October 19, 2018

FP Hurley & Sons Ltd – Seven decades of evolution pays dividends

Caradog House, Cardiff

Next year sees Bridgend-based M&E specialists FP Hurley & Sons Ltd celebrating its 70th anniversary and one element behind the company’s longevity has been its ability to continually evolve via innovation and acquisition, not to mention the strong family values that run through the business.

“We were formed in 1949 by my grandfather, F (Frank) P Hurley,” explains Adrian Hurley, who became the latest member of the Hurley family to become Managing Director after taking the helm last year. “My father, Malcolm, took the business on from my grandfather and my cousin, Phillip, took it on from him before passing the reins to me, so there’s always been a Hurley in control of the business.”

This continuity has obviously set the company in good stead with the upward trajectory it has enjoyed over the past seven decades and the fact it now has four offices in Bridgend, Exeter, Bristol and Cross Hands, which is near Llanelli in west Wales. “Our head office remains in Bridgend, which we recently expanded with the addition of new office facilities and a conference room,” adds Adrian. “We feel it’s important to have a high quality workspace for our employees so they can reach their full potential. Investing in our facilities goes hand-in-hand with investing in our people, as they’re the most important element in any business. It’s therefore imperative that we support them as much as we can. We’re definitely a people-orientated company and recognise that we can’t grow and develop without them. We also have a clear plan for the future, so we are taking on a couple of graduate trainees in the design office, which again underlines our commitment to investing in our people. This approach allows our staff to become fully ingrained in our company philosophy and become well versed in the high standards we adhere to.”

Another key aspect of FP Hurley’s development has been an acquisition strategy that has enabled it to further enhance its portfolio of services – it purchased a Cardiff-based controls company in 2017, for instance – while it has also worked hard to forge strong relationships with various electrical sub-contractors, as this is not an area that it specialises in directly. “We prefer to focus on the mechanical elements and sub-contract the electrical side to sub-contractors that we know and trust. We have also created an in-house insulation division that will begin offering its services to other contractors within the general marketplace in October, which will add another string to our bow.”

Supported by a workforce of 135 employees, FP Hurley’s reputation has allowed it to secure an impressive list of projects across a wide range of sectors. Notable developments include a £5m M&E contract at the Enterprise Zone of the University of West of England in conjunction with BAM Construction Ltd and an £8m scheme at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil with Willmott Dixon. It has also been involved in a number of student accommodation projects in the likes of Bristol and Reading with others currently nearing completion in Portsmouth, Norwich and Cardiff.

“We feel it’s important to have a high quality workspace for our employees so they can reach their full potential. Investing in our facilities goes hand-in-hand with investing in our people, as they’re the most important element in any business. It’s therefore imperative that we support them as much as we can. We’re definitely a people-orientated company and recognise that we can’t grow and develop without them.”

Adrian Hurley, Managing Director

FP Hurley’s strengths as a business have not only enabled it to turn its hand to a variety of different projects but have also seen it increasingly broadening its horizons away from Wales and the west of England. “Norwich is probably the furthest we’ve travelled so far, but we’re certainly open to opportunities everywhere if they’re a good fit for us,” says Adrian. “We have had our own in-house design facility for around nine years and it has evolved to the point that we can now offer a full BIM service using Revit. We utilise this on all of our Design & Build schemes, which currently account for around 70 per cent of our work.”

Student Accommodation, Reading

Again this commitment to investment and moving with the times has helped pave the way for FP Hurley’s ongoing progression as a company. “We have always maintained very high standards to the extent that we like to think we are the benchmark for the industry locally. We have never let our quality levels drop, even during the toughest times. When work was less abundant we strived to work closely with our client base to keep enough business coming through the company to support the size of workforce we have developed.”

Refusing to compromise on its standards has enabled FP Hurley to safely traverse the market downturns and prosper during the good times. “Resourcing the jobs correctly and developing our workforce to reach their full potential has been absolutely crucial. By investing in our people and developing their skills we’ve been able to deliver the consistency and the quality that our clients require, rather than having to rely on third party workers or agency staff. We also run a fleet of around 50 vehicles, which once more leaves us in control of our own destiny.

“We have some excellent foreman within the business having continually promoted from within, and they play an invaluable role in maintaining our high standards. What’s more, it allows us to work with our clients, consultants, architects and main contractors to get the job over the line with the minimum of fuss. Thanks to our experience we’re also able to anticipate the needs of our clients and make any necessary changes as we go along. This is vitally important as every project is different with new challenges to overcome.”

As it rapidly approaches its 70th anniversary next year, FP Hurley is in no mood to reduce its momentum as it strives to keep building on its already impressive reputation under Adrian Hurley’s stewardship. “We enjoy a significant amount of repeat business for the likes of Willmott Dixon, BAM, Interserve, Morgan Sindall and Kier, and we’re keen to keep that going by branching out further with them into other parts of the country.

“It’s my aspiration to establish FP Hurley in all parts of the market and I’m confident that by not only meeting our clients’ expectations, but actually exceeding them, we will continue to have a profitable business to show for it. Given the level of progress we’re making, we’re on track to get ever closer to breaking through the £40m turnover mark within the next 12 months. We’re very much about developing steadily as a business and achieving growth that is sustainable in the long term. I certainly don’t want us to be a company that experiences peaks and troughs as particular areas of the market fluctuate. One way we’re aiming to achieve this is by increasingly moving into different sectors and spreading our wings into other areas of the country. This will ensure that we can level out any downturns by developing opportunities in other markets.”

Given its high level of stability, and the fact that Adrian Hurley remains firmly committed to continuing the excellent work of his forbears, FP Hurley’s future looks assured well beyond its 70th anniversary next year.