The spark to succeed
Bridgwater-based business owner Mike Morgan reveals how perseverance with Hinkley Supply Chain paid off.
Q. What was involved in getting your business ready to work with Hinkley Point C?
A. When construction started at Hinkley Point C, the scale and excitement of the Project was immediately apparent. Hinkley Point C was very good at organising local meetings, but the path didn’t run completely smoothly at first. We were originally interested in the facilities management opportunities on site, but it soon became apparent the contract needed a national provider. It took about four years to evolve but, thanks to the efforts of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, a group of four local companies – including mine – formed the Construction Operations Management Alliance (COMA) and successfully won the construction utilities contract.
Q. What comes with being part of COMA?
A. We’re part of the Site Operations team, so we’re responsible for building services modifications, managing power supplies on utilities outside the buildings and maintaining the generators and plant on site. We also maintain the power supplies to the systems and buildings at the Junction 23 and 24 Park and Rides. We’ve also recently finished installing the power supply upgrades at Sedgemoor Campus.
Q. Has that lead to other opportunities at Hinkley Point C?
A. We now offer a wider range of services to the Tier 1 contractors. For the past two years, we’ve worked with Kier BAM on the water management works and in the Deep Dig; and with Bylor on the batching plants and the jetty. Now we’re working with Balfour Beatty on the above-ground power supplies in preparation for tunnelling work.
Q. What has this meant for your business?
A. It has really established us as a company that can deliver high-quality work, safely and at a competitive price. We’ve grown by 70% a year for the past three years and plan to grow by 20% year on year for the next three. Our turnover has increased six-fold and we’ve also gone from 12 to 68 people.
We’re now bringing on board more management and people with higher skill levels. That has opened doors for us to compete for bigger projects worth millions across the whole South West region. For instance, we’ve just won a fairly large contract for Armed Forces electrical installations.
Q. What does the future hold for you?
A. I grew up just outside Bridgwater, so the most thrilling thing for me is being able to give something back. Seven years ago, work was hard to come by in this region, but I now know that when I retire, I’ll able to leave a legacy of good local employment. We’re able to provide a great place for apprentices to learn their trade – we have 14 in training now – and currently four others being upskilled who may previously have struggled to become electricians.
Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned by becoming part of Hinkley Supply Chain?
A. It’s still early days at Hinkley Point C and there’s time for local businesses to get involved and grow. The opportunity is there and people shouldn’t be afraid to take it. There is also lots of help and support on offer through the new Enterprise Centres and the various Chambers of Commerce – and everything to gain!