“In more ways than one working with Hinkley Point C has helped us to mature as a company and become more professional in the way we do things, it has also helped to take us to a new levels in health and safety”
Working as part of the team at Hinkley Point C has been a transformational experience for J&G Fencing, with the highly ambitious business now setting its sights firmly on being recognised as the UK’s number one supplier of fencing contractor services.
Founded in 2002, Bristol-based J&G Fencing manufactures, delivers and installs a wide range of products including permanent and temporary high security fencing, Be-gates & railings, barriers and sports fencing for sports venues.
Originally providing services for local construction projects in the South West, the company has grown steadily over the years and today supplies fencing services to the national construction and property maintenance sectors’ biggest names, such as Kier Bam JV, Laing o Rourke, Skanska, Balfour Beatty and Costain for sites all over the country.
What’s more, J&G Fencing has carved a specialist and profitable niche as one of Europe’s most successful businesses for providing High security solutions and installation services for data centres, with export sales to Holland and other European countries now accounting for roughly 50 per cent of its annual turnover of around £8million.
“We’ve always tried to grow the business so that we could competitively and confidently tender for larger future projects,” says Director John Gwyther one of the founders of J&G Fencing. “We’re incredibly ambitious and with a highly motivated team we’ve been able to position ourselves at a national level, and we know we can push on and become one of the leading fencing businesses in the UK.”
J&G Fencing holds the distinction of being among the very first companies to work on the HPC site and John firmly believes the experience, although extremely demanding, has helped raise his company’s profile and all-round professionalism.
“The biggest thing has been the health and safety aspect,” he explains. “We had a team of about 16 working round the clock in the early days as Hinkley’s focus on security and safety was initially a big cultural shock.”
Recognising that a renewed commitment to health and safety was paramount in order to grow the business, John promoted an existing employee to be the company’s in-house H&S co-ordinator, The company ensured he became NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety & Health) accredited.
“Thanks to our experience at Hinkley safety is now firmly in place right throughout the company, in everything we do every minute of the day,” says John. “In many ways this has been a game changer for us as it marks us out when tendering for larger contracts, mainly because the leading construction firms that hire us are always looking for contractors who can demonstrate their ongoing commitment to healthy and safety.”
John’s top tips for companies interested in winning work at HPC is to do all they can to learn about the project, including researching the companies already on site, and investing time in networking and generally engaging with the community of businesses there.
“We did everything we could, such as attending Somerset Chamber events and meeting the main construction companies there, because we knew there were much bigger companies chasing the same work,” he says.
“But throughout the process we kept faith in our own ability to deliver, and knew that if we could just grab an opportunity it would be a transformational experience for us, both in financial terms and also by demonstrating our professionalism when it comes to deliver on the very largest construction projects going.”