It sounds like Mission Impossible: roll out 150 driving test centres in locations from Stornoway to Penzance in 16 weeks.



Oh, and while you’re at it, provide progress reports detailed enough to satisfy a customer that will not be visiting the sites. Luckily for client Pearson, IDM did not self-destruct. Instead, it set up a web-based system that allowed every member of the team to share information. Even at the £19m project’s peak, when IDM was working on 85 sites simultaneously, it was in complete control. Of course, this isn’t the kind of job you can pull off with a back-of-envelope contract. Pearson and IDM have signed a three-year framework, and extended it to include key trade contractors and suppliers. Very slick.

One of IDM’s high quality, fast track fit-outs

One of IDM’s high quality, fast track fit-outs


Astrayan Painting Services

There’s no job too small for Astrayan but it’s the larger commissions for the likes of Tesco, Lloyds TSB and Nissan that have allowed it to spread its wings and push turnover up 53% to £610,000. Six years after starting out, it offers hygiene coatings, spray-painting and steelwork painting as well as the common-or-garden painting and wallpaper-hanging. And whether you hire it to paint your hallway or your corporate headquarters, you’ll get highly trained workers and a robust safety policy.

Beck Interiors

Revamping the Royal College of Surgeons’ Hunterian Museum wasn’t a job for the faint-hearted. Beck joined a team of museum specialists who spent £3.2m and five years transforming the stifling hall filled with wooden cabinets. Today it is an interactive pleasuredome, complete with anatomical models, video keyhole surgery and a 6 m high “crystal gallery” of glass cases, lit with fibre optics, showcasing 3000 surgical exhibits from the museum’s original collection. Beck co-ordinated all the trades from demolition to French polishing and data cabling, breathing new life into the 40 year old museum.


The Scottish parliament has plenty of critics, but none of them could carp at the job done by fit-out and joinery specialist Mivan, which made and installed more than 6000 MDF panels and 600 solid timber doors as well as bespoke curved ceilings for the debating chamber and committee desks. The Northern Irish company spent two years on the project, moving 200 staff to Edinburgh to uphold its reputation for high-quality workmanship. Mivan is not shirking its environmental responsibilities either: its timber working group is currently drafting a procurement policy and researching sustainable sources and timber certification.