2021 Master Builder Awards, Building Company of the Year award

National winner: Setanta Construction Ltd

Like many small and medium-sized construction firms, Setanta Construction Ltd have faced a particularly challenging period in their company development over the past two years.

Despite the setbacks incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Setanta have continued to grow and thrive.

By the start of 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the company’s growing workloads were already outpacing capacity at their factory space. After taking a calculated financial risk, the company invested in a derelict concert manufacturing plant and converted it into their new, 50,000ft2 base of operations. In addition to this, Setanta secured funding from Invest Northern Ireland to expand their research and development operations and subsequently developed a dormer window system and employed 12 new personnel from the local community.

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, construction came to a halt for the team. However, being proactive and following regular guidance from the FMB and the Construction Leadership Council, helped get their business back on track. Not only that, but the business has thrived. The company has won major contracts for unique projects such as supplying offsite components to Claridges Hotel Group and has boosted turnover by 20% from the beginning of 2019 to the end of 2020 - an achievement the company credits to the value brought to the business by its staff.

The judges were impressed by the large volume of work delivered by a small team comprised of just 17 people,

Setanta pride themselves on their high staff retention, with some team members who have been at the company for 16 years. They invest in ongoing training for employees, host regular “toolbox talks” to address any areas of concern in the industry or amongst staff, and they send out annual health questionnaires to help team members stay on top of any emerging health concerns, including mental health challenges.

The independent judges praised the company’s courage in continuing to innovate and grow during the pandemic and recognised their excellent commitment to employee training and wellbeing. They were impressed by the volume of work delivered to such a high stand by a team of just 17 people, and by their ability to attract and retain business thanks to their client-centric approach. They dubbed Setanta a “company to watch” in years to come, and it’s easy to see why.”

From the national judges


The 2021 Master Builder awards concluded in September. Could one of your current projects win an award in the next competition? Nominations for the next awards will be opening in Autumn 2022, read more about it on our awards pages or contact [email protected] for more information.

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