Swindon’s Beard unveils ambitious south-coast growth plan

By Anita Jaynes on 27 June, 2023

Beard Construction has unveiled an ambitious plan to extend its market footprint and open an office on the south coast.

The family-owned company already has bases in Bristol, Guildford and Oxford, with its head office in Swindon. The location of the new office is now being finalised and will open in the first quarter of 2024.

Guildford Director Pat Hughes will run the new south-coast base. He will be replaced in Guildford by new director Tom Jenkinson, who has joined Beard after 20 years at Willmott Dixon, most recently as a director leading the firm’s Central South regional construction office. 

Beard recently won a place on the South West section of the £8.2bn Southern Construction Framework, which relates to construction for all public and third sector organisations in the region. The new office will give Beard a base in the region from which to tender for framework contracts.

The company has already carried out some projects in Hampshire and East Sussex, where it has an established network of construction partners and peers.

In advance of the handover, Tom will work closely with Pat and Beard director Mike Hedges, who will oversee Tom’s transition to Guildford director and the launch of the new office.

Mike Hedges said, “This plan has been some 18 months in the making and is a significant decision for the company.

“The fact that Beard has been in existence for 130 years and has opened just three offices gives some indication of the financial prudence which drives our decision-making. That we are expanding when much of our sector is facing challenges also demonstrates the strength of our financial stability and confidence in the future.”

Tom Jenkinson joined Willmott Dixon as a trainee quantity surveyor in 2002 while studying at Guildford College and London South Bank University. He progressed through several commercial roles before becoming a director and part of the leadership team of Willmott Dixon’s Central South construction office.

Tom is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building. He is a passionate about creating construction environments where team members can learn, develop and continually deliver exceptional service while they build brilliant buildings. He is particularly committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

He said, “Beard’s building ambition and forward-thinking approach to construction sets it apart in the sector. I am proud to join such a successful and well-respected team, especially at a time when it is expanding.”

Pictured above: New Beard Director, Tom Jenkinson.