About Us | Our Legacy

Our Legacy
It has since expanded from operating mainly in the London commercial market, to become a specialist contractor that provides engineering, construction, demolition, decommissioning, remediation, rail and environmental services across the country.
The company is owned by Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Kerr, who joined the company in 1989, and became the sole shareholder in 2003.
Since then, Keltbray Group has grown from a £22 million demolition company into a £369 million leading specialist contractor. This success catapulted Keltbray into the Sunday Times Top Track 250 league table of Britain's leading private companies, where it was ranked 62nd overall in 2016 (up from 138th in 2015), on the back of the Group’s increasingly integrated service offering across its divisions, and by securing long-term, complex contracts.
These include flagship regeneration projects, such as Earls Court and Battersea Power Station in London. It also includes nuclear decommissioning at Trawsfynydd in Wales, a nationwide asbestos management framework for Royal Mail Group and several rail electrification framework contracts, which are expected to provide workloads until 2021.
The result is a successful and profitable company with a low turnover of staff, which has been less exposed to recent market vulnerability thanks to its proactive acquisition and diversification strategy over the past decade.
  • Keltbray was formed by friends Howard Burden and David Ewens in 1976. They were both working as surveyors in the construction industry and decided to form their own entity for smaller earth and groundwork jobs. The first office was in 158-160 Battersea Park Road.

  • Keltbray develops its civil engineering expertise and secured the first contract for demolition above ground level at British Rail’s Fenchurch Street Station for Trollope & Colls.

  • Keltbray relocates its head office to Hillbeck Close, Old Kent Road, East London.

  • At Broadgate, which set new, flexible construction standards and was inaugurated by Margaret Thatcher, Keltbray is appointed specialist contractor for Rosehaugh Stanhope and installs the largest hand dug undereamed piles in the world at that time.
    (Photograph courtesy of Mike Lidgley)

  • Keltbray’s demolition works for Bredero made way for Hammersmith Broadway Shopping Centre, and saw Keltbray undertake its first retained façade works at Bradmore House.

  • Brendan Kerr joins Keltbray as Project Manager from construction company, McGee.

  • Keltbray wins a contract at the UNESCO World Heritage site Tower of London to undertake structural works to facilitate a new display room for the Crown Jewels at Waterloo Barracks.

  • Keltbray is appointed demolition contractor for Hammerson at Brooks Wharf; working directly for a major client for the first time. This gave Keltbray entry to National Federation of Demolition Contractor membership and secured Keltbray its first ever gold award from the City of London’s Considerate Constructors Scheme.
    (Photograph courtesy of Wayne Robson)

  • Keltbray wins a major contract package to support the multi-million pound restoration of the Grade II listed Windsor Castle following the fire and is invited to a reception with the Queen to celebrate its completion.

  • Brendan Kerr is promoted to Operations Director with responsibility for Keltbray construction projects.

  • Keltbray wins the contract to undertake demolition and structural alterations for Schal and Arup as part of the Royal Opera House refurbishment which was made possible by the first ever lottery grant awarded by the Arts Council.

  • Keltbray demolishes Barclays Tower, which was Barclay’s UK head office, in 168 Fenchurch Street for Foggo Associates. At 93 metres, this was at the time the tallest building in the City. Keltbray won the City of London’s Considerate Constructors Scheme Chairman’s Cup for the first time for this project.

  • Keltbray wins the contract £4.8 mill contract to demolish The Old Baltic Exchange for Skanska and Swiss Re after it was destroyed by an IRA bomb, to make way for The Gherkin, which was the start of the City of London’s iconic towers.

  • Keltbray is engaged by Hammerson to carry out works on a 22-acre site in the south of Reading town centre to make way for the Oracle Shopping Centre; one of the top-ranked shopping centres in southern England.
    (Photograph courtesy of Berkshire Industrial Archaeology Group)

  • Keltbray establishes temporary works design consultancy Wentworth House Partnership.

  • Keltbray was appointed by MEPC to demolish 125 Colmore Row and Victoria Square House to facilitate the development of a new, 150,000 square foot head office and banking hall on the site for Lloyds TSB.

  • Brendan Kerr is promoted to Managing Director for Keltbray.

  • Keltbray wins its first multi-million pound industrial explosives decommissioning contract outside of London with demolition of the Merseyside Power Station, in Liverpool, for Unilever.

  • Keltbray moves its head office to Wandsworth House in Dormay Street in South West London.

  • Keltbray’s turnover hits £25 million.

  • Keltbray carries out asbestos removal and demolition at The Spirit Building for the Natural History Museum to make way for the Darwin Centre.

