Leading contractor GRAHAM has a lot to talk about this year. Despite a challenging period for the construction industry, the privately-owned contractor recorded a strong financial performance for 2020 and has a record order book going into 2021.
In recent years, GRAHAM’s London and South East team has earned a reputation for its work with local authorities thanks to significant regional frameworks with the London Borough of Barnet, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London Construction Programme, Metropolitan Police and the NHS, to name a few.
It’s a track record that speaks for itself. Take GRAHAM’s role as single supplier ‘partner’ on the London Borough of Barnet’s Capital Projects framework in which the contractor is overseeing the construction programme and budget. Working closely with the council, GRAHAM is running a tight programme with multiple projects completing simultaneously over the course of the framework.
Rob Joyce, Director of GRAHAM’s London office, explains: “This is a significant framework that has successfully brought forward a range of new facilities for the local community, from the Tarling Road Community Centre and Copthall Leisure Centre, to the merger of the Blessed Dominic and St James’ Schools. We have also completed the New Barnet Leisure Centre and are onboard to build new school buildings at The Pavilion, which reinforces how successful this partnership has been.”
With a commitment to quality, value and cost certainty, the partnership has come some way to transforming London’s populated borough with new and enhanced leisure, education and community facilities that will meet the needs of a growing and diverse community for years to come.
Key to GRAHAM’s approach has been drawing on its education and leisure work and experience of similar private and public partnerships. The contractor has amassed a strong portfolio of education projects for both the private and public sector. One such project is Milton Keynes’ Western Expansion Area – a new £34m secondary school that will serve the Western Expansion Area of Milton Keynes and accommodate 1800 new school places once completed. Watling Academy, as it will be known, is set to become the largest secondary school to be built in the Buckinghamshire town thanks to funding from Milton Keynes Council to meet future demographic growth arising from the Western Expansion Area.
To deliver the high-quality education and support facilities needed for the future students, GRAHAM is implementing every tool, process and construction method to deliver a design of the highest possible quality.
Part of this approach has undoubtedly been influenced by the recent completion of a new £24m sports centre at one of Britain’s leading schools. Since 2018, GRAHAM has been building a state-of-the-art sports centre at Oundle School in Northamptonshire. Recently completed, the result is an exceptional sports centre that benefits from a show-stopping six-lane, 50m swimming pool that is divisible into two pools through the use of a submersible boom, in addition to a floating floor that optimises the pool’s flexibility. There is also an eight-court hall offering retractable bleacher seating, adaptable playing spaces, a separate 70-station air-conditioned fitness suite, dedicated dance studio and three further multipurpose studios.
Rob adds: “Oundle has been designed and built to encourage competitive sport at the highest possible level, while providing a multitude of benefits for the local community who can access the new facilities. We wanted to create something that would deliver lasting impact for years to come and we’re proud of the result which is testament to everyone’s hard work.
“With every project – public or private – we’re ultimately driven by the end-user experience and we want communities we work with to feel positive about the spaces we build. That says more than we could ever put into words.”