Wates Construction creates four regional businesses in restructure

Wates Construction has created four new regional businesses to expand its national footprint and support customers in their local markets.

Wates Construction creates four regional businesses in restructure

Wates Construction MD Mark Tant

The new structure will allow the largest arm of the Wates Group to grow in all the geographies it operates in, serving customers in a wide range of sectors including healthcare, education, science, and technology.

It comes after Wates Group posted a record forward order book at the end of 2020 – a year in which Wates Construction worked across the country on schools and universities, police and fire stations, offices and homes, as well as a 176-bed intensive care unit for The Royal London Hospital, creating vital extra capacity to help the country respond to COVID-19.

The reorganisation will see four dedicated regional businesses created - North, South, Central and London - with each led by a managing director (MD) who will report to Mark Tant, MD, Wates Construction.

As part of these changes, Wates Construction has appointed Helen Martin as the new MD for the Central business. Helen joins Wates after an 11-year career with Skanska, where she was most recently MD of the development business in the UK, responsible for real estate investments. In her new role, Helen will lead efforts to expand Wates’ work in science and technology, strengthen Wates Construction’s links to the business arc from Oxford to Cambridge, and drive growth across the Midlands and East Anglia. Key projects underway in the region include Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham, and work for Oxford University.

Phil Shortman becomes MD for London, which now encompasses both Wates’ construction and private residential business in the capital. He will be maintaining the focus on commercial and residential projects whilst building on Wates’ track record in heritage and commercial regeneration projects. Key projects include the Royal College of Surgeons, the refurbishment of listed buildings within the northern Parliamentary estate, the redevelopment of Borough Yards and the 33-storey residential development for Anthology at Tottenham Hale.

Paul Dodsworth retains responsibility for the North of England, where he will focus on commercial and residential projects, and on ensuring that Wates’ growth in the region supports the Government’s levelling up agenda. Key projects underway include Sands Leisure Centre in Carlisle; six schools being built using modern methods of construction in the North West for the Department for Education (DfE); and the new government hub at Wellington Place in Leeds for MEPC.

Richard Shroll, moves from his current role leading Wates Construction’s Residential London business, to become MD of an expanded South construction business, which will have a more active focus on the South East. Wates is closing its Basingstoke office, relocating staff to its Leatherhead headquarters and to new premises in Newbury. Key projects include Braywick Leisure Centre in Maidenhead and St John Fisher School in Chatham.

The reorganisation will support Wates’ plans to expand in existing sectors, such as education, where it is among the market leaders and one of the DfE’s strategic suppliers. Wates is now helping to decarbonise the country’s existing education estate, building a number of zero carbon schools within the first phase of the DfE’s new Schools Rebuilding Programme. 

As part of the push to accelerate the construction group’s greater involvement in sectors such as industrial, science and technology, and healthcare, a new healthcare team has been established, the structure of which will be announced later this month.

Paul Chandler, executive managing director, Wates Construction Group, said: “This reorganisation of Wates Construction underlines our ongoing commitment to trusting local leaders to keep looking for better ways to serve our customers. The innovation, adaptability, and collaboration we have always used to meet their needs are helping us take on the challenge of making our sector more sustainable and diverse.

“Strengthening our leadership in each of the regions in which we operate, and our expansion into new industries shows our commitment to meeting our customers’ needs wherever they arise, with experts based across the country enabling us to provide specialist support locally, backed up by the scale and capability of a national business.

“Our vision will be driven by our new senior team, who will help us realise our ambitions. While I’m delighted to congratulate those who we have appointed from within our own ranks, I’m particularly pleased to welcome Helen, who joins us with a fantastic pedigree from Skanska.”

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