Construction Project of the Year - Chamber Awards 2018 - Entries Closing Soon!


Enter the Kent Invicta Chamber Awards now for Construction Project of the Year category for your chance to join us as finalists at  The Gala Awards Dinner, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge on Thursday 22nd March 2018.

Entering these awards offers…

– The chance to show your clients, customers and competitors how successful you are
– Raising your business profile
– Invaluable promotion opportunities
– Powerful PR and marketing tool
– Boosting staff morale
– An engraved glass trophy and framed certificate
– Winner / Finalist logo for marketing material post event

Closing dates for entries is 26th January 2018. Visit this page to download your application form.

If you have any further questions, please call 01233 503838 or email

Protocol to improve planning performance unveiled


In response to the need to deliver growth by building more homes and business space across Kent and Medway, a planning protocol has been agreed by all the key organisations involved in the area’s planning and development process. 

The planning protocol sets out a shared approach to development by developers, planners and local authorities, and has been developed and agreed by all of the District Councils in Kent, as well as Medway Council, Kent County Council, Kent Developers Group, Kent Housing Group and Kent Planning Officers Group, supported by Locate in Kent. 

The Planning Protocol has been welcomed by Gavin Barwell, Housing and Planning Minister, who said: ‘Planning reform is essential to delivering the new homes this country needs in places people want to live.

"It is fantastic to see local planning bodies working together in such an innovative way to improve and strengthen the planning process.”

The planning process is often hugely complex and lengthy. The planning protocol seeks to make the process more efficient by enabling greater collaboration in the pre-application and planning application stages of the process through better communication and consistency.

Nick Fenton, Chairman of Kent Developers Group, said: "Although not a binding document in planning terms, the Protocol sets out a shared and public commitment to working together to deliver high-quality and sustainable development for Kent which we have now all signed up to.” 

It has been estimated by Kent County Council, and Medway Council, that the area’s population will rise by more than 413,900 people over the next 20 years, which will require the construction of 188,200 new homes.

Eileen Martin, Chair of Kent Housing Group, said: "A tremendous amount of work has gone into bringing the protocol to this stage. It clearly demonstrates our commitment to collaborative joint working and clarifies what this means in practice.

"We anticipate considerable advantages and efficiencies in developing this approach further and will work with all parties concerned to maximise the benefits that will result.”

The protocol sets out the following series of commitments and guidelines:

-       We will ensure appropriate resources are made available to deliver an efficient, high quality planning service

-       We will promote training opportunities

-       We will communicate effectively

-       We will increase certainty and consistency

Simon Thomas from the Kent Planning Officers Group added: "The aim of the Planning Protocol is for all those involved in the delivery of new homes and jobs across Kent to work positively together to ensure that all new development is of high quality and serves the needs of the people of Kent”.

Announcing the winners of development awards


The winners of the 2016 Kent Design and Development Awards have been revealed, with The Wing at Capel-le-Ferne named Project of the Year.

Twenty-three developments were shortlisted for the eight categories, with the overall Project of the Year voted for from among the category winners on the night.

Taking home the top prize, The Wing at Capel-le-Ferne was designed by Godden Allen Lawn in Folkestone. Owned by the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, key consultants included Woodley Coles of Sandwich and Crofton-M&E/structural engineers of Hadlow.

The Wing also won the Commercial, Industrial and Retail category, sponsored by Clague Architects.

Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, said: "The quality of the built environment makes a difference to where we live and work and these awards are a great way to highlight just how good some of the new developments in Kent are. My congratulations to all the finalists, particularly The Wing for being selected as Project of the Year.”

Sponsored by Kent County Council, DHA Planning and PR and marketing agency Maxim, the awards showcase the many excellent construction projects taking place across the county and held every two years.

In the new category of Conservation, sponsored by the Rochester Bridge Trust, the work of Baynes and Mitchell Architects saw Command of the Oceans at Chatham Historic Dockyard victorious.

North Vat, a house near Dungeness, took the top prize in the Environmental Performance category, sponsored by Scape Procure. The property was designed by Rodic Davidson Architects, the main contractor was EcoLibrium Solutions of Folkestone.

In the Infrastructure and Renewables category sponsored by CTP Consulting Engineers, the cut and cover tunnel at Hermitage Quarry, Barming, by Gallagher Ltd of Aylesford won. A key consultant on this project was Kirk Saunders of Orpington.

Public Buildings, sponsored by Kent Construction Focus Group, was split into two categories. The Yarrow in Broadstairs won the Education title, while Fairfield in Dartford took Community. Owned by East Kent College, The Yarrow was a regeneration project designed by Tonbridge’s Richard Hopkinson Architects. Fairfield, owned by Dartford Borough Council, was designed by AFLS+P Architects.

