Setanta Construction Named Building Company of the Year

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 recently.

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.”

Apprentice of the Year

Meanwhile, Luke Emery, an apprentice at County Tyrone based Lowry Building & Civil Engineering Ltd, has been named Apprentice of the Year , being recognised for “going the extra mile” for his team and customers.

A joinery apprentice, Luke’s successful nomination and victory in this hotly contested category has been attributed to his eagerness to learn new skills and his commitment to his employer, as well as his natural aptitude and growing skill level in his chosen trade.

Luke’s commitment to the role shone through during the COVID-19 pandemic, with him joining the firm’s essential workforce to contribute to vital maintenance for clients, such as Northern Ireland Water.

“I’m delighted; it’s crazy! I have loved the variety of an apprenticeship, getting out and about on site. I would like to thank everyone at the team at Lowry Building and Civil Engineering who has welcomed me; and continues to accommodate me. It’s a good environment to work in. I’d like to thank my mentor, Tommy, in particular.”