Ashwood Scotland smashes £70m contract barrier

Archie Meikle
Archie Meikle

West Lothian-based construction company Ashwood Scotland is celebrating 15-years in business this month shortly after the completion of its 313th project.

It takes the total contracts value of completed projects through the £70 million barrier.

The Bathgate business was founded in 1999 and has since gone onto grow to a staff 24-strong and establish itself as a well-regarded building contractor, with a turnover for the year to 2014 of £4-5m.

Ashwood Scotland’s managing director, Archie Meikle, said the company had to “change tack” during 2008’s economic downturn to emerge out the other end in a stronger position.

“Certainly the last five years has seen a contraction within the construction sector which has been quite severe,” he said.

“We managed to retain all the staff that we had pre-credit crunch and didn’t have to make any redundancies, which we’re quite proud of.

“When we saw there was going to be a downturn we went through an intense period of re-marketing in terms of identifying where our workload came from. We targeted the local authorities and public sector because we identified that would be where the main level of expenditure would come from.”

And to mark Ashwood’s fifteenth year in business it is fitting that the company is involved in one of its most challenging jobs to date – the £2-4m restoration of Edinburgh’s Panmure House. The grade-A listed building in the city’s Canongate area dates back to 1691.

The current phase of the works, which started in July, will involve the repairing and re-slating of the 17th century roof, conservation of the exterior stonework and replacement of the timber sash and casement windows.

“We are delighted to be able to bring our wealth of experience to such a fantastic project. We are very proud to be given the opportunity to rejuvenate such a prestigious, historical building for its unique 21st century purpose”, said Meikle.

The commencement of this job is the first in a pipeline of work the company expects to be starting as it enters the final quarter of the year. A recent survey of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) by Bibby Financial services indicated that two-thirds of those surveyed said they expected to invest in growing their business in the current quarter.

It’s a trend that Meikle has spotted and the company is now preparing to capitalise on the renewed confidence in the market: “We are now at a stage as we pick up this new volume of work we’re hoping to increase our compliment of staff. Our staff turnover is virtually nil and many of our staff have been with us a long time,” he added.

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