Derbyshire construction firm builds 'housing revolution' after 'dramatic' post-lockdown growth

A Derbyshire construction firm is building a ‘housing revolution’ following a period of ‘dramatic’ growth post lockdown.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 4:06 pm

Hodgkinson Builders which is based on Pride Park in Derby and has a new development on Bath Street in Ilkeston, is set to record a £20m turnover this year with double the number of homes it built last year.

Many of the new constructions are based in the Midlands and all of them are for housing associations.

The firm has said the key to the company’s resilience is the introduction of flexible and remote working for staff during the pandemic.

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Left to right: Robert Hodgkinson, Ben Jackson, Matthew Finnie and Darren Hodgett.

Managing director Ian Hodgkinson added that he was delighted the company had managed to ‘weather the storm’ during the pandemic months, with 330 homes currently being developed so far this year.

He commented: “Our staff have been heroes and we have come out of the pandemic stronger and more resilient than ever before.

"We are pleased to be doubling the number of homes we build this year compared to 2020.

“It’s been a big year so far and it has been a lot of hard work, but we have been able to strengthen Hodgkinson Builders, take stock and reinvest with a different outlook.”

Robert Hodgkinson, operations director at Hodgkinson Builders said: “The tech we use for remote working has changed the business for the office team forever.

"We have new ways of working flexibly – and we are still able to put roofs over people’s heads.”

One of the firm’s latest projects developments is a 34-house development in Spanker Lane, Heage made up of 16 two-bed, 16 three-bed and two four-bed homes.

Building started in January this year and is expected to be completed by summer 2022.

Robert added: “We’re not alone in the constraints we have had to deal with relating to delays in getting planning permission.

“It has been hard work getting planning over the line but finally it has all come to fruition and that’s why we are building 330 homes this year.

“We’ve had lots of competition regarding material supply too, but managed the situation with a reliance on our regular and trusted supply chain.

"This has paid dividends and it’s all business as usual now.”

Part of the company’s portfolio is a 30-home development on Bath Street in Ilkeston where the construction firm is reusing some of the stonework and signage from the derelict Poplar pub to help preserve the town’s heritage.

The pandemic allowed Hodgkinson Builders to cement their position with housing association clients, helped by a social housing report compiled with the University of Derby.

In the document, the firm said that social housing could be key to the UK building its way out of the pandemic.

The Annual Social Housing Report highlighted the skills shortages within the industry along with criticism of ‘poor’ construction methods and a lack of social housing.

Ian and the team are urging businesses and the Government to use more sustainable methods to build social housing.

“Moving forward through 2021, we are responding to the increase in the demand for homes”, Ian continued.

"It’s currently running at 16 people showing interest in every house on the market.

“We are focused over the next 12 months on our apprenticeships scheme and see training as a crucial solution to the skills shortage.”

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