenging market conditions.

In accounts lodged for the end of September 2017, the Westhill-based firm recorded an operating profit of £668,000, against a loss of £1.37 million in 2016; an improvement the company attributes to improved trading and an increased focus on site efficiency and general control of costs.

A write-down in investment property value of £804,000 resulted in a pre-tax loss of £276,000, versus £1.523m in 2016. A revaluation of the company’s final salary pension scheme saw an improvement of £476,000 and a total comprehensive income of £45,000 for the year. Turnover increased from £37.1m to £40.5m.

CHAP Construction saw an increase in turnover and a return to profit. The division is close to completing Aberdeen City Council’s flagship Smithfield development of 99 homes and the new fish market building for Peterhead Harbour Board. New contracts commenced in the past year include; a care home in Grantown-on-Spey, social housing projects in Huntly, Peterhead and Turriff and the new renal unit at Kincardine Community Hospital, Stonehaven.

CHAP’s Civil Engineering division recorded a significant increase in turnover compared to 2016. While recording a small loss, trading was significantly ahead of 2016 and slightly ahead of budget. The firm is confident that the division is on track to return to profit in 2018. The division is about to embark upon two exciting projects on the Fair Isle and the Isle of Canna working alongside SSE Contracting.

Significant progress has been made with the group’s plans to grow its CHAP Homes division with a number of new and exciting flatted and housing developments either underway or close to starting on site. These developments will be spread across Aberdeen city and shire with sales expected to get underway later this year.

CHAP Quarries reported a small reduction in turnover in 2017 with a corresponding drop in profit when compared to 2016. Concrete sales were in line with the prior year but sales of dry materials were down slightly on the year before. The division has a planning application currently under consideration for a new sand resource to the north of Ellon with determination expected in early spring. The division is actively seeking additional resource and has invested in new quarrying plant, increasing production capacity and efficiency within its existing operations.

Hugh Craigie, joint managing director of CHAP Group, said: “These results are in line with expectations and demonstrate that the Group’s strategy is on-track to deliver targeted improvements in performance. Early indications in the current year are positive and while the winning of new contracts continues to be highly competitive, we are confident that this progress can be maintained. The group’s move towards a higher proportion of self-delivered, residential developments is expected to drive many benefits across the group’s divisions and we look forward to these developments progressively coming on stream in the coming months.”

Chap funds summer studentship at RGU

(from left) Douglas Thomson, Prof. Gokay Deveci and Valentin Dolhan

(from left) Douglas Thomson, Prof. Gokay Deveci and Valentin Dolhan

A final year architecture student at Robert Gordon University (RGU) is currently spending three months researching low carbon affordable housing thanks to a summer studentship funded by the Chap Group.

Valentin Dolhan, 25, will use the studentship to investigate energy efficient housing under the supervision of RGU lecturer, Professor Gokay Deveci, an internationally renowned expert in the field of sustainable housing with a wide range of experience in both private practice and academia.

The studentship position is designed to focus on number of research themes which include investigating issues such as energy demand and low carbon use, material sourcing and use, social impact, and the challenges and opportunities of existing buildings; developing technical skills and tools for constructing new low carbon and low environmental impact buildings; and investigating potential legislative and planning restrictions and integrated solutions that focus on affordability and low carbon consumption.

Professor Deveci said: “We are extremely grateful to Chap for funding this summer studentship position over the past five years which has provided five individual students with a fantastic learning and research opportunity.

“Low energy housing is an area of increasing interest and importance in Scotland and it is key that we continue to carry out valuable research to ensure the issue of sustainability is pushed further up the construction agenda in this country.”

He added: “Valentin is extremely talented student who deserves this opportunity and I have no doubt that he will benefit greatly from the experience.”

Valentin, who will be based at RGU’s Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment, said: “I would like to voice my gratitude to the Chap Group for their generous funding in supporting such an opportunity which will benefit my understanding of the cutting edge technologies relating to sustainable low-energy housing under the careful guidance and expertise of Professor Gokay Deveci.”

Douglas Thomson, joint managing director of Chap Group, said: “Chap are constantly looking for ways in which we can improve the quality and sustainability of our housing, and research initiatives such as this one between Chap and RGU help us to gain a better understanding of the issues, how to address them, and incorporate the research findings in to our future homes.”

Professor Deveci is involved in ongoing research into low-carbon housing and designed the first certified ‘PassivHaus’ housing scheme in Scotland. The scheme, which comprises 10 semi-detached houses in Dunoon, was the first in Scotland to be officially accredited by the PassivHaus Institute in Germany. This voluntary construction standard is only awarded to buildings that meet rigorous energy efficiency criteria.

CHAP opens door to new Deeside bridge as village plan hearing is delayed again

CHAP Park QuarryCHAP Group has offered to assist with the delivery of a new or upgraded bridge should its plans for a 1,500 home development on the outskirts of a North-east village get the green light.

