Wates Group

Wates Group
Private company
Industry Engineering / Construction / Property Services / Residential Development / Facilities Management
Founded 1897
Headquarters Leatherhead, Surrey
Revenue £1,272 million (2015)[1]
£25.3 million (2015)[1]
£22.9 million (2015)[1]
Website www.wates.co.uk

The Wates Group is one of the UK’s largest family-owned construction, property services and development companies.


Established by Edward Wates in 1897, the Company expanded into speculative housebuilding and general contracting in the 1920s and 1930s.[2] During World War II it was involved in building the Mulberry harbours.[2]

In March 2015, it was reported that Wates would take over most of the Shepherd group's construction operations.[3][4][5] Two months later, it was confirmed that Wates would take over Shepherd Engineering Services (SES), Shepherd Facilities Management and various contracts held by its loss-making Shepherd Construction arm (Wates refused to take on Shepherd’s problematic Colindale mixed residential and retail development), with some 1,200 staff transferring to Wates in September 2015.[6][7] The Wates deal was concluded on 1 October 2015,[8][9] being valued at £9.8m, with Shepherd booking a £2.8m profit after taking account of costs for the sale.[10]


The group is split into five business units: Construction, Living Space, Smartspace, Residential Developments and Needspace?. There is also Wates Giving, a charitable foundation which has given away over £9.6m since 2008.[11] Wates works across a range of sectors including education, public sector frameworks (BSF, Ministry of Justice Home Office), affordable housing, retail fit out and refurbishment, office interiors, land development and commercial buildings. Wates runs Building Futures, an education programme for the long-term unemployed. It is accredited by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance.[12]

Major projects

Major projects include:


It won the Building magazine Major Contractor of the Year award in 2009, 2010 and in 2016, with CEO Andrew Davies named CEO's CEO of the Year in 2016.[18]


  1. 1 2 3 "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Wates. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  2. 1 2 "history". wates.co.uk. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  3. Prior, Grant (4 March 2015). "Wates eyes Shepherd takeover". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  4. Knowlson, Laura (5 March 2015). "New rumours hint at Shepherd Group sell-off". York Press. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  5. "'No comment' on takeover speculation at Shepherd's contracting businesses". Yorkshire Post. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  6. Morby, Aaron (21 May 2015). "Wates to buy most of Shepherd's construction arm". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  7. Richardson, Andy (22 July 2015). "Building firm Shepherd agrees to be bought by Wates". Northern Echo. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  8. "Wates completes takeover of Shepherd divisions". The Construction Index. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  9. Prior, Grant (1 October 2015). "Buyout sees 1200 Shepherd staff join Wates". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  10. Morby, Aaron (24 June 2016). "Shepherd Group suffers £74m hit from sold building arm". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  11. "Wates Giving". Wates. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  12. "Successful Community Engagement: Building Futures". RegenWM. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  13. Wiltshire History
  14. Woolwich Civic Offices
  15. Graeme Kent. "Inspire:Luton Sports Village... Lutons most exciting development in 30 years". activeluton.co.uk. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  16. "Silence is Golden at Doncaster Civic Centre - Accordial". accordial.co.uk. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  17. "Wates Living Space is to build 466 new affordable homes under a PFI deal with Kirklees Council". Construction index. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  18. "Wates wins 'major contractor of year' double". The Business Desk. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2015.

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