Wharton Construction Secures Major Contract For Police Station Work
17th April 2013
A THRIVING North-East construction firm continues to buck the flagging national industry after securing a major contract to refurbish a police station and revealing a potential deal to preserve the birthplace of Teesside's iron heritage.
Wharton Construction is currently carrying out a significant refurbishment of Darlington police station, complete with full re-decoration and re-wiring of the building.
The project, which does not include the station's cells, represents only a fraction of the company's strong order book that includes a £1.6m arts and media building at Prior Pursglove College, in east Cleveland, and a £135,000 project to carry out structural alterations to shop units at the MetroCentre, in Gateshead.
The success comes after North-East construction bosses launched a campaign alongside the Northern Echo, urging Chancellor George Osborne to safeguard thousands of jobs across the region.
The North-East Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the North-East Association of Consultancy, and the Institute of Civil Engineers, say improving road networks, handing more power to smaller projects to get work started, and cutting red tape will create about 3,000 new posts.
Matthew Wharton, quantity surveyor at Wharton Construction, said the Darlington-based firm was buoyant, and could not rule creating new jobs if its success continued.
Mr Wharton revealed the company, which currently employs 50 workers, hopes to receive an order to alter and refurbish the Grade II-listed former home of Henry Bolckow and John Vaughan, in Middlesbrough.
The pair were the founding fathers of the Cleveland iron trade and lived in the building between 1841 and 1860. He said: “We are busy across the boards and it has been a good start to the year for us.
“We have a number of other projects in the pipeline, which if they come to the fore, will give us an order book at capacity for the foreseeable future.
“We took on several new workers last year to cope with the growing workload and hope that it will continue.
“If the demand is there, then we could look at taking more people on.”
The firm, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, was crowned best large company by an industry safety group last year.
Mr Wharton it was due to start a number of projects this month, including a refurbishment of Ormesby Resource Centre, for Middlesbrough Council, an extension of a student services building at Prior Pursglove College, and a new classroom block at Egglescliffe School, in Stockton, to complement a previous development.