Established in 2005, Cole Groundworks Contracts Ltd provides all Civil Engineering and groundwork services covering the entirety of the UK and Ireland. Building Ireland touched base with Managing Director Conor Cole recently to find out more about this multi award-winning company.
These are busy times at Cole Groundworks Contracts Ltd and the plan for Conor Cole and team up in Newry, Co Down is to keep things that way right through to 2021.
For the past 15 years, the company has grown a glowing reputation through its hard work and the ability to deliver projects to beyond their clients’ expectations.
Indeed, the COLE name has grown within the Groundwork and Civil Engineering sector and not only are they known throughout the whole of Ireland but also in the UK as well with an office based in London.
“Right now we have over 100 in our team – double on what it was a year ago!” explained the Managing Director.
“We’re 15 years on the go and 13 years as a limited company. At the moment we’re extremely busy with projects, often working seven days a week. We have teams based all over the UK and Ireland”
Cole Groundworks Contracts is involved in housing developments, commercial developments, Schools and Universities, Electrical Generation sites, Telecommunications, Marine works, and within the water industry. The company thrives working in highly hazardous environments and are often chosen as the contractor for that very reason.
“We will do the jobs others won’t! We have a highly skilled team and we always find a way. Most of our jobs are about finding solutions”
The company strives to develop a highly skilled workforce, constantly headhunting for key appointments and have in the last year appointed a Senior Management Team bringing together expertise from contract management, quantity surveying, health and safety and marketing.
Conor explains “It was a big turning point for our business, appointing a Senior Management Team. Getting the whole company focused on our goals and bringing together experts from different specialties has allowed our business to not only survive Covid but thrive”.
“We show great interest in training our staff to offer our clients a niche service within the construction Industry. Our site management is of the most knowledgeable in the industry, and we believe in developing our entire team into a family that will become part of all our futures for a long lasting relationship.
“We involve all of our staff in our corporate events so that our clients can create relationships with all of our team members and make a better working relationship.”
They have worked in all sectors of the construction industry on wide range of groundworks, roadworks, demolition and civil engineering projects.
An award-winning company, Cole Groundworks Contracts specialises in all aspects of earthworks from bulk excavations to foundations, as well as the laying of water mains, pumping stations, all reinforced Concrete works, Bridges, sea defence works, Attenuation tanks, Sheet Piling, electrical ducting, sewer and storm drainage, all paving and hard landscape works, and have many awards for within the Civil Engineering and Construction sector and also for their paving design and lay projects.
Since ‘Day One’, the company’s focus has always been to ensure client satisfaction which is achieved by a hands-on management approach which they have developed over the course of many years in the construction industry.
The fact that Cole Groundworks Contracts has worked with some of the biggest construction firms in the world has seen their reputation increase considerably over the last few years.
For Conor, working with the biggest and best in the business is what he had set out to do in the long term after he’d first set-up shop a decade-and-a-half ago.
“We just finished working on the I9 in Wolverhampton, which was close on a million pound project,” said the Managing Director.
“We carried out all of the sub-structure work including all services and drainage. From Piling attendance, Pile caps, Groundbeams etc right up to finished floor. We have other contracts ongoing in the UK in Cambridge, Charlton in London, Bristol, Colchester and Birmingham. As well as back in Ireland.
The company have just recently completed works on a major, high profile project close to home in Warrenpoint, Co Down, which spanned the best part of 12 months. They touch also on house building and are currently carrying out private builds. “We’re also in Omagh right now for a client we do repeat business with carrying out an extension to a shop, where the client has took over the adjoining property in order to extend the business floor-space. Above this lies 2 vacant floors where we are currently renovation them to become 2 luxury rental apartments. We often work with our clients and do projects outside our core services as our clients know they will be working with someone they can trust to get the job done right”
With the help of his wife Emma who manages the Accounts and Office along with their young son Harry, and 2 daughters Rosie and Charlotte, it is them that are the backbone and support of Conor fulfilling his goals. Family is hugely important to Conor and his contracts managers for the UK and Ireland includes his brother Paul Cole, and a long term working friend PJ Fagan, who is now a big part of the Cole family.
Looking towards the months ahead, the County Down native says
. he wishes to continue a sustained growth both in the UK and Ireland, and has a few big goals he has set himself for the 12 months ahead, which they are inline at present to achieve.
“From the start of this year, we’ve doubled in size,” he said. “We’ve started getting involved in earth works and road developments more and more, and that has seen a big increase in business. We want to continue on this upward curve”
Testament to the work that Conor has done over the past number of years is some of the accolades he has one which include – Civil Engineering Company of the Year 2018 – Plant and Civil Engineering Awards; Ulster Tatler Business Man of the Year 2018; Top 40 Under 40, Top 40 Under 40 People’s Choice Award – Out of the Top 40 Conor received the most votes from the public (2018); All Star Business Award Winner – Civil Engineering Company of the Year; Plant and Civil Engineering High Achiever 2017 ; Finalist Herbert Smith Freehills Young Leader of the Year.
“It’s nice to be recognised by awards like that, and it something that we feel we have earned. The focus now is to move onto the next level in the industry,” Conor concluded.
Cole Groundworks Contracts Ltd
135 Kilbroney Road,
028 417 38883
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, November 2020, Vol 6 No 6