Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Howard Russell Expansion Set to Continue This Year

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Howard Russell Expansion Set to Continue This Year

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ron Taylor

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know - not bad thinking when you're contemplating starting a business together.

And maybe Joe Prouse thought that when he suggested to his friend David Varty the idea of starting their own firm.

It was 1997 and, after all, they had worked together in construction with Balfour Beatty and Tolent for the best part of 30 years. So what better - or closer - relationship could there be to begin setting up shop?

They certainly knew the game - for a start Varty had been John Wood's first engineer at Tolent when the Team Valley chairman's AIM company was quite small beer.

Six years later Howard Russell Construction, as the fledgling company was to be called, turns over pounds 4m and is on track for 50pc more business to March 2005.

"Yes, we're looking to expand, but only by structured, steady growth," said managing director David Varty.

"Ian Goss soon joined us as commercial director and we're pleased, too, to have on board graduate Colin Goodall and recent recruit, university-in-training Craig Muldoon."

Operations director Joe Prouse has his hands full this month. Thankfully, along with other jobs, Howard Russell's pounds 500,000 design and rejuvenation of Springfield Motors' Peugeot dealership at Lobley Hill Road, Gateshead, was satisfactorily handed over on Christmas Eve, for much is to follow.

London investment and property company Reit Asset Management has the Morpeth-based contractor in contract for the immediate pounds 400,000 renovation of retail areas within its Cleveland Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough - a 12-week scheme negotiated following Howard Russell's successful completion of a 2002 alteration to the centre.

South-East consultant architect Colman Partnership links with MDA's London office and Leeds engineer Waterman BBT as Reit's professionals. …

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