Demolition Specialist of the Year: Winner

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Winner: Erith Contractors

In a sector that continues to mature and come up with innovative client-facing solutions, Erith Contractors’ technical expertise across many disciplines impressed the judges.

From demolishing Marble Arch Tower to make way for a new £400m mixed-use development, to helping enable Crossrail through its Hanover Square demolition, Erith showcased a wide range of skills in its presentation to judges.

At Marble Arch, the group took down a tower comprising a site-wide single-storey basement, a two-storey podium, an Odeon cinema at its base and 23 storeys of offices above that.

As part of Crossrail, Erith demolished a dozen properties at Hanover Square while retaining eight historic façades to help lay the ground for the new Crossrail eastern ticket hall, along with a further 8,000 sq m development of retail, office and residential space.

Having celebrated its 50th year in 2017, the contractor is going from strength to strength, budgeting for an extra £20m in revenue this year and picking up increasing volumes of work overseas in markets such as Dublin.

In its first international project, Erith successfully completed the Cruiserath Transformation Project, demolishing a bulk pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. 

As well as eyeing further work in Ireland’s capital, the company wants to increase its presence in the nuclear and industrial sectors, a strategy for which it demonstrated a clear business plan to the judging panel.

“In what was a fiercely contested award, Erith’s technical expertise and breadth of projects with an exemplar approach to employee training and mental health made it a worthy winner”

Judges’ comment

Despite working on high-profile projects, from inner-city London residential work to complex pharmaceutical demolition, the business has managed to maintain an average 98 per cent recycling rate and zero reportable incidents across all its operations in 2018.

As well as attracting staff through high-profile and complex projects, the company has increased its investment in training and health and safety management to more than £1m in three years.

By becoming an employee-owned trust, the owners want to move to a John Lewis-style model that seeks employee buy-in around the group’s wider performance.

Erith now delivers 90 per cent of its training in-house through Erith Training Services, which offers more than 100 courses and provides training to the wider industry through a dedicated confined space facility.

Since its 2015 launch, around 1,700 people have been trained by ETS, while trainers have also received more than 280 hours of courses to improve their teaching.

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