151: One Year On at Hargreaves

James Bevis (Managing Director) talks 12 months in charge


Written by James Bevis on September 22nd 2023

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To our valued clients, supply chain and colleagues,

When I joined Exyte Hargreaves on Monday 3 October 2022, nearly 12 months ago, our company was in the midst of a 150-year birthday celebration. Since we’re now approaching my own first anniversary with the business, I thought it was an opportune time to write this open letter and summarise mine and Hargreaves’ journeys in year 151.

Winning in 2023, Delivering in 2024

In 2023, our strategy has been focused on targeting some of the unique and high-profile projects in our core sectors: Energy, Defence and Transport. I’m delighted with the progress we’ve made in this regard. It’s a continuation of a grand legacy that stretches from Chernobyl, through the Channel Tunnel and across the length and breadth of the UK.

It gives me an enormous sense of pride that Exyte Hargreaves is associated with Hinkley Point C, Sellafield, Sizewell, HS2. As well as some hugely important defence projects. In 2024, we’re laser focused on delivering that works both next year and throughout the decades to come. Our commitment is to deliver safely, sustainably, to the highest quality standards, on time and with costs controlled correctly.

One Team

We now have a fully integrated approach to project delivery. I’m personally excited to see our smoke ventilation team (who you may know as SfS) now embedded and working as part of the wider Hargreaves delivery model. This is fantastic news as that expertise can now be deployed across all our major projects. Thus, creating an even more compelling offering for our clients. By more closely aligning our HVAC, Smoke and Fire Safety, Manufacturing and DfMA delivery teams we’re now the most unique specialist Construction Engineering Contractor within our sectors.

I have to pay tribute to the fantastic and ongoing support we’re receiving from our parent company – Exyte Group. Having a €7 billion turnover partner in your corner is one of our biggest assets. With the support of Exyte, we’ve been able to invest and grow, whilst weathering some of the acute global economic challenges in the past few years. The Exyte Group is on an ambitious ‘Pathway to Ten’ strategy to achieve €10 billion turnover by 2028. It is exciting (if you’ll pardon the pun) to be sharing that journey with them.

With investment comes expansion and diversification. Our manufacturing facility is perhaps the best example of this in 2023. We’ve upgraded many of our machines and have invested in new ones. The most intriguing new development is the purchase of our first Robotic Welding Cell. This particular machine is built for volume and is an ideal complement to our team of highly experienced welders and fabricators. By taking responsibility for repetitive welds, the robot frees up our people for more complex, skilled work.

Our business is changing for the better, modernising and upscaling to meet the demands of the market and projects of the future. Our increased BIM, digital and DfMA capability – added to our existing highly skilled expert operatives, design/engineering, project management and support teams – are enabling us to provide better value, reduce carbon (on our journey to net zero), and bring safety and quality benefits to our stakeholders.

I must conclude by speaking about our People. I was personally extremely pleased with the talent mix within the team 12 months ago and I’m happy to say that we’re even stronger and more diverse now because of a number of proactive talent management initiatives.

Most recently we welcomed the first new cohort of apprentices through our Engineering Young Talent programme since the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing our young professionals begin their career gives an immense sense of joy. They are also fortunate to have the opportunity of learning from some of our professionals with decades of experience.

All of the above aligns with our core business values of Safety, Integrity, Collaboration, Excellence, Future Focus and Dedication, delivered by the business you know and trust.

"I’m truly proud to be leading the business and I thank you for sharing our journey in 2023 so far. 2024 promises to be a fun, challenging and busy year and I look forward to working with you all through the next 12 months and beyond."

James Bevis

Managing Director

Interested in Career opportunities at Exyte Hargreaves?

Visit our Careers page to view current vacancies, graduate and apprenticeship opportunities at Exyte Hargreaves.

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