Coalisland firm wins £6.5m school contracts

A COALISLAND construction firm which specialises in rapid building has won a £6.5m contract for two schools in the Republic.

Western, which directly employs around 60 people, will build two 16-classroom schools in Portlaoise, Co Laois.

The firm said it had now won contracts worth £40m in the past year and had become one of the main builders of schools in the Republic.

It said its techniques and off-site manufacturing practices would mean the new schools would be delivered within 36 weeks, in time for the new school year next September.

Chief executive and founder Martin McCloskey said: “We are delighted to announce this further contract win with the Department of Education and Skills.

“The schools building sector is a core part of our business and we have built up solid expertise and skills in this area over the last 15 years.

“It is clear that we are delivering what schools need - functional, solid and inspirational buildings delivered within tight time scales and budgets and with minimal disruption to the pupils and staff.”

He said that the company was succeeding despite the bleak state of the sector as a whole after cutting overheads and costs.

The firm recently finished work on a new school in Lucan, Co Dublin, 20 weeks ahead of schedule.

And Mr McCloskey said the company had its eye on winning more contracts under the Republic’s framework for rapid build schools and also hoped to win more work in Northern Ireland.

Company turnover grew from £11.5m in 2010 to £26m this year and the firm hopes to boost turnover even further to £40m this year.

Up to 300 sub-contractors work on site for the business, Mr McCloskey said.