Wates brings back former trainee as commercial director

Wates Construction has appointed Paul Griffin as its commercial director.

Griffin returns to the construction firm after spending four years at housing association specialist London Project Consultants.

He started his career at Wates as a commercial trainee more than 20 years ago, and in his new role will drive strategy and output on some of the business’s “largest and most exciting schemes”.

Those schemes include a £450m gigafactory in Sunderland on which Wates landed a design role last December, and the £500m Parliamentary Northern Estate revamp job, which the contractor scooped in 2018.

At the parliamentary estate, Wates is carrying out refurbishment work to several buildings, including Norman Shaw North and South, 1 Parliament Street and 1 Derby Gate. Around 15,300 square metres of office space is being refurbished as part of the contract, including capacity for 950 people.

Wates Construction executive managing director Paul Chandler said investing in the commercial sector was “essential” for the firm.

“[It will allow us to] continue delivering the best possible service to our clients, regardless of the economic headwinds currently impacting the construction industry,” he added.

Griffin said: “My focus will be on enhancing our commercial offers in the marketplace, particularly around new building technologies, as well as supporting the succession planning for the next generation of young, diverse talent.”

Under former CEO David Allen, the contractor turned increasingly towards residential work in the years leading up to and including 2020.

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