Division hit by government decision to pull plug on Green Deal and zero-carbon homes last year
Four Willmott Dixon directors are leaving the company as a result of its restructure, Building can reveal.
The directors, all from its energy services division, have left or are set to leave the contractor after the division was brought into its support services business, which has been split off and rebranded as Fortem.
When contacted by Building, a Willmott Dixon spokesperson confirmed that energy services technical director David Adams, commercial director Ben Ward, operations director Jason Wellard and preconstruction director Paul Roberts will all be leaving the company, in addition to managing director Rob Lambe.
Building has learned that Adams, another well-known figure in sustainability circles alongside Lambe, has already left Willmott Dixon, while the rest are all expected to leave soon.
It is understood that Lambe is leaving Willmott Dixon to set up his own business.
However the division’s framework director Mark Pheasey is expected to stay at Willmott Dixon and move into another role at the firm.
A source close to the contractor told Building it had been looking for a buyer for its energy services division but could not find one due to a lack of policy support from government.
Willmott Dixon was heavily involved in Green Deal work and zero-carbon homes before the policies were axed in July last year.
The firm had a strong Green Deal presence in the north of England, working on schemes with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, Leeds Federated Housing Association and Golden Gates Housing Trust.
The source added he believed Willmott Dixon’s decision to transfer Energy Services to Fortem was putting “profit before sustainability”. He added: “It’s a shame as Willmott Dixon were a leading light in this agenda. It’s sad this is going from the built environment. It’s a difficult decision to make but big businesses have to survive as well.”
In response, the spokesperson refuted the suggestion that Willmott Dixon was putting profit before sustainability. He said: “[The restructure] creates a stronger platform for energy services’ future as it can branch out into new sectors under one larger team with huge critical mass.”
The spokesperson also insisted Willmott Dixon is still “actively chasing” new work in the energy services sector and that the market is “relatively buoyant”.
The spokesperson added: “[The restructure] creates a stronger platform for energy services’ future as it can branch out into new sectors under one larger team with huge critical mass.”
Building understands the energy services division’s operational staff of around 100 people will all be moved to support services.
The spokesperson confirmed there will be around 10 departures as a result of the restructure, the majority of which will be at director and management level.
The spokesperson added: “We have a good pipeline of work with cities like Hull, Bristol, Oxford, plus in North Wales.”