Category: News

The level of client inquiries is amazing, now we just need them to commit

There are plenty of opportunities for SMEs working in the right sectors, says Claritas’ Simon Wilkinson

On the day that Boris Johnson announced lockdown, we took the keys to our brand-new office in Bromley that had just been fitted out. Rather than move in, we had to lock the front door and walk away.

All our sites shut too. We felt we had to do that for safety reasons but, within three weeks, we started back up on site, with only a few people working in the office.

We furloughed about 20 staff in the beginning but, as sites reopened, we took them off incrementally, with all off by the end of July. The furlough scheme has been really helpful to us but there does not seem to be a strong enough case for it to be extended past October for construction. For other sectors, that is a much harder call.

Tier ones are having to make some big changes that could be a benefit to SMEs

Working from home has been more successful than we could ever have imagined, so there was not a big rush to get back – and that allowed us a bit of time to plan for a structured return. We have capacity for 60 desks with only 25 people allowed in at any one time.

There is a booking system, so different teams by function have access on rotation. It is working well, though for some people things might change when the schools go back – which could make it easier for some, or it could be more of a challenge. We are trying not to be too rigid and to see how things go.

Productivity on sites has inevitably suffered, but not everywhere. It really depends on the stage of the project. If it is at groundworks stage, then productivity levels are pretty good. It is not like it was pre-covid but, on the 13 sites we currently have, people are getting used to the new measures in place and working efficiently.

I have been amazed at the potential new work coming through, particularly for residential and our modern methods of construction business. Inquiry levels almost feel higher than before lockdown.

But the challenge is getting clients to commit – to get to the contract signing stage. Projects are stacking up, which is good, but it is also because decision-making is being delayed. It is something we have to watch because, if confidence suddenly comes back, we could have a sudden rush to market.

Our turnover ambitions will have been slightly dented by delays on projects and completions, but we will still see growth for 2021 and I am even more optimistic about the year after. I think we can see a sufficient pipeline of work to sustain our aspirations.

We are also aware that not all firms are as fortunate as us in terms of the sectors they work in, and that tier ones are having to make some big changes that could be a benefit to SMEs like ourselves that are looking to grow and recruit talent. There are opportunities out there, without a shadow of a doubt.

Simon Wilkinson, business director at Claritas


New Mixed Use scheme appointed by LB Tower Hamlets

Claritas Group has been appointed as design and build contractor for the development of 111-113 Mellish Street as part of London Borough Tower Hamlets’ strategy to provide quality affordable housing within the borough. The project involves the demolition of an existing Community Centre building adjacent to a primary school and the construction of two buildings, one residential over 5-storeys and one a 3- storey community building. Completing the scheme will be a community garden in a central courtyard. The work will be phased to allow the use of the existing centre during construction prior to the new community facilities completion. Images credits to Bell Phillips Architects and Plus Visual Inc


Staying Connected During Lockdown

We hope all of our customers and stakeholders are staying safe and well during the Covid 19 crisis. Whilst we cant be ‘together’ at Claritas it has been lovely spending some quality ‘social’ ‘times with our Claritas family as we host various social’s via Microsoft Teams, thanks to our colleague Emma who organises them and always thinks of an interesting topic to get us all having some fun and laughter during these ‘different’ times.


Claritas expands its Commercial Portfolio

Claritas has been appointed by HGG London Limited as principal contractor to deliver the redevelopment of 134 Old Street in the heart of Shoreditch, East London. The scheme involves the demolition of the existing two storey building and construction of a new seven storey building to provide office use on floors 1-6 with a retail unit at Ground Floor. The site, which is a tight infill site in a busy central London location, will comprise a CLT frame with attractive curtain walling to the front elevation. We are pleased to be working with Mary Duggan Architects (Mary Duggan) and Measur (Brian Woodhouse) to achieve the successful delivery of the project adopting our ‘two-way transparency’ culture. Works start on site in August 2020. The award of this project adds to Claritas’ recent significant wins in the London Commercial Sector


Smiles all round at Royal Wharf School

Thumbs Up of Approval from the Pupils at Royal Wharf School

Adam Thyer, Project Manager at Royal Wharf School and the entire project team where thrilled to welcome the children from year 1 and 2 on a site visit of their new school. 