Also split in two was Residential. Sponsored by bdb design, the Minor site category was won by Nautical Mews in Margate, while there were two winners from among the Major sites: Farrow Court in Ashford and Wallis Fields in Maidstone.

Nautical Mews is Kent County Council-owned and was designed by Clague LLP. Key consultants included SC Green Ltd of Dover and Jenner (Contractors) Ltd of Folkestone. For the Major winners, Farrow Court was designed by PRP, with Pellings LLP of Bromley acting as key consultants. The Golding Homes-owned Wallis Fields was designed by PCKO Architects, with Orpington’s CalfordSeadon LLP acting as key consultant.

Alex Hicken of DHA Planning, sponsors of the Project of the Year award, commented: "The Wing is a stand-out development among a shortlist of excellent projects. All of the finalists have demonstrated a high standard of design and quality in their work and it has been a pleasure to find out more about them.”

Each of the category winners were presented with a unique glass trophy sculpted by Annie Ross and mounted on a base of Kentish Ragstone from nearby Hermitage Quarry, provided by Gallagher Group. These trophies were sponsored by Quinn Estates.

Andrew Metcalf of Maxim, who was master of ceremonies for the evening, said: "Some very interesting projects have been highlighted by this year’s awards and all the finalists should be proud of the contribution they have made to the Kent landscape.”

Further sponsorship of the Kent Design and Development Awards was provided by Penenden Heath Developments.

Visit for more information on the award winners.

Apprenticeship levy & RoATP with links to all the latest information from the SFA


Apprenticeship funding how it will work:  In spring 2017 the way the government funds apprenticeships in England is changing. Some employers will be required to contribute to a new apprenticeship levy, and there will be changes to the funding for apprenticeship training for all employers.

We are introducing the apprenticeship levy on 6 April 2017. The levy requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships. This guidance provides information on how the apprenticeship levy will work.

It also explains the principles that apprenticeship funding will operate on from 1 May 2017, whether you pay the levy or not. full article here

Documents published this morning:

> Apprenticeship funding in England from May 2017

> Supporting quality and employer choice through a new register of apprenticeship training providers

>Apprenticeship funding: how it will work

> Equality analysis: apprenticeship funding policy from May 2017

> Costs and behaviours in the 16 to 18 apprenticeship system: a report by Frontier Economics and CFE Research

> The apprenticeship levy: how will employers respond?

> Apprenticeship funding: rules and guidance for levy-paying employers

> Apprenticeship funding: draft rules for employer-providers

> Apprenticeship funding: draft rules for training providers

> Draft apprenticeship performance management rules 2017 to 2018

Sub Contract Opportunities


Rap Interiors have been awarded the Construction block extension at  Folkestone for East Kent college and would like to invite sub contractors and suppliers from KCFG to express an interest for the following  works: 
Mechanical and Electrical 
Fire Alarms

This project will be built to Breeam and works commence November 2016 , duration 40 weeks. 

The Following consultants have been appointed:
Structural Design
M & E designers
Ground works, steel and build 

Rap Interiors is a Kent based contractor passionate about collaboration in Kent and active within the Kent Construction Focus Group. We are passionate about creating opportunities for young people and students from the college will be working with us a work experience. The project has created two immediate job vacancies which have been filled 
All interested contractors should e mail 
Tel 0333 600 1234  

Katy Murray: Young Achiever of the Year


Katy Murray wins Achiever of the Year in the 2016 Constructing Excellence in London & South East Awards.

This coveted award was presented on the 30th June at the annual awards dinner at Lancaster London. Over 560 construction industry professionals attended the awards ceremony which has quadrupled in size since the team took over in 2011.

"There’s no doubt, said Tim Whitehill from sponsors Project Five, "that Katy will be an effective champion for architect-led design and build.  In the role of designer and site manager, Katy showed impressive levels of collaborative working and demonstrated how the dual role complimented the project – delivering value to the client and other stakeholders.

Katy Murray joined the family design & build business, Directline Structures, and has already made an outstanding difference to the company. Although combining an intensive and onerous workload, with final studies and exams for RIBA qualification has been a challenge, she has come through it with well-deserved praise from all parties.

While her contemporary Part 3 architects may be handling small parts of large projects, she has been at the forefront of projects, involved from tender design, client discussion, planning and, to top it all, she took on the role of site manager to complete the experience.

Her ability to apply her knowledge of construction to her design work, and vice versa, sets her apart from other architects and contractors. She has become fundamental to delivery of all projects – her architectural vision, talent and presentation skills have brought a new dimension to the company’s ability to win work.

Katy’s input is pushing Directline Structures forward to a new era of BIM and modern processes. This fits well with the company’s ethos of collaboration, fairness, value and sustainability. Directline have always used an integrated team of designers and managers, but Katy’s architectural input provides a new level of style and attention to aesthetics.