  • Keltbray secures the contract for enabling and demolition works at the Grade I listed St Pancras Station for the CORBER JV, which involved Costain, Bachy Soletanche and Emcor Rail, as part of Union Rail’s £9bn redevelopment to receive the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

  • Keltbray purchases its first tipper trucks to ensure in-house capability and establishes Keltbray Haulage.

  • Brendan Kerr becomes Chief Executive Officer and sole shareholder of Keltbray.

  • Keltbray demolishes The Radcliffe Infirmary to make way for the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter following acquisition of the site by The University of Oxford. All medical services were transferred to the purpose-built buildings at the John Radcliffe and Churchill Hospitals in Headington; this was the first of Keltbray’s many contracts for Oxford University Estates.

  • Keltbray secures its biggest contract to date (£11 mill) at Block W8 in Regent Street, to demolish 11 buildings behind 120 metres of six-storeys high retained and listed facades. This was the first of Keltbray’s many contracts for Crown Estate. It was also the first time Keltbray made use of three dimensional modelling to facilitate a complex temporary works system for façade retention.

  • Keltbray’s turnover hits £50 million.

  • Keltbray undertakes demolition at The Phillimores for Mace; suspending the retained façade both horizontally and vertically for the first time. This was the pinnacle in London’s prestigious residential market at the time.

  • Keith Elliott is appointed Non-Executive Director.

  • Keltbray carries out asbestos, hazardous waste management, demolition and temporary works across 20 individual structures at The Royal Infirmary to make way for the Quartermile scheme Edinburgh for Southside Capital.

  • John Keehan is appointed Financial Director for Keltbray Group.

  • Peter Suchy is appointed Commercial Director for Keltbray Group.

  • Keltbray secures the contract for Omega Land and Foggo Associates to demolish Drapers Gardens, which until then was the tallest building to be demolished in the City and in the UK. Keltbray also carried out temporary works and archaeological attendance, which unearthed a near complete urban street with associated buildings spanning many years of the Roman occupation.

  • John Price is appointed Managing Director for Keltbray Group.

  • At Colchester Barracks in Essex, Keltbray joined forces with Lagan Construction to form a joint venture to provide enabling and infrastructure works over a 2.5 year period to facilitate new army barracks on site for The Ministry of Defence and Sir Robert McAlpine.

  • Keltbray carries out asbestos management, demolition, site enabling, remediation and groundworks for the construction of the Emirates Stadium and redevelopment of Highbury Stadium for Arsenal Football Club and Sir Robert McAlpine.

  • Keltbray entered into cluster working with Byrne Brothers and Cementation to coordinate demolition, temporary works, piling and ready-mixed concreting in the formation of a new basement structure at Ropemaker Place for British Land.

  • Keltbray Training is established to provide development services for employees and Keltbray’s clients.

  • Keltbray’s turnover hits £100 million.

  • Keltbray wins the contract to carry out demolition, groundworks and drainage at Millennium Dome for Icon Venture Group and Sir Robert McAlpine.

  • Keltbray acquires specialist asbestos remediation company, Pectel.

  • Keltbray undertakes asbestos removal, demolition, temporary works and pile enabling for Land Securities at 20 Fenchurch Street, one of only four top-hung UK tower blocks, to make way for The Walkie Talkie. The asbestos management alone took more than a year to complete.

  • Keltbray establishes a specialist waste remediation division, Environmental Materials Management.

  • Keltbray carries out asbestos removal, demolition, temporary works and pile enabling for Sellars Property Group and Mace at Southwark Bridge Tower to prepare for The Shard; the tallest building in Western Europe.

  • Keltbray undertakes infrastructure works, earth retention and hard landscaping works for Sir Robert McAlpine and the Olympic Delivery Authority at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stadium.

  • Keltbray Piling is established to carry out Continuous Flight Auger and large diameter rotary bored piling as stand-alone and integrated Group services.

  • Keltbray acquires specialist track maintenance and renewal company, Gamble Rail.

  • Keltbray acquires overhead line and track solutions specialist Aspire Rail.

  • Keltbray relocates its head office to St Andrew’s House in Esher, Surrey.

  • Tony Douglas is appointed Non-Executive Director for Keltbray Group.

  • Phill Price is appointed Managing Director of Rail & Infrastructure for Keltbray Group.

  • Keltbray secures the contract to carry out asbestos removal, demolition, temporary works and structural alterations at the New Bodleian Library for Oxford University.

  • Keltbray wins its biggest contract to date (£46 mill) providing Power Supply Upgrade on the Westcoast Mainline for Network Rail.

