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Townmore: A Contractor on the Rise

Originally published in Civil & Construction magazine


Townmore is one of Ireland’s fastest growing construction companies. The dynamic, multidisciplinary team behind this industry brand works as main contractor, design and build, and specialist contractor (including cleanroom construction) across the residential, commercial, hospitality, healthcare and education sectors. Headquartered in Tullamore, County Offaly, the company recently built and opened a new regional office in Santry, North Dublin. This follows the opening of offices in Cork and London in recent years. With the help of its dynamic team and diverse clients, Townmore has the capacity to deliver projects ranging from €500,000 to €50 million and has grown from a small enterprise over a decade ago, to having a group turnover of €74 million in 2019, with a staff of more than 100 direct employees.

Over the past decade, Townmore has earned a strong reputation in the industry as an emerging leader, delivering quality projects in a safe, efficient and ethical manner. The rapid growth and expansion has been attributed to the team’s relationship-driven approach, which is evidenced by the number of repeat clients on the building company’s books. 


“We do not consider these to be ‘repeat clients’, rather, they are project delivery partners who we work with on an almost ongoing basis, supporting their objectives on a series of different projects. By adopting such a partnership and relationship-driven approach to add value, Townmore grows alongside them and this is the most sustainable and preferred model of growth for us” explains Associate Director Mark Cronin.


Construction has always been a client-centric service. While it is arguably one of the most multifaceted and complex of services, this does not diminish in any way the importance of the client/contractor relationship; if anything, it reinforces it. Trust is key and this is a two-way process, established through relationship building, professionalism and consistent, reliable, excellent quality delivery.  The Irish marketplace is a relatively small one and building, maintaining and honouring reputations is the only route to longevity. One of the key features of this kind of marketplace is developing new business through referrals. Townmore has benefitted from referrals and emphasises just how important these can be for organisations of all sizes. 


As Associate Director Mark Cronin puts it “Many of our current projects came to us as a result of ongoing relationships or they have been referred to us by previous clients and/or industry peers. This is generally a good indication that we will work well together. One of the most important factors for our team at Townmore to consider when  taking on a new project is  ‘Will this client or project benefit from our work?’. Once we are satisfied that we can add value, our team will work closely with the project owner in order to facilitate open collaboration. We want clients to come away knowing that they have gotten outstanding service”. 


Another factor contributing to the successful expansion of Townmore is the team, many of whom have been working together since the early days of the business. In the mid 2010’s, Townmore made significant strides in terms of building a passionate and hardworking team. Through this, the company was in a position to develop speciality competencies across its core divisions, including the delivery of controlled environments, which takes in cleanroom construction and a host of other medtech and biotech facilities. In early 2019, Townmore appointed industry stalwart James Godley as managing director. This heralded the start of a new era for Townmore as Godley officially launched the construction firm’s rebrand to a large gathering of industry professionals. Godley’s move to Townmore, following three decades in senior management roles for tier 1 contractors on large scale projects (€100m+) was a strong signal of Townmore’s ambition for the company. This ambition, it would appear, was well-founded as by late 2019, Townmore was making industry headlines after securing contracts for construction projects across Dublin, Cork and London worth an estimated €130 million. This pipeline put the company on track to generate 90 new jobs across Ireland, many of which have already been filled. At the time of publication, the building contractor is on a recruitment drive in the eastern region to meet the demands of current and upcoming projects for 2021.   


Speaking about the team, Managing Director James Godley remarked “Townmore is about the people who run our sites and administer the works we do. Our team is the largest and most important asset we have and there is a vibrancy and dynamism powering the Townmore team that is unrivalled. Great clients and challenging projects play a part in this but there’s something more, a shared hunger and ambition to drive Townmore into the top tier of Ireland’s main contractors, and everyday excellence is the only way we know to achieve this”.   


Obviously, with such growth comes opportunity. Over the past decade, Townmore has attracted some of the top talent in the industry, justifying the company’s reputation for being a great place to work. The business invests heavily in its people through selected training initiatives to upskill and an in-house graduate programme, which is seen as essential for the future of the company and to combat the current skills shortage. It is also an effective way to harness and share the extensive expertise available within the company.

Characteristically, as a company born out of recession, lean is part of the DNA make up of the business, more specifically, lean processes and strict adherence to programme. This ethos was maintained through the rapid growth stages and now provides a solid platform to enable growth at scale for the future. Technology has been a great enabler and Townmore has leveraged this from the inception of the business. The use of PROCORE became mandatory on all Townmore projects from Q3 2019. This required heavy investment in hardware, software and training for all staff and subcontractors on site.

Townmore embraces offsite construction and other modern methods of construction, as evidenced in the recent construction of the seven-storey Windsor Hotel in Cork through precast, with the superstructure erected within eight weeks. Also, the contractor recently incorporated bathroom pods on a large residential project at Carr’s Lane, North Dublin, driving a lean approach in the use of offsite construction.