The Constructing Excellence awards exemplify both best practice and innovative thinking within the industry” says Roland Lloyd, Senior Construction Manager of Headline sponsors, Westfield .  I believe that such a forum provides real benefits for both Westfield projects and the wider construction industry.”

The Constructing Excellence Awards are unique in their recognition of some of the best teams and organisations in the region and we aim to inspire others to learn and benefit from their stories which are published in the Awards Brochure.  "The key actions they took, results achieved and lessons learned make an interesting read” says Derek Rees, Regional Director for Constructing Excellence.  Click here to download the full brochure.

KCFG are delighted to have chosen to support the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust as their charity for 2016/17


As elected through a majority member vote at the beginning of the year, KCFG are delighted to have chosen to support the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust as their charity for 2016/17.

With their HQ based in Marden, Kent, the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) provided by the charity relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and thus the ongoing support and generosity of the public.  Operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and with each attended incident costing approximately £2,500, the charity needs to raise at least £6.5million every year to remain in operation.  Without the rapid response by flight taking A&E services direct to the patients, survival rates would undoubtedly decrease.

Head of Corporate Relations Julie Clare met with Chair of the KCFG Committee Ella Brocklebank and commented; "We are delighted to have been selected as your new chosen charity, and very excited at the prospect of our new charity partnership.”

Introducing Ella to the medical crew and showing her inside the helicopter, Ella commented;
"It’s a privilege to see the helicopter up close with all the specialist kit on-board and it really brings it home that each and every one of us could benefit from these services at any time which makes this a charity that really deserves the support we can offer.”

Acting on behalf of all the KCFG members, Ella added;
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to build a good relationship with the charity going forward. It’s exciting to be able to work with such a ground-breaking, dynamic charity that does exceptional life-saving work across the county and beyond.”

The aim of KCFG’s charitable giving is to offer something back to the local communities that we serve.  The intention extends far wider than simply offering monetary donations; more importantly as a way of raising wider awareness of the charity’s work through exposure to the 150+ KCFG member companies we have and by offering time, support and engagement.

There are many ways KCFG members and their companies can support the charity.  Please visit for more information and to find out ways to get involved and donate.  You can stay up to date by following them on Facebook and Twitter

Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge marks the start of ‘15 Charitable Days’ as Woodley Coles celebrates 15th Year in business


Woodley Coles, Construction Cost Managers, were delighted to be sponsors of the Pilgrims Hospices Annual Cycle Challenge on Sunday 1st May 2016.  This is a significant year for the Kent, Cambridge and London based business as it celebrates 15 years of success.

As well as sponsoring the event, a team from Woodley Coles took part, tackling the 48 mile route between the Canterbury and Margate Hospices.  Partner Dan Deed, Associate Andrew Diplock and Business Development Manager Ella Brocklebank chose to cycle this route as it passed their Kent offices at Discovery Park and Apprentice Holly-Mae was volunteering at the Margate Hospice.

Andrew Diplock, recently promoted as an Associate at Woodley Coles commented "none of us are regular cyclists so it certainly was a challenge, but it was a great day that we all thoroughly enjoyed.  It’s amazing to see the vast mix of people, of all abilities, who saddle up in aid of this deserving local charity.”

The cycle challenge is a truly great day, full of atmosphere and as Pilgrims Hospices biggest sporting fundraiser Woodley Coles were proud to be part of this.  The monetary contributions received from local businesses is critical to the ongoing success of events such as this and ensures as much money as possible is raised to continue to provide exceptional care and support for terminally ill patients across East Kent.  The weather on the day was superb; the Kent countryside was glorious in the sunshine and a very warm welcome was received at each hospice by teams of staff and volunteers.

As ongoing supporters of Pilgrims Hospices, Woodley Coles wanted to go the extra mile in supporting this event and took it upon themselves to rally local businesses to support the event in an unconventional way: with contributions of jaffa cakes.  As a popular choice of snack for sporting participants to quickly refuel, Woodley Coles aimed to collect as many as possible to feed the 1000+ cyclists and save the charity from buying supplies themselves.   As one of 125 tenants at Discovery Park they called upon the kindness of fellow tenants to bring a box and additional donations also came from local construction groups the Kent Construction Focus Group and the Constructing Excellence Kent Branch as well as a generous donation from the Sainsburys store at Westwood Cross, Thanet.  In total over 3200 jaffa cakes were collected and distributed to all three hospices.  Woodley Coles’ Apprentice Holly-Mae who led the campaign said "we were overwhelmed with the generosity of others as each day more and more jaffa cakes would arrive in our office. It created quite a buzz on social media and at Discovery Park and we are very grateful to everyone who donated”.

