Creagh Concrete eyes 1,000-strong workforce after £1m new office investment

Creagh principals (from left) Patrick McKeague (director), Seamus McKeague (chief executive) and Gerard McKeague (director)
Gary McDonald Business Editor

CONSTRUCTION supply firm Creagh Concrete has cast its eyes on a period of rapid growth, with its directors predicting that sales will rise to £200 million and staff numbers to 1,000 in the next two years.

Brothers Gerard, Seamus and Patrick McKeague, who run the firm, were speaking as Creagh moved into a new 6,500 sq ft office next to The Elk complex in Toomebridge in a £1 million investment.

Creagh, one of the UK's largest producers of concrete products for a range of market sectors and a pioneer of pre-cast for more than four decades, has grown significantly in the past two years and currently now employ around 700 staff at five sites across Britain and Northern Ireland.

Around 300 people has into the new offices, including staff from Creagh's Rapidres, an offsite fast-track build system.

Chief executive Seamus McKeague said: “We're proud to open these new offices, which were needed because of the rapid growth of the business.

“In recent years we have moved from being just a concrete and materials supplier to a specialist sub-contractor, which has opened up new opportunities.

“Today, some 85 per cent of our turnover comes from Great Britain and we are also seeing new opportunities unfolding in the Republic of Ireland.

“We believe that Creagh is leading the market with innovation in concrete, providing new solutions across the construction industry

“Our turnover to 31 March 2020 will be £110m and, based on the pipeline of contracts secured, we expect turnover to grow to £200m by 2020/21. We hope to increase direct employment to 1,000 in the next year, growth which will support a lot of additional employment in our local community.”

Creagh Concrete's latest construction projects include Circle Square, a six-storey hotel on top of a nine-storey car park in Manchester, and St Martin's Place, a 17-storey premium residential development in Birmingham, both due for completion soon.

Other multimillion-pound contracts won recently include a seven-storey apartment block in Kent, a 17-storey five-star hotel in Portland Street, Manchester and a 14-storey apartment block in Surrey.

Mr McKeague added: “We've seen many good Northern Ireland based companies who have gone out and found new markets. In some sectors they have become dominant players. Many are our customers and we have followed their lead to help us identify new opportunities.

“Today, we have active jobs from the north of Scotland to Southampton and we are able to service those jobs because we have invested in manufacturing bases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Set up in 1976 to manufacture concrete blocks, in addition to its new head office in Toome Creagh also operated from bases across the north in Ardboe, Dunloy, Draperstown and Magheraglass, as well as operations in Hoveringham and Edinburgh.

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