Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Earth moves for building firm as expansion continues into 2021

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Stonewood Partnerships managing director Sam Smart, left, Stonewood CEO Matt Aitkenhead, Earthstone’s managing director Neil Blackman, and construction director Shane Andrews

 

Growing building group Stonewood says it will continue its expansion in 2021 after finishing 2020 strongly with the launch of a new division and the opening of its fifth office.

The 48-year-old company has added Earthstone, its own groundworks company, to the portfolio while opening another office for its highly successful contracting arm, Stonewood Builders.

Now it plans to establish a base in Cornwall after winning a multi-million museum contract to expand the birthplace of Boer War feminist and activist Emily Hobhouse in St Ive, near Liskeard, to form a museum.

Chief operating officer Ben Lang said the moves are an expression of the confidence the group is feeling after riding the wave of a five-week Covid shutdown in March and April by employing more than 60 new staff since May.

Further reason for optimism comes from the group’s turnover climbing to £48m for the year ending in September, up from £44m the year before.

“It just feels logical to grab good people when they become available," he said.

"The more good people you have got, the better you are at meeting a challenge and the better placed you are to then flourish when times improve. That’s all in addition to retaining your best people.”

Fifteen of those new appointments have come at Earthstone, based at the group’s main office in Castle Combe, north Wiltshire.

Pictured: Stonewood Partnerships managing director Sam Smart, left, Stonewood CEO Matt Aitkenhead, Earthstone’s managing director Neil Blackman, and construction director Shane Andrews