Construction group R G Carter building for the future with £14m Attleborough engineering centre
PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:41 15 November 2017
A regional construction group has cemented its commitment to its home county with a £14m engineering hub in the Breckland countryside.
RG Carter is bringing together its ground investigation, design, piling and civil engineering teams at the site in Attleborough, which includes an accredited soils and concrete testing laboratory and a workshop for equipment maintenance.
The Norwich-based group, which turned over £286.4m last year, said it hopes the new site will boost the job market in Attleborough.
The town has been identified as a key site for business growth, under the Breckland Council local plan, and is set to increase in size dramatically over the next 20 years with the construction of a 4,000-home urban extension.
Writing in an introduction to the company’s accounts, chairman Robert Carter said the investment in the engineering plant at Victory Park – enabled by an increase in net assets – was a decision made “for the long term future of the group”.
Plant manager Jon Wright lauded the new facility as a positive step for the firm, which deals in construction, farming, property development and joint house building ventures.
“Moving to a much larger site which has all the necessary equipment in one place allows us to not only deliver the best results, but also work more efficiently with each other,” he said.
The site was opened with an open day to showcase the new plant’s equipment, including 3D printing, ground investigation drilling, soil testing and welding.
Mr Carter said: “Bringing our engineering companies together at this purpose-built facility will enable them to work more closely together to improve our services to our clients.”
He added that the company would be offering tours of the site to local schools.
The former industrial site was sold to RG Carter by Breckland Council.
Adrian Stasiak, the council’s executive member for growth and commercialisation, said: “When Breckland Council owned this land, we put in place infrastructure to help attract a business to the site and bring investment to the town.
“We’re therefore delighted that such a successful and renowned company has taken on the site and invested substantially over the last couple of years, which has created good quality jobs for local people and new opportunities for businesses in the surrounding area.”
In a strategic report with its latest Companies House filing, RG Carter, a member of the EDP/EADT Top100 companies in Norfolk and Suffolk by turnover, said 2016 saw “significant investment” in its engineering business and its quarry and piling activities. All divisions of the business had performed well over the year, helping pre-tax profits to rise by 10% to £8.2m, it added.
Despite some looming economic uncertainty, the group said it has a “reasonable order book”.