Trusting in its own culture and seeking long term partnerships has brought customer loyalty to the Sewell Group.
The Hull-founded business is famous for being a Sunday Times ‘Best Company to Work For’ and has delivered over £500m of new and improved buildings within East Yorkshire over the past decade.
Now, its project management expertise and people-focused culture are being sought-after across the Humber and further afield.
Sewell Group has also welcomed a new business to its family after investing in Huddersfield-based construction company Illingworth and Gregory (I&G).
I&G is a long established, well respected, family-owned business, which specialises in maintenance and refurbishments, primarily in health and education, in West Yorkshire.
Sewell Group’s investment in I&G makes the business a sister company to Sewell Construction and will help both companies capitalise on opportunities across the wider Yorkshire region.
The business has recently created a brand new centre of excellence for Steeper Group, which delivers world-leading technologies and products to enhance people’s lives, in Leeds, completed a major extension and refurbishment of a primary school in Sherburn in Elmet, and is creating a new hub and library in the heart of a York community.
Sewell has also worked with the further and higher education providers in West Yorkshire, including the University of Leeds, refurbishing a four storey geography block into a new School of Fine Art, History and Cultural Studies, and completed a new extension for Huddersfield-based Greenhead College.
Managing director Paul Sewell explained the business has not proactively planned to stretch its geography so rapidly, but has been fortunate in finding partners who regard relationships and ‘cultural fit’ as highly as Sewell.
“What we think we do really well is work as a single team with our partners and their consultants to find and deliver solutions, whether that be through investment, construction, or facilities management,” said Paul.
“We want long term partnerships with like-minded partners, who believe in honest and open relationships and see the benefits when we’re in it for the long haul.
“We have our own investment portfolio and, over the years, we’ve developed our learning in sustainability and flexible design, so it’s in our nature to approach every project as if it was our own investment, thinking about the whole life of the building, rather than just the immediate project that’s in front of us.”
Sewell Group is a family business and Sewell on the go was named UK Forecourt Retailer of the Year in both 2009 and 2016, while also currently ranked in the top 25 in the compilation of the biggest independent fuel retailers in the UK.
Serving more than four million customers every year at 12 fuel and convenience stores, Sewell on the go makes sure communities and customers have everything they need to keep going, at home or on the move, day or night.
A people-focused culture is still at the heart of Sewell’s success
Sewell Group’s construction division has its approach to construction excellence formally recognised in an academic journal produced by The University of Hull Business School. The internationally-recognised paper echoes that culture and a single team, partnership mentality breeds construction excellence.
Paul continued: “When I look at our success over the past ten to fifteen years, it has been all about our culture. We know who we want to be and who we are. It is not easy, but we trust our culture and believe that, as long as we deliver construction excellence, our customers will remain loyal.
“We have to stick to what we believe in a crowded market place. We’re not the knocking on doors kind of business. Our partnership approach will suit some customers, others it won’t.
“We’ve been fortunate to find some fantastic partners across the region who have the same partnership ethos as us. We work as a single team and when there are problems, we run towards them together to put them right.”
Sewell is far from turning its back on its home city
Sewell is also supporting Hull City Council with its legacy projects as part of the Hull UK City of Culture 2017 celebrations and is a Major Partner for the year, reinforcing its commitment to the city.
Most recently, Sewell Construction completed the £16m Hull New Theatre refurbishment, which included a part demolition of the building to the rear of the facility, a reconfiguration of the backstage access and stage improvements. The customer experience has also been much enhanced with improved front of house facilities.
At the same time, Sewell built the new £10m Ron Dearing University Technology College (UTC), completing the transformation of the Kingston Square area of Hull city centre.
“Hosting Hull UK City of Culture 2017 is a phenomenal accolade for Hull and it is only right that local businesses and their partners support them in making the most of the year,” said Paul.
“This is a major investment for a company like ours, but it’s also a major national and international event. No one wants to look back in 2020 feeling they could have made more of it. We have to grasp these opportunities now.”
Sewell also completed The University of Hull’s £30m new student residences, which created six new accommodation blocks, housing 560 students, on the university’s Cottingham Road campus.
Paul said: “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to carry out such a significant and prestigious project for our own university, in our home city.”