Setanta Construction Ltd, a second-generation family business based in Northern Ireland, has been dubbed a “company to watch” by the independent judges of this year’s Federation of Master Builders’ National Master Builder Awards, after courage to innovate and grow during the pandemic paid off.
TV presenter and all-round building enthusiast Nick Knowles announced the winner of the Building Company of the Year award to the delight of the Setanta team, during the awards ceremony held online on September 24th.
The awards recognise building excellence, quality craftsmanship, and exceptional customer service, and are run by the Federation of Master Builders, the largest trade association in the UK construction sector which is this year celebrating its 80th anniversary.
Specialising in timber frame builds and off-site manufacture, Setanta Construction are now at the forefront of building low-carbon, energy efficient homes. Just before the pandemic hit, they expanded their workshop and factory space, while still delivering for clients during a very busy period.
The company succeeded in securing £138,000 of support from Invest Northern Ireland for R&D and job creation, enabling them to develop unique off-site solutions and enter new markets, for example in providing dormer windows to the Claridges Hotel in London. With this, the company is projected to create jobs for 12 more people.
The judges applauded Setanta’s attitude to employee training and wellbeing, supporting apprentices, hosting regular “toolbox talks” to address any areas of concern in the industry or amongst staff, and places a focus on the mental health of their team. With staff members who have been with the company for 16 years, Setanta Construction are certainly doing a lot right.
Mark Gribbin, Director of Setanta Construction Ltd, said: “It’s great to be recognised. I know lots of other companies will be doing what they can, for their staff, to be supportive. Everyone’s finding it tough, but we’re finding a way through it. It’s interesting, challenging, but rewarding work.”
Hardy Geisler, Chief Executive Officer at the British Board of Agrément (BBA), said: “It seems Setanta is a company to watch. Specialising in timber frame homes and off-site constructed systems and building elements, they seem to set the bar high and attract interest from demanding clients. This is accompanied by investment in the business, particularly its people.”
Simon Ayres, Chief Executive of TrustMark, said: “The reason for choosing this company as winner of the category was the innovation that it has shown in a market that is changing rapidly. As we move forward into the 2020s, we have to now support new thinking, new ideas and new technologies. This company’s demonstration of all these different areas makes it a worthy winner.”
Notes to editors
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.
The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to help them succeed. The FMB is committed to raising quality in the construction industry and offers a free Find a Builder service to consumers.