The developer lodged a planning permission in principle application with Aberdeenshire Council for the new properties at Park Quarry near Drumoak in December last year.

The proposed Kincluny Village will also include a village square with provision for shops and cafes, community facilities including a school, sports hall, library, community rooms and a health centre. As part of the 1,500 homes scheme, 500 will be affordable housing.

A pre-determination hearing (PDH) to discuss the plan, which was due to take place on June 1, was postponed for a second time until the local authority completes a structural survey to investigate Park Bridge, which links north and south Deeside, and its ability to cope with the current and future traffic.

The structure is currently subject to weight restrictions and was closed earlier this year due to flood-related damage.

CHAP Park Quarry 2A previous hearing, on March 2, was cancelled at the request of CHAP Group to allow time for relevant information to be submitted.

Kincardine and Mearns area manager, Willie Munro, said: “We appreciate this is the second postponement of the pre-determination hearing.

“We realise this may cause some inconvenience to those who have an interest in the application and had intended to address or simply attend the pre-determination hearing.

“Given the importance and the high level of interest in this aspect of the application, it is considered that information on Park Bridge and the implications of this structure on the determination of the application is made available in advance of the hearing and the extra time will allow this to happen.”

CHAP Park Quarry 3Douglas Thomson, joint managing director of CHAP Group, said: “We agree with Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to postpone the PDH as it is vitally important that councillors and the local community have all information at hand to ensure that an informed and robust hearing takes place.

“We are fully aware that the ability of Park Bridge to cope with current and future traffic is of vital importance to the local community as a key strategic link over the Dee.”

He added: “Like others, we await the results of the council’s structural surveys, which we hope will provide a clear indication as to the bridge’s continued viability.

“We will continue to work with the council and other statutory consultees over the coming months to discuss the current situation as well as the opportunity that the Kincluny Village proposals could present should there be a need, following the structural survey, to improve a new link road across the Dee at this location.”

A revised date of October 6 has been proposed for the hearing, with the planning application expected to be determined by Aberdeenshire Council at its meeting on November 24.

CHAP Group bolsters senior team with key appointments

Michael Thomson and Shona Gee CHAP Homes

Michael Thomson and Shona Gee CHAP Homes

CHAP Group has strengthened its senior team with the appointment of a new finance director and land manager as it builds for the future.

The Westhill-based group operates divisions in the construction, commercial property, house building, civil engineering and quarrying sectors. It reported turnover of £36 million in 2014/15.

Shona Gee joins as finance director, moving from the energy sector and bringing 25 years of experience in both the private and public sector. Her previous role was as group financial controller of a subsea company.

Michael Thomson is the new land manager for the CHAP Homes division, having served in the same position with a national house builder in the north and north-east of Scotland. As a chartered surveyor, his background also includes private and public sector roles in property consultancy and planning.

Douglas Thomson, CHAP Group joint managing director, said: “We are delighted to welcome both Shona and Michael to the business. Both bring extensive experience in their fields of expertise and will have a pivotal role to play in the future of the group. We see great opportunities to continue growing and Shona and Michael will be important in driving forward with those plans.”

Established in 1976, CHAP Group now employs more than 190 people.

Shona Gee said: “I am looking forward to the challenge of working in a new sector. CHAP Group retains the feel of a family business despite 40 years of growth and those strong values have been a major part of the success to date. I’m enthusiastic about playing my part in the months and years ahead.”

Headquartered at Westhill, the group has a quarrying operation at Park on Deeside and a concrete ready-mix plant at Belhelvie. The house building division, CHAP Homes, is currently developing sites in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Inverness – with new opportunities high on the agenda.

Michael Thomson, who succeeds the retiring Bob Beattie as land manager, said: “CHAP Homes has an excellent reputation and I’m keen to help build on that as we shape the development pipeline. We operate in a competitive environment but have an experienced, talented and committed team well placed to drive forward with exciting plans for the future.”

Plans lodged for 1,500 homes near Aberdeenshire village

CHAP Park Quarry 2Plans have been submitted for a 1,500 home development on the outskirts of a North-east village.

The Aberdeen Evening Express reports that CHAP Group has lodged an application with Aberdeenshire Council for the new properties at Park Quarry near Drumoak. As part of the 1,500 homes scheme, 500 will be affordable housing.

CHAP Park Quarry 3Developers first outlined plans for Kincluny Village in 2011 following a public consultation.

However, the firm has spent the last four years drawing up more detailed proposals, as residents thought it was “just another housing estate”.

The planning permission in principle application has been lodged with Aberdeenshire Council.

CHAP Park QuarryDouglas Thomson, joint managing director of CHAP Group, said: “Over the last four years we have sought to carefully design a new village that places great importance on the unique setting of the site as well as respect the character of the area.”

