Helix grows business in challenging times

SME Contractor and Construction Manager Helix Group is winning more work and employing more people, despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis.

The Newbury-based company has doubled in size, scooped major new contracts and won a place on a string of building procurement frameworks over the last six months.

Since lockdown Helix has been selected to work on seven new projects, including £9 million worth of affordable and private housing contracts.

These new projects total 36 homes since March and Helix has been managing the pre-construction phase of another 350-home affordable housing development at Brackley in Northamptonshire for Catalyst Housing Group.

Helix has also been appointed to seven frameworks across the affordable housing, health and defence sectors.

All staff have been brought back from furlough, with additional staff hired amounting to a 100% increase in the Helix team across all disciplines.

Managing Director, Nic Davies, said: “Despite the huge challenges facing our sector in recent months and the resulting economic downturn, Helix has worked hard to ensure we continue to offer an attractive solution for our clients’ projects. 

“I am incredibly proud of how the team has worked with clients and taken a flexible approach to ensure we deliver on projects, with our constant focus on high quality standards and great customer service.

“It is especially pleasing to bring people back from furlough and be able to create further jobs to expand our team.”

Helix’s success reflects the national picture for SME (small to medium-sized) construction firms, which appear to be bouncing back despite the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figures from the Federation of Master Builders’ state of trade survey for June-August show that almost half of such businesses saw increased demand over the summer, half have reported a rise in inquiries and 42% forecast higher workloads this autumn.

Helix’s new building contracts include nine two-bedroom apartments at Addlestone in Surrey and a £1.1 million luxury home in the Berkshire village of Wargrave.

The firm is remodelling Hampson Park community centre at Stevenage in Hertfordshire and refurbishing a Grade II-listed school in London.

It has been contracted as construction manager for the construction of 14 timber-frame apartments at Newbury in Berkshire, four detached houses at Garsington and eight timber-frame houses at Shiplake, both in Oxfordshire.

Helix has also won sought-after places on a variety of procurement frameworks this year: the NHS Building Framework, London Construction Programme, Aspire Defence, Octavia, Westworks, Tower Hamlets and Places for People.