About

As part of One Group Construction, one of Suffolk’s largest privately owned companies; we’re renowned for our exceptional customer service, highly skilled team and all round professionalism across every single project.

Now trading for over 30 years, we continue to go from strength to strength. We have a wide and varied client base, which means we can specialise in any industry and any type of project – whether it’s working to constrained budgets, tight delivery deadlines or creating a completely bespoke design and build template.

Well-versed in all forms of procurement, we can be engaged from initial conception, through funding, design, construction and maintenance, post completion.

Our aim is to always undertake every job and project properly and professionally. Our founder, Graham Emmerson, said: “If you do a job properly, the rest will follow” and this is what we’ve always based our business philosophy on and will continue to do so for our next 30 years and beyond.

History

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  • 1982

    1982

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    1982

    Initially founded in the late 1930’s as part of a small family firm based on the Suffolk Coast, we are now celebrating our 30th year. In 1982, the original Walter French Builders were taken over by the SEH Group.

  • 1993

    1993

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    1993

    We became part of the SEH Group by name in 1993 with the change reflecting the construction and sustainability aspects of the business.

  • 1994

    1994

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    1994

    A year later, SEH French celebrated our first £1 million turnover. This was achieved by the establishment of close working relationships with local authorities such as Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council – partnerships that continue to this day.

  • 1997

    1997

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    1997

    In the ensuing ten years, our company grew in stature and turnover, whilst always maintaining the friendly and personal touch that Walter French Builders prided themselves on.

  • 2008

    2008

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    2008

    2008 saw the SEH French turnover exceed £12 million mark, whilst the SEH Group overall turnover increased to £140 million.

  • 2011

    2011

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    2011

    We achieved our first ‘excellent’ rating for environmental efficiency (only the fourth building in the East of England to have achieved this!) for our Longstanton Passenger Transport Building in Cambridge. We were also invited to join Suffolk’s “Green 100” for our sustainability work.

  • 2014

    2014

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    2014

    SEH is acquired by a new company – One Group Construction - led by Richard Neall, who is already group chief executive of SEH. The company remains in private hands.

The Team

We have always understood that successful communication is absolutely imperative to a successful delivery of a project. Our team engage in constant dialogue with both the client and the on-site team (including a hands-on directorial approach), and the results of hundreds of positive constructions speak for themselves.

With over 100 years of combined experience in the construction industry, all of our SEH French team – from the apprentice to the directors – pride themselves on the quality of their work. We always strive to go the extra mile for clients and our steady line of communication means that if any problems do arise, they are quickly dealt with.

Because we’ve been in operation for 30 years now, our team all have extremely well established relationships with suppliers and partners – to ensure that every project is delivered is of the highest quality.

 

Paul Rodwell

Director

Paul started out in the construction industry in the 1970s and, since then, has worked on numerous construction projects throughout East Anglia. He joined the SEH French team in 2012, before being promoted to Construction Director in 2014. His knowledge and passion for the industry means he leads the SEH project teams from conception to delivery with a focus on producing a quality product.

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Simon Girling

Director

Simon started life in the industry in 1989 with the SEH Group and then moved onto a national organisation, before returning to head up SEH French in 2000. Simon's focus has always been ensuring that the SEH standards of high quality, customer focus and delivery are always met. Looking ahead to 2014 and beyond, Simon’s motivation is to ensure that the company and our team continue to positively grow and improve.

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Matthew Welham

Managing Surveyor

Matthew is a qualified Quantity Surveyor with over 20 years of experience. He delivers a comprehensive and detailed approach in planning, procurement and delivery of construction projects from inception through to completion. Matthew joined SEH French in 2014 after working for regional and national companies managing high value, technical and prestigious projects within educational, healthcare and residential buildings. Matthew’s depth of knowledge allows him to work closely with clients, technical staff and our supply-chain and to manage contractor design elements within the complete project delivery.

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Simon Hubert

Contracts Manager

Having previously worked with a locally based contractor, Simon joined SEH French in 2009 with both practical and technical experience of the industry. A qualified Quantity Surveyor, Simon spent a number of years in the estimating and surveying department, before combining his technical and practical knowledge by becoming Contract Manager in 2014. Simon is the valuable point of contact for clients and the site delivery teams, ensuring SEH French delivers a successful, safe, cost effective and high quality end product.

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Neil Pryke

Contracts Manager

Neil started in the industry in the mid-1980s as a carpenter with a large regional contractor, before developing into a Site Manager. During this time, he worked on several multimillion pound projects, before moving to SEH French in 2007. Neil’s meticulous approach to planning and detail ensured he successfully delivered a number of projects before being promoted to Contracts Manager in 2015, using the same skills to manage the successful delivery of numerous projects.

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