The plans will also include a village square with provision for shops and cafes, community facilities including a school, sports hall, library, community rooms and a health centre.

CHAP Homes completes £12.5m Aberdeen project buyout

Woodland Grove

Woodland Grove

CHAP Homes is preparing to embark on the £12.5 million development of the next phase of a major north-east residential complex after concluding a deal to take full ownership of the project.

The Westhill-based firm, part of the CHAP Group, partnered with Bancon Homes in a joint venture to transform the five-hectare site in the exclusive Aberdeen suburb of Milltimber.

CHAP has now bought Bancon’s interest in Woodland Grove and has become the sole developer as construction of the third and fourth blocks of apartments continues. The development, on the site of the former Tor-na-dee hospital, features homes exclusively for buyers aged 55 and over.

The first of those blocks comprises 18 two-bedroom apartments and is due to be completed by the end of August. Seven of those properties have already been sold. The final block to be built will feature 32 two-bedroom apartments.

Douglas Thomson, joint managing director of CHAP Group, said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Bancon Homes. We have worked well in partnership to establish Woodland Grove but both companies feel now is the right time for CHAP Homes to take the project on.

“The deal represents a significant commitment to the north-east housing market and reflects our confidence in the region’s economy. We are investing in a project with a proven track record of strong sales and opportunities for continued success.”

John Irvine, chief executive of the Bancon Group, said: “Bancon Homes has worked well with CHAP and jointly created a quality development at Woodland Grove which we are proud to be associated with. However, as part of our own planned strategy for growth, we intend concentrating on our major new developments including Maidencraig, Banchory and Inverurie and have therefore agreed to pass full ownership of this development to CHAP Homes.”

The Woodland Grove deal follows strong annual results for the CHAP Group, with turnover of £37.43m and pre-tax profits in excess of £1.3m reported for 2013/14. The group also announced earlier this year that it had secured a new £20m banking facility with Santander to support its focus on securing development opportunities and land acquisitions for residential and commercial projects.

Douglas Thomson added: “We outlined our intention to expand our development programme earlier in the year and that strategy remains at the heart of the business plan.

“The Woodland Grove agreement is part of that long term vision and we look forward to the next stage, with an emphasis on innovative design and the highest standards of construction. Sites of this quality are very few and far between and from the outset it was vital that the development matched the location. That has been achieved in the initial phases and the same values will remain at the core of Woodland Grove moving forward.”

CHAP Group invests in new Aberdeenshire concrete plant

Hugh Craigie

Hugh Craigie

CHAP Group has completed a recent expansion of its quarrying division with the opening of a new concrete ready-mix plant north of Aberdeen.

The Westhill-based group has invested nearly £700,000 in the plant which is located within the Aberdeenshire Council-operated Balmedie Quarry in Belhelvie.

The expansion is a result of the group identifying a requirement for a second plant to join its existing facility within its Park Quarry near Drumoak in Deeside and will be used to service both residential and commercial developments in the north of the city.

CHAP’s burgeoning quarry division has been at the heart of the group’s growth in recent years and was a key driver behind the north-east company’s most recent financial results in which it reported pre-tax profits of more than £1.3 million.

The profit, which was on a turnover of £37.43m, followed the announcement of a new £20m banking facility with Santander to support the group’s focus on further strategic growth.

Hugh Craigie, CHAP Group joint managing director, said: “We’ve been pursuing an investment in a second concrete plant within the city for a number of months after we identified a requirement for a facility north of Aberdeen to join our existing plant in Deeside.

“The location of the new plant is significant in that it perfectly positions us to service key commercial and residential developments within suburbs such as Dyce and Bridge of Don.

“Despite the current challenging economic climate in the north-east, a number of major developments are continuing to come to fruition and demand on the quarry side of the business remains strong. This recent investment will enhance our ability to meet both this demand and the requirements of our growing list of clients.

“The quarrying division has been a big part of CHAP for decades and remains an integral part of our strategy moving forward as we look to continue to pursue new opportunities for growth across all divisions.”

CHAP Group appoints former Muirfield business development manager

CHAP business development manager Dawn Kane and senior estimator Douglas Bran

CHAP business development manager Dawn Kane and senior estimator Douglas Bran

CHAP Group has appointed two key members of staff as the company continues to target strategic growth.

The Westhill based group, which operates divisions in the construction, commercial property, house building, civil engineering and quarrying sectors, has appointed Dawn Kane as business development manager and Douglas Brand as senior estimator.

Dawn joins CHAP from Muirfield Contracts and brings more than 25 years of experience in the construction industry with her. During that time, she progressed through the ranks, working her way up from clerical assistant to office manager and PA to the managing director to become business development manager.

She will have a wide range of responsibilities from identifying and pursuing business opportunities to developing client and industry contacts.

