Wates in offsite push after covid hospital success

Wates workers practising social distancing following the re-opening of sites
Wates workers practising social distancing following the re-opening of sites

Wates is to consolidate its offsite construction expertise into a single business unit after its success working on a covid hospital in London, as it announced plans to restructure the business.

After building a new intensive care unit for the Royal London Hospital in only five weeks, Wates said it would combined SES Engineering Services, Wates Building Services and Prism – its specialist offsite manufacturing facility – together under the umbrella of Wates Integrated Construction Services (WICS). Rob Clifford, currently MD, Wates Building Services, has been appointed managing director of WICS, reporting to Paul Chandler, executive director, Construction. 

The move was part of a wider set of organisational changes as the company tries to realign itself to take advantage of opportunities in key sectors.

The group said it would make a “major commitment” to housing, establishing Wates Residential as a standalone business and appointing Helen Bunch as its executive managing director.

Meanwhile, from 1 August, Wates Smartspace will become a division of Wates Property Services, joining Wates Living Space and Wates FM under the leadership of David Morgan, executive MD, Wates Property Services. The move reflects the Smartspace business strategy to have a more balanced public/private sector portfolio.

Wates said that from 2021, approximately 70% of its turnover will be from public sector customers and as a result it has appointed strategy director, Steve Beechey, to the newly-created position of group public sector director. 

Chief executive, David Allen said: “The last four months have challenged all of us in new ways.  Working together, the team here at Wates has met those challenges with great ingenuity, determination and success.  Our business and our strategy have been tested and have proved to be robust.  We are now adjusting our structure to focus on the great opportunities that we believe lie ahead in our key sectors.  These changes give us the best possible prospects of thriving in the current environment and once the coronavirus crisis has passed and we’re confident that our future direction is clear.”

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