Canary Wharf Contractors is set to compete for work across the UK and in European construction markets
This marks a turnaround for the contractor that spearheaded the multimillion-pound redevelopment of London Docklands.

Last year John Pagano, managing director of CWC, began to scale back the operation and made about 100 redundancies as projects in Canary Wharf's Docklands estate came to an end.

However, CWC now plans to build on the reputation of its contracting success in east London. An insider said that the group had made a strategic decision to work across the whole of the UK and eventually Europe.

He said that CWC was giving pre-construction advice on contracts to clients in an attempt to build up a presence.

It is clear that there is a capacity issue in the UK with so much construction work

Canary Wharf Contractors source

He said: "This is the beginning of a big shift in the direction of the contracting division. It marks a turnaround. It's no secret that the contracting division had been wound down but over the course of the next few years the intention is to build it up again."

The insider added that because of European enlargement on 1 May, the group had spotted an opportunity to compete on the Continent.

He said: "It is clear that there is a capacity issue in the UK with so much construction work being carried out. Now is the time for Canary Wharf, which has a big profile for delivering major projects, to move to fill the gap in the market."

A Canary Wharf spokesperson said: "I can confirm that Canary Wharf is looking at other opportunities outside of the Docklands area."

She said that Canary Wharf Contractors had amassed experience from its work in Docklands and had a good reputation. She said the firm was keen to exploit this and had a nucleus of good people to take the company forward.

The Canary Wharf Group has teamed up with the Manhattan Loft Corporation for the £2bn redevelopment of Wood Wharf, an 8 ha site in Docklands, for British Waterways.