Contractor Wates is planning to expand its services to include cost planning, facilities management and maintenance.
The group said the move was to complement the growth of its social housing and public sector work. Finance director Jonathan Houlton said social housing clients wanted maintenance as well as new-build and refurbishment services.

Houlton said the group would be recruiting new people but did not rule out acquisitions. He added that he expected the firm's public sector arm to make up 40% of the group's turnover in the next couple of years.

Pre-tax profit for Wates Construction, the group minus its private housing division, doubled to £10.5m for the year to 31 December 2001; turnover for the period was up £26m to £426m.