  • Keltbray establishes rail overhead line electrification design house Wentworth House Rail Systems.

  • Keltbray secures a five-year contract to carry out temporary works and demolition at London Bridge Station for Costain and Network Rail.

  • As part of the Doosan Keltbray Consortium (DKC) Keltbray is awarded its first nuclear decommissioning contract for Magnox at Bradwell Power Station.

  • Keltbray has had many apprentices over the years, but recruits its first (Paul Reilly) via the Princes Trust’s ‘Get into Construction’ programme, after becoming a member of the Prince’s Trust’s Construction & Business Services Leadership Group.

  • Keltbray forms Keltbray Remediation; a specialist division, which provides remediation solutions for brownfield sites.

  • Keltbray carries out asbestos removal, demolition and temporary works for Lend Lease at the Heygate estate as part of regeneration at Elephant & Castle, to make way for Elephant Park; one of only 18 climate positive projects in the world.

  • Keltbray Environmental Solutions wins its first National Framework Agreement for Royal Mail Group.

  • Keltbray becomes one of the first 13 companies to achieve Gold Status in the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) run by Transport for London.

  • Keith Elliott is appointed Chairman for Keltbray Group.

  • Keltbray opens new, state of the art training centre in Basildon, Essex, to provide training in the areas of rail, asbestos management and demolition and civils.

  • Keltbray secures the contract to demolish Earls Court Exhibition Centres I and II for Capco paving the way for an £8bn redevelopment scheme in the area.

  • Keltbray’s turnover hits £200 million.

  • In 2014, Keltbray Training delivered more than 40,000 hours of training to employees and external clients.

  • Keltbray Rail provides concrete auger and piled foundations on Great Western Mainline for AmeyInabensa and ABC Electrification.

  • Keltbray provided 60 people with apprenticeships, internships and undergraduate and graduate traineeships in one year alone.

  • As part of Keltbray’s drive to improve the wellbeing for employees, the company joins forces with KML Occupational Health; a company which provides occupational health checks for the construction industry.

  • Keltbray enters the Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table for the first time, ranked in 245th place.

  • Keltbray adds Sheet Piling to its services portfolio to cover all aspects of driven steel piling

  • Keltbray wins the contract to carry out demolition at 22 Bishopsgate, to make way for the tallest office block building in the City with a viewing deck higher than the Shard’s.

  • Keltbray is first to start installing the electrification wires on Great Western Mainline as part of Network Rail’s £2.4 billion Great Western Route Modernisation.

  • Vince Corrigan is appointed Group Director for Keltbray

  • Paul Deacy is appointed Keltbray Group Managing Director for Demolition & Civil Engineering

  • Keltbray Group exceeds 1,000 permanently employed staff for the first time

  • Keltbray successfully lowers the roof of the Earls Court 1 exhibition centre in an eleven-hour, precision operation as part of the ongoing deconstruction of the Earls Court exhibition halls. The buildings are being dismantled to make way for the regeneration of Earls Court by Capital & Counties Properties Plc (Capco).

  • Keltbray’s Training & Development Director, Holly Price, becomes the first female Chair of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors’ London & Southern Region.

  • Keltbray climbs 107 places in Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 league table. Ranked 138th overall, this means Keltbray is now amongst the top 10 engineering and building related private mid-market growth companies in Britain; making is a ‘Top Track’ company to watch.

  • Deputy Managing Director of Keltbray Demolition & Civil Engineering, Andy McClafferty is appointed Group Director for Keltbray

  • Managing Director of Keltbray Environmental Solutions, Darren Wickins, is appointed Group Director for Keltbray

  • Keltbray celebrates 40 years in business; having grown over the past four decades to become an award-winning specialist contractor with a £270 million annual turnover and more than 1,000 employees.

  • Keltbray launches a reinforced concrete frame business named Keltbray Structures. Keltbray decided to launch the business after acquiring some of the assets of Dunne Group, which went into administration and has ceased trading.

  • Keltbray's Training and Development Director, Holly Price, was elected second Vice President for the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC); the Federation's first female national officer.

  • In the company of 16 other industry figureheads, including the Housing Minister and Chairman for HS2, Construction News identified Chief Executive of Keltbray Group, Brendan Kerr, as one of the leaders who will have the biggest impact on construction in 2017.

  • The world's largest land-based crane (AL.SK190) was brought into Earls Court to lift 61 'portal beams', which weigh up to 1500 tonnes, out from over the London Underground lines that lie below the former exhibition centres to reduce the carbon footprint of the project and shorten the project timescales.