Sponsorship and participation in the Cycle Challenge event saw the first of Woodley Coles’ pledged ‘15 charitable days’ kick off in celebration of their 15th Anniversary.  This year they will be supporting three local charities; Pilgrims Hospices, Catching Lives and Kent Multiple Sclerosis Centre by donating 15 days of their time to the three charities.

This voluntary work will include supermarket collections, participation in sporting events and ad hoc tasks that will benefit each charity such as gardening and painting facilities all as well as raising funds along the way.
You can find out more at and by following the campaign #15charitable days on Twitter @WoodleyColesLLP

Victory for ‘The Wing’ at the South East LABC Awards


The building, appropriately named ‘The Wing’ due to it striking resemblance to a Spitfire plane has been recognised and rewarded in the ‘Small Commercial Buildings’ category at the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards 2015.

The team responsible for delivering the project celebrated their success at the event held in Brighton on Friday evening (19th June) after many years of hard work to ensure the dreams of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust became a reality so that those who fought for their Country continue to be remembered.

The Trust commissioned the team to deliver a new Visitor’s and Education Centre to compliment the existing memorial site at Capel-Le-Ferne near Folkestone.  The remarkable design by Godden Allen Lawn takes inspiration from the Mark 1 Spitfire plane and effortlessly creates an iconic landmark overlooking the English Channel where the Battle of Britain took place.

Formed solely of local consultants led by Godden Allen Lawn, the team included Crofton Design as Engineers and Woodley Coles as Cost Managers working closely with longstanding Ashford based contractor Epps Construction to deliver the project.  The purpose of the awards is to celebrate all that’s good in the construction industry assessing vital elements that create excellent buildings such as technical innovation, sustainability and high performance.
The centre boasts a state of the art exhibition showcasing predominantly audio visual information about the battle, a first floor viewing platform and café facilities to enhance the visitor experience.  Completed in Spring 2015 the centre was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in March. 

Project Manager and Designer Nick Lawn commented...

"It has been a pleasure to work on this project and the whole team is delighted with finished building.  We feel we have achieved our original aim, namely to produce a simple, elegant and striking building which would stand proudly on the site, but discreetly so, without detriment to the natural beauty of the site or the poignancy and dignity of the memorial.  

We hope that The Wing will appeal to and engage future generations of young people and thus help the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust in their ultimate objective of ensuring that they, and all of us, remember the bravery and sacrifices made by ‘The Few’ and the significance of the Battle of Britain”

Pilgrims Hospice Cycle Challenge on Sunday 3rd May


KCFG are once again proudly supporting the Pilgrims Hospice Cycle Challenge on Sunday 3rd May.

There are a number of options available to cyclists with distance of 45, 75 and 100 miles between the three Hospices at Canterbury, Ashford & Margate.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable day and an event that is suitable for all – you don’t have to be super speedy to take part, just willing to give it a go!!  Refreshments are provided at each stop and a warm welcome is promised.

Entry is £25 in advance and every penny of this goes directly to the charity to allow them to continue the amazing work they do for the terminally ill.  As example; £25 provides an hour of nursing care for a patient.

We would like to get a KCFG team together to cycle on the day led by Team Captain Jason Lewis of DHA Planning.  The pace and distance is set by each individual and you can choose the most convenient start location for you. The team can cycle together or in smaller groups so please don’t be put off thinking you will slow others down or must keep up…its supposed to be fun!

KCFG will provide each rider with their own KCFG branded cycle top and the Justgiving page link for easy fundraising and Jason will be arranging a number of practice cycles in coming weeks once the weather improves (again these are optional).  We will be looking to get some good local publicity as well of lots of Tweets. It will be great for morale across the group as well as publicity for your business and a boost to your fitness.

If you would like to take part all you need to do is register via the above link and then let Jason know via that you are participating in our team so we can add you to future communications.  All members of KCFG businesses are welcome as well as any other local construction businesses, spouses, the more the merrier.

If cycling isn’t really your thing there are many other ways you can get involved...

1) Sponsor the team to take part
2) Take up a Corporate Sponsorship package for your business to get your logo proudly displayed on all cyclists tops, the fundraising page and mentioned in all publicity, Tweets etc which is great exposure for your business within the KCFG and wider business community.  Prices start from £100. Contact for more details
3) Bring a box of Jaffa Cakes to the March and/or April breakfast meetings to donate to feed hungry cyclists on the day. Lets gather as many boxes as we can for a record year
4) Volunteer to assist with registration, refreshments etc on the day

All the details you need are on the website and regular updates will be provided at breakfast meetings, via the website/twitter and by email from Jason directly to those taking part.  

Come on KCFG... lets get cycling and raising money.