It is testament to Speltham Contracts Limited’s quality of workmanship that the Hampshire-based company was recently honoured at the LABC Excellence Awards for the South East for its involvement in the development of the annexe at Hayling Island Community Centre, which was successful in the Best Small Commercial Project category.
“I was invited along to the awards night by the architect, so wasn’t quite sure what to expect,” explains Mike Ellwood, Managing Director. “You never know what the judges are looking for so we were pleasantly surprised when the project was named as an award winner.”
The £620,000 project has enabled the centre to open a new café, expand its valuable services and make more space available for local groups and visitors. As well as a completely new annexe and [email protected] cafe, the development included a roof terrace as part of revamped cricket facilities. The café has already generated employment opportunities and revenue that is being reinvested back into the centre.
In addition to Speltham Contracts, the project team also included PDP Architecture and ITD Consultants, while the local authority was Havant Borough Council Building Control.
“It was a truly collaborative project so it’s great that it won the award, particularly as it’s a community development that was in the pipeline for quite a long time,” adds Mr Ellwood. “It has been five years in the making, from conception through to completion. Like so many community projects, money was a sticking point but thanks to a £500,000 National Lottery grant and additional fund-raising activities by the local community, such as a ‘buy a brick’ campaign, they were able to get it over the line. We’ve been involved throughout the entire process so we’re delighted that it has proven to be such a successful project and win an award, which will also see the architect and the client being put forward forward for the national LABC Awards in November.”
As it looks to build on the success of the Hayling Community Centre development, Speltham Contracts is now looking to further enhance a reputation that has been developed since the company was formed in the mid-1950s. Supported by a workforce of 14 employees, the business’ experience and expertise enables it to tackle a wide range of different projects including commercial, education and social housing developments, in addition to work for private clients.
“We’re able to turn our hand to pretty much anything, from new builds through to refurbishments, and we strive to avoid operating in any one particular market so that we’re less affected by the peaks and troughs,” says Mr Ellwood. “Rather than employing lots of tradesmen we’re more of a management organisation. However, all the sub-contractors we work with know us really well so we have been able to build high levels of trust. They know exactly what the standards we expect are.
“Moving forward, we’re currently heavily involved in social housing on various shared ownership and rented accommodation schemes. The order book is looking healthy at the moment and we have work lined up until autumn of next year, which is a great situation to be in. That said, we’re not looking to expand the business, preferring to instead maintain the size that we’re at now. This ensures that everything remains manageable and that we don’t overstretch ourselves.”
Given the award-winning quality that Speltham Contracts has demonstrated on the Hayling Community Centre project and its other developments, it is clear that this is both a sensible and successful strategy to take.