Division is firm’s biggest with income of £1bn

Wates has appointed company veteran Steff Battle as the full-time head of its construction business.

He has been carrying out the job on an interim basis since Mark Tant left last autumn after four years at the firm. Tant has since set up his own consultancy business at the start of the year.

Battle joined Wates in 1995 and spent five years as a regional director and also headed up the pre-construction arm at the business.

Steffan Battle

Steff Battle joined Wates nearly 30 years ago

Construction is Wates’ biggest division and employs around 1,300 people with an annual income of close to £1bn.

Battle said: “I will nurture an environment that enables people to thrive, a place where their voices are heard, respected and valued. I am an advocate of working with delivery partners and stakeholders to create the optimum balance between quality, cost and programme.”

The construction division has been undergoing a rejig in the past year with Wates setting up a major projects business last spring with a remit to bid jobs of £150m or more.

The firm’s current jobs include British Land’s Canada Water redevelopment and its biggest ever project, a £450m gigafactory scheme in Sunderland which it began in 2022. It is one of several bidders for the first phase of work at a new car battery plant in Somerset for Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata.