Redwing Construction on the brink of winning its first contract after starting up the business in March

Key members of the management team behind collapsed contractor Benson have set up a construction firm in Crawley, West Sussex.

Alistair Sloan, Benson’s former chief executive, and former directors Steve Pope and Martin Brackpool, set up Redwing Construction in March. They have just secured their first contract, a project near Brighton that is understood to be worth up to £1m.

Sloan, who is company secretary of Redwing, said the company would be concentrating on contracts valued at up to £1m, following the model of Benson’s former Southampton office, which is now owned by Morgan Sindall.

He said: “Benson started the Southampton business six years ago and it reached a turnover of £29-30m. We are looking to create something not too dissimilar.”

Sloan added that the company would act as a main contractor, working on new-build, refurbishment and fit-out contracts.

Pope, who was operations director at Benson, is managing director, and Brackpool reprises his role as a sales director.

We are looking to create something not too dissimilar to Benson

Alistair Sloan

Sloan was Benson’s chairman until he was suspended last November, a few weeks before the group went into administration. He said his present role was similar to that of a chairman, and that he planned to go part-time as the firm picks up more contracts.

The directors have just employed their first member of staff, a contracts manager.

Benson collapsed earlier this year, owing creditors £23m. Sloan described the closing of the business as “absolutely, totally and utterly unnecessary”. He blamed the collapse on a bank’s refusal to extend an overdraft facility during a period of poor trading.

  • US specialist contractor Emcor is drawing up a strategic review that will decide the group’s direction for the next five years.
Frank T MacInnis, Emcor’s chief executive and chairman, said this was a “crossroads” for the group. Emcor is likely to focus on blue-chip clients outsourcing the maintenance and installation of assets.

MacInnis also warned that the future of its UK subsidiary, Drake & Scull, was not yet secure, even though it was back in the black. However, he praised the management team’s “change of attitude”, suggesting it was likely to remain part of the Emcor empire.