An expanding construction company is marking its first two years in business by putting the finishing touches to an award-nominated sheltered housing scheme and planning a near £2M. development for next year.
Now approaching completion, the sheltered housing scheme at Moor Street, Clayton-le-Moors comprises 13 high quality bungalows built for Lancashire social housing provider Calico Homes.
It is the latest in a string of projects undertaken by Altham-based Readstone Construction Ltd, and has been nominated for a Local Authority Building Control (LABC) award in recognition of its exceptional build quality.
“This has been a good project to work on and we’re really pleased it’s being put forward for an award from LABC,” said Neil Shepherd, commercial director for Readstone.
“But it isn’t really exceptional for us, because we apply the same rigid quality standards to everything we work on. That’s been at the core of the business since we started in 2013 and I’m sure it’s why we’re continuing to grow.”
Neil (43) works closely with project manager Simon Whittam, both bringing with them years of experience in the construction industry. They employ a team of around 12 builders and tradesmen, operating the firm’s own machinery and bringing in trusted subcontractors as and when needed.
In its first two years Readstone has worked on a range of projects from large scale industrial units to a new build four-bed detached house in the Ribble Valley, a substantial house extension in Read and the bungalows at Clayton-le-Moors.
“Our biggest project to date was the warehouse and production facility for What More UK at Altham,” said Neil. “That was an 88,000sq.ft industrial unit with amenity area, ancillary office blocks, warehouse and equipment stores, together with all the associated drainage and mains services.”
“It was a major project for such a young company to undertake, but we’ve been very careful to handpick our team and knew we could deliver.”
Like most of Readstone’s commissions to date, it was a “turnkey” design and build project, the company overseeing every aspect from the initial design brief right through to handing over the keys on completion.
“As far as the client’s concerned it’s a ‘one-stop-shop’ process,” explained Neil. “They come to us and we appoint the architect and engineers, who we’ve used from the outset and had previous good relationships with. We then take the project forward to completion, keeping the client informed at every stage.”
It’s a formula that has worked well for Readstone, which continues to grow and prosper despite testing times in the construction industry.
“I think there was an element of starting at the right time, just as the economy and the building trade was showing signs of recovery, but we’ve had to bring all our experience to bear to capitalise on that,” added Neil…
“We’ve benefitted significantly from customer referrals, with satisfied clients happy to recommend us. That’s why quality of build is so important, whatever the project might be. You can always get someone to do it cheaper, but we’re committed to maintaining the quality. We want to give people value – to give them the best for a good price – and that’s where we pitch ourselves.”
Looking ahead, year three is set to be a busy one for Readstone, which has plans for a near £2M. mixed use residential development in Great Harwood, plus a growing number of private residential projects.
“It’s our own site in Great Harwood, next to the new NHS centre, and we’re currently looking at a scheme comprising eight semi-detached bungalows and four two-storey townhouses. It’s early days yet, but it’s a prime site, close to amenities, and we’re confident it will sell well.”
“There are other projects in the pipeline,” said Neil. “I can’t say too much because in some cases we’re still at the tendering stage. But I can say it’s looking quite rosy for next year.”