Douglas previously worked for Balfour Beatty Construction Services and Kier Construction and will oversee compiling tenders for new projects, preparing proposal documents and information gathering among other key functions.

Established in 1976, CHAP employs more than 200 people. Earlier this year, the company reported pre-tax profits of more than £1.3 million, which have been attributed to demand across all areas of the group as well as a streamlined business model.

Douglas Thomson, CHAP Group joint managing director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dawn and Douglas to CHAP at what is a very exciting and positive time for the company.

“Dawn has unparalleled experience in the industry and will be an integral asset as we work to push CHAP even further forward and continue the momentum of the past year. Douglas also has a strong background in construction and will bring a very strong skill set with him. We are determined to remain at the forefront of every sector in which we operate and they will both play a key role in ensuring this.”

Dawn said: “I am thrilled to be joining CHAP and I look forward to helping add to the company’s growing list of clients. It has been a fantastic year so far and it is essential to build on this high standard and continue to pursue opportunities across all divisions.”

Douglas Brand added: “CHAP has a fantastic reputation within the industry for great service across the board and I am excited to play my part in the group’s continued success working alongside a hugely experienced team and helping to drive the company even further forward.”

CHAP Group looks to future with key appointments


Neil Golden, CHAP Group minor works contracts manager


CHAP Group has appointed two key members of staff to its busy minor works department.

The Aberdeen based group, which operates divisions in the construction, commercial property, house building, civil engineering and quarrying sectors, has welcomed Neil Golden and David Coutes.

Neil previously worked for the company on an agency basis, and has joined as the contracts manager for the minor works department. He brings an extensive range of experience to the position, having worked across Scotland in a variety of senior management roles within the sector.

David, who joins CHAP from Kier Milne, has taken up the role of minor works manager and will have responsibility for surveying and estimating as well as the overall control of this department. Established in 1976, CHAP has an annual turnover in excess of £45m and employs more than 200 people.

Neil Golden, CHAP Group minor works contracts manager (left) and Douglas Thomson, joint managing director of CHAP Group

Neil Golden (left) and Douglas Thomson, joint managing director of CHAP Group

Douglas Thomson, joint managing director of CHAP Group, said: “Neil proved himself to be a great asset and we are delighted to welcome him to our minor works department on a permanent basis. He has great experience in the industry and particularly excels in project management.

“The division has been strengthened even more with David’s appointment and his knowledge of the sector and strong skillset will be vital as we look to capitalise on new opportunities within the industry throughout the months ahead. I have no doubt that Neil and David will both play a key role in the future success and growth of CHAP Construction.”

Neil said: “This is a great opportunity to be part of an innovative company that has a modern approach and traditional expertise. CHAP Construction sets itself apart from its competitors with its personal, tailored approach and I am pleased to be a part of that.

“I am looking forward to contributing to CHAP’s on-going growth, development and vision, and guiding the experienced team within Minor Works on a diverse portfolio of work.”

David added: “I am delighted to be joining CHAP at what is a very exciting time in its development as it is a well-established company with great people, drive and ambition. CHAP has earned itself a tremendous reputation within the industry for great service across varied divisions and I am excited to add to their continued success.”

The minor works department carries out a diverse range of construction projects from industrial maintenance works, reconfigurations and facilities management works, refurbishment and restoration works to specialist civil engineering works such as under-pinning and has worked with a variety of high profile clients including BG Group, Baker Hughes and Champion Environ. Employing a select group of highly skilled local tradesmen, and trusted subcontractors

North East contractor ditches Clydesdale in Santander switch

Chap-Group-LogoAberdeenshire construction firm Chap Group has ended its business with Clydesdale after signing a £20 million finance deal with Santander.

The Westhill-based company – which has divisions covering civil engineering, commercial property, house building and quarrying plans to use the new deal to accelerate expansion plans.

Chap, which employs about 200 staff and turns over around £45m a year, said that it is focusing on development opportunities and land acquisitions for residential and commercial projects.

Hugh Craigie, joint managing director, said: “The agreement with Santander is important as we plan for the future.”

Mr Craigie added: “One of our key aims is to expand our development pipeline and, having bolstered our team with that objective in mind, we are actively pursuing sites across the region.

“With Chap Homes successfully operating as far north as Inverness, our geographical reach is considerable – although Aberdeen and the north-east will remain at the heart of the business.”

In October, Chap Group won a £4m contract to refurbish the Central Building for the University of Aberdeen and a £3m social housing deal with Langstane Housing Association.

Chap was founded in 1976 by Alasdair Craigie, Ian Harper, Frank Anderson and Ian Philip. The group is still owned by members of their families.

Jamie Ritchie, senior relationship director of Santander Corporate and Commercial Banking, said: “The Chap Group is set to embark on an exciting period of growth, and we are delighted that the management team has chosen to partner with Santander to help the company realise its aspirations.”