Last week (7 September), the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking issued a report, “Scale up to level up: Reforming SME Finance”. The report…
Deep in the heart of the Dorset countryside in an anonymous business unit on a rural farm conversion is the nerve centre for a multi-million-pound company.
Future Contracting M&E Ltd is based at Town Farm Workshop in Sixpenny Handley, up near the Wiltshire border.
It’s a most unlikely setting for the two-year-old business that is already turning over £2.4 million, but as Managing Director Paul Corbin says: “It doesn’t matter where we are, it’s what we do that counts.”
For Future Contracting M&E Ltd carries out its work on sites right across the central southern region and Town Farm is very much the design and administrative hub from where everything emanates.
The company mostly works in an area bordered by Exeter, Bristol, Oxford, the M25 and east of Portsmouth and has teams of directly employed specialists based throughout the region.
And HQ is very much a family affair with Paul joined by Pre-Construction Manager Laura-Tuesday Brickwood, who happens to be his partner, and his mum Lynda, who looks after payroll and accounts. Mechanical Contracts Manager Paul Scorey completes the head office team.
Future Contracting M&E Ltd specialises in industrial and commercial installations, working alongside clients and offering a full design and build service for mechanical, electrical and renewable work.
The company sectors include offices, schools, universities, hospitals, care homes, leisure centres, student accommodation, industrial, and public buildings.
Its project work crosses many fields covering a complete mechanical and electrical installation, including Lighting Controls, Fire Alarm, CCTV, Data and Communications, Solar PV, Heating and Air Conditioning, Ventilation, Gas and Building Management Systems.
It provides complete mechanical and electrical services, incorporating renewables as required, from design through to installation and commissioning, both new build and refurbishment.
Paul, who has previous contracting experience with three different firms, said: “Our very first contract was at the end of 2018 for 13 flats in Reading and we have grown organically from there.
“Much of our work has come through contacts or by word of mouth and we have managed to establish ourselves very quickly in a congested field.
“We are looking to sustain the business and improve our services during 2020, rather than seeking further exponential growth.
Future Contracting M&E Ltd’s work has included a new build school in Amesbury, Wiltshire, a garden centre in Godalming, Surrey, offices in Wokingham, a theatre bar and ticket office refurbishment in Hampshire, a special education needs school refurbishment, a new build hospice, new build school dining hall and kitchen in Dorset, a Costa Coffee in Somerset and a school in Oxford.
One vital aspect of the company’s business is being accredited, making it a trusted brand throughout the industry, with crucial approval from professional standards organisations such as Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS), National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), Gas Safe and Green Light Safety Consultancy.
Paul added: “Becoming accredited was the first thing we looked at. Having these accreditations shows our clients that we have been externally audited, have undergone scrutiny and are wholly competent and fully compliant with health and safety.
“We also have a requirement that our sub-contractors are fully qualified and accredited and we certainly also tick all those boxes.
“Because we work across both the mechanical and electrical sectors, main contractors can have complete faith in our ability and know we can cover all aspects of jobs.
“Winning contracts in the construction industry is often down to reputation and I like to think that because we are known for the quality of our work, budgetary efficiency, timekeeping and our philosophy of ‘do it right, do it well’, we secure a great deal of repeat business.”
PKF Francis Clark has acted for Future Contracting M&E Services since it was launched two years ago, with Senior Manager Aaron Lawes leading the team looking after the company.
Our services have ranged from setting up the Xero accounting software, installing the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) method of tax and National Insurance payments, dealing with VAT issues and helping to raise finance to buy new vehicles.
Paul said: “PKF Francis Clark has been an immeasurable help to us. We could not have got to where we are today without them. Aaron has certainly freed me up to get on with my key role of looking after my business.
“He has offered us valuable and constructive advice regarding the Xero software, bookkeeping systems and excellent VAT guidance. He has also adapted to our business changes.
“I would certainly recommend PKF Francis Clark to any other new businesses because the amount of help we have received has been so much more than just accountancy.”
Aaron said: “At PKF Francis Clark we are very experienced in looking after family businesses, start-ups and SMEs, offering the support and advice to help companies thrive achieve their business goals.
“Our ethos is very much about working in partnership with a company, looking at business strategy as much as anything else. We have been lucky to be working with Paul and his team since the very beginning and have been able to offer them bespoke advice to ensure they are travelling in the right direction.
Aaron, who works out of PKF Francis Clark’s Poole office, added: “We are now moving into a phase where we are undertaking more training as Future Contracting M&E Ltd adapts to new environments and challenges. For instance, Gill Powell, from our cloud team, has been overseeing Xero training.
“Every business we work for is different – and that is one of the great pleasures of this job. Our role very much depends on a client’s experience, needs and familiarity with the fiscal side of business.
“We are so pleased to be working with Paul, Laura-Tuesday and the team and delighted that they have found our advice so helpful. It has been a pleasure to watch this young company grow and become a real success story.”