Wates provides jobs boost for Yorkshire after securing work to deliver commercial, retail and living space at Wellington Place in Leeds
A major family owned construction group has secured work on a scheme to create a new business district in the heart of Leeds.
The Wates Group said it secured £2.4bn of new work in 2020 enabling it to end the year with a record forward order book of £6.6bn, up 13.5% from 2019.
The group is one of the UK’s largest family-owned construction, residential development and property services companies.
Wates Construction is collaborating with SES Engineering Services to deliver Wellington Place for its customer MEPC.
It is creating commercial, retail and residential space in the heart of Leeds, which will be focused around the listed Railway Lifting Tower dating back to the 1850s.
Wates recently completed the York In-Patient Facility (Foss Park). This purpose-designed hospital houses 72 beds over four 18-bed wards, including one for people with dementia and one for people with mental health problems such as psychosis, severe depression or anxiety.
David Allen, the chief executive of the Wates Group, said: “We began 2020 with enormous optimism, having just achieved the highest level of profits the group had generated for almost a decade and a record order book. Within three months, the pandemic left us facing a battle for survival. That we finished the year with a positive result is a credit to the remarkable efforts, resilience and adaptability of everyone at Wates.
“The pandemic challenged us to work in different ways and to adapt. We reorganised our business to focus on helping to tackle the UK’s housing shortage, supporting the public sector to build back better and investing in the modern methods of construction that will enable us to meet our customer’s needs in the future.
"Together, we have set the business up to succeed and we remain committed to our goal of becoming the most sustainable, trusted and progressive business in the sector.”
The group's turnover for 2020 was £1.45bn, a fall of 11.3% compared with the previous year.
Pay cuts imposed for colleagues working during the first three months of lockdown were reimbursed in full in February 2021 salaries. However, over the year there were 268 redundancies following the contraction in the size of the business, which was equivalent to a 7% reduction in personnel.