Gateshead-based contractor Tolent has announced it achieved £175m turnover in 2019, up 30 per cent on the previous year and its 2020 order book is now in excess of £190m.

Maintaining a secure position in the market place with 45 live sites across the country and more than 30 in the North East, the national contractor has continued to make good progress on some of the region’s most significant developments including an £11m civils project for propane storage in Teesside, the £26m Hadrian’s Tower in Newcastle and the £84m Milburngate site in Durham.

With many sectors across the construction industry showing good signs of recovery, the business is seeing steady growth in the residential market with housing and particularly social housing.

Including work completed this year and secured work into 2023, Tolent is set to deliver around 3,000 new homes covering both the private and public sector across the North East and Yorkshire.

It’s landmark £120m South Seaham Garden Village development will also start work next year creating 1,500 new homes including extensive parkland, a new primary school, business hub, sports facilities, play areas and allotments all linked by a network of more than 5km of landscaped paths and cycleways.

“It’s truly down to the collaboration between our teams, our clients and our supply chain that we have ensured a sustainable future for our business, and can look forward to better times ahead,” said Tolent CEO Andy McLeod.

“We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to support our teams who needed to work from home or continued to work on site and grateful for the support shown to us from those colleagues who were put on furlough, playing their part to safeguard our business.

“We’re proud that we were able to continue to pay our subcontractors, consultants and wider supply chain on time, recognising the value they bring to our business; and proud to be supported by some great clients who worked with us to help mitigate delays and grant extensions of time as we all got to grips with our new working practices.

“With a healthy order book of work, including some negotiated work in the region with a combined value of £185m, we’ll also be looking to recruit at the end of this year as we continue to build a strong and skilled workforce to help support and drive future growth and continue to deliver the high quality and excellence we’re known for.”

Keeping focus on its core northern and central business units, the company took the decision last year to close down its operations in the south.

“The region had been under review for some time as a result of disappointing performances over a number of years and whilst the decision to close the business has significantly impacted our financial performance in 2019, this will ultimately benefit the wider business as it now allows us to build upon our already outstanding reputation within the North East and Yorkshire and continue to explore new opportunities and new locations to grow,” continued Andy.

It was down to this well-earned reputation that the company was asked to lead the regional-wide effort to build the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland back in March.

Delivered in around three weeks, the success of this project has subsequently led to several new projects that are currently being delivered across two of the North East’s major hospitals.

Andy added: “The public sector is another area where we’re looking to strengthen our current offering, and build on some great projects already delivered in the health, education and local authority sectors.

“We’re also seeing a significant increase in work to improve the safety of public and private sector stock. This year alone has seen upwards of £15m worth of work to reclad a number of hospital buildings and student accommodation units, with new enquiries coming through regularly.”

As well as its main construction service, Tolent also operates a national asbestos removal service and after seeing a number of jobs put on hold following the national lockdown, the team decided to tailor its offering to provide a disinfection and sterilisation service back in May.

Since then, the highly experienced teams have completed around 50 jobs across domestic properties, care homes, sheltered schemes, public transport, offices, commercial buildings and construction sites. All of the disinfection systems are compatible with the COVID:19 disinfectants detailed by UK Government guidelines.

Tolent currently employs upward of 500 people across the country and operates in a number of different sectors including industrial, commercial, residential, petrochemical, civil, public, education, hospitality, healthcare, supported and student living.