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Northern Ireland building firm opens new office as business continues to grow


The new inpatient ward block at the Ulster Hospital

The new inpatient ward block at the Ulster Hospital

Gary Hughes

Gary Hughes

The new inpatient ward block at the Ulster Hospital

Northern Ireland construction giant GRAHAM is opening an office in Leeds to help cope with its growing workload in Yorkshire, the company has said.

The Hillsborough-based business has been a trailblazer among the Northern Ireland building firms securing work in Great Britain.

However, the family company has also been able to secure contracts in Northern Ireland.

The firm - which now has a workforce of nearly 2,000 people and turnover approaching £500m - has worked on projects including the new inpatient ward block at the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald.

The company said the premises in Leeds was its 14th office across the UK. Regional director Gary Hughes stated: "GRAHAM has achieved remarkable growth across the north of England in recent years, so with a continuing and increasing demand for our services in Yorkshire, establishing a permanent presence in the region was a natural next step.

"GRAHAM has a track record of delivering significant building projects both within Yorkshire and right across the UK. Some of the recently completed projects include the University of York's new £8.9m Spring Lane teaching building, and a £5.5m refurbishment of three floors of the Percival Whitley Centre at Calderdale College (Halifax).

"With a strong pipeline of infrastructure, construction and development projects, it is an exciting opportunity for GRAHAM to continue to make its mark and grow its reputation in the region."

The firm said the office opening in Yorkshire was part of a far-reaching five-year plan to grow revenues and create jobs.

And the GRAHAM's fit-out firm will also operate from the Leeds office. Director Mark Gibson added: "Yorkshire has a pool of talented construction professionals and suppliers, so opening the office in Leeds enables us to build upon the skilled local workforce and supply chain network that we have engaged with, as well as offering enhanced client access to our regional management teams."

GRAHAM also has offices in locations including St Albans, London, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Durham, Dublin and Manchester.

In December, the company announced it had won a contract to build two new health centres in Scotland in a £134m project.

It also announced it had completed the £85m development of the new inpatient ward at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

GRAHAM is carrying out the work as a joint venture with BAM, called GRAHAM-BAM Healthcare Partnership.

The second stage of the Ulster Hospital project is due to be finished by autumn 2019.

And in October, GRAHAM announced it had secured a deal for building work worth £150m from Barnet Council in north London.

Its continued success, however, comes against a conflicting backdrop for most of Northern Ireland's construction sector.

The latest industry figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency show that output shrank by 1.9% during the third quarter of last year.

But year-on-year, the industry's output was up by nearly 9%.

In Great Britain, output in the third quarter was down by nearly 1% on the previous quarter, and up by nearly 2% on the same quarter in 2015.

Belfast Telegraph