The tour which took place just before Christmas 2019 meant the children were able to see the scale of their new school and they were able to ask Adam lots of interesting questions around the build and when they can move in!

In addition to the tour, all the children learnt about health and safety on building sites and where pleased to receive Ivor Goodsite work books, together with the chance to enter a health and safety poster competitions.  Becki Sinclair our CCS Champion is looking forward to reviewing the entries when they arrive, and the winner will receive a book token.

https://claritasgroup.com/news/royal-wharf-school/

#loveconstruction


Hyde Group Main Contractor Framework

Another significant success for Claritas securing a place on the Hyde Group Main Contractor Framework.

Claritas is pleased to have secured a place on the Hyde Group main contractor framework.  We have secured a place on Lot 5,  covering London projects between £5-£10 million and Lot 8 for MMC schemes.  

Hyde is one of the largest housing associations working in England and has plans to build around 11,000 new homes in London and the South East over the next five years.

Jon Wardle CEO said “We are delighted that our culture, processes, strong balance sheet, people and social value offering have been recognised and valued in order to secure our place on this Framework.  We look forward to continue developing our relationship with Hyde and their many customers.”  

The framework is open to all other public sector organisations and to join you can contact the Framework Director, Emma Higgs on 0207 052 1531 / emma.higgs@nationalframeworkpartnership.co.uk

You can also find out more by visiting our dedicated framework page:

www.nationalframeworkpartnership.co.uk/supplier/amcm-group-ltd/


Pagabo select Claritas Group for Major Works Framework

Claritas has been granted full appointment for Lot 1 for projects valued between £5 million – £15 million across the South East on the new Pagabo £10 billion National Framework.

Following a rigorous, compliant OJEU process, Claritas were able to demonstrate alongside some of the industry’s leading plc’s, the ability to meet Pagabo’s requirements providing evidence of strong finances, relevant experience (which echo’s Pagabo’s passion for social value) and a forward thinking and customer focussed approach.

Jon Wardle CEO said “Pagabo is a market leading framework and is rightly recognised for delivering exceptional social value, innovation, and customer satisfaction to customers and contractors. AMCM is incredibly proud that our culture, strong balance sheet, continuous investment in social value, people, systems and processes have been recognised and valued with this win. We look forward to working with Pagabo and its many customers to continue the outstanding growth and customer satisfaction achieved by Pagabo to date.”

Pagabo is open for use by other public sector organisations for more information on how you can utilise the framework for future procurement contact our Framework Manager, Jason Clark or our Bid and Business Development Manager, Jo Davis.


Co-living is the capital’s new rental trend

Co-living is a global housing phenomenon born out of the rapidly increasing demands of young professionals who find themselves committed, for now, to city living. 

Claritas is excited to be part of this journey as we embark on our first scheme with The Collective of 222 co-living units a £22million D&B scheme in Palmerston Road, Harrow, alongside HawkinsBrown.

Find out more at the Evening Standard.


Royal Wharf School a record-breaking CCS evaluation score!

Congratulations to all the team at Royal Wharf School for their AMCM record-breaking Considerate Constructors Scheme evaluation score of 43/45.

“exceptional” 9/9 scorings achieved in 3/5 categories, demonstrating the very highest level of achievement far above the minimum standards required by the Scheme’s Code!

AMCM Group Role:  Design & Build, Principal Contractor

The new primary school at Royal Wharf is being constructed around an RC Frame on a raft slab, traditional brick built with a metsec infill including a sports MUGA area created at roof level.

This project is an excellent example of AMCM capability and capacity.


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