June 28th, 2021

Spotlight on: Ian Rains

In the spotlight this month is our proposals manager, Ian Rains, who reveals what skills are needed for his varied role, why he chose a career in construction, and what he likes most about working for Diamond Build Group.

Can you describe a typical day?

Each day, I’ll review the deadline list of all the works and update as and when opportunities come in. The team has access to this, ensuring they remain on top of the works and that each bid, SQ or PQQ is completed and returned on time.

Part of my day is taken up with tender settlements and reviews, and I make sure that what we’ve put forward is what’s been priced. I’ll also review return documents prior to them being submitted and check the portals to see if there are  any  additional questions that need answering.

Throughout the week, I’ll meet with each of the divisional directors, bringing them up to date on the works we’re undertaking and getting buy-in from the operational teams that will be responsible for delivery. This also allows us to capture any additional information that can help the bid team.

At the beginning of the week, we always hold a Monday morning catch-up meeting, so that everyone knows the works that are due that week and to make sure no-one is over stretched or stressed. We also hold a Friday afternoon wash-up to help prevent anyone going home with work to complete. If for some reason, this can’t be avoided, we work together to break it up and reduce the pressure, ensuring all our staff spend quality rest time with their families.

What skills / qualifications do you need to do your job?

I started my career as a draftsperson, did a degree in civil / structural engineering, and then worked as an engineer in an architectural practice. This has given me a very good understanding of the construction industry and buildings in general.

As a member of a bid team, it’s important that you’re good at English, have a methodical / inquisitive mind and can easily interact with people as you have to clearly and effectively describe to clients the work you’re going to be delivering.

You also have to interact with internal teams, suppliers and members of the client’s team to gain a thorough understanding of the works and how we can meet specific requirements. This requires good interpersonal skills.

When I first started my career, I was quite shy, but I’m much more confident now as this role means I regularly talk and communicate with people. These skills develop over time, especially as you gain a greater understanding of the construction industry.

What do you like most about working for Diamond Build Group?

Without doubt, the friendships and family feeling. This encourages everyone to work together in a non-adversary way. As part of the pre-construction team, we also hold regular social get togethers, which helps to create greater interaction and teamworking.

I value the fact that Diamond Build provides great development and training opportunities which are available to all. This enables everyone to progress and develop to their full potential, and be part of a progressive active team.

I’ve also been particularly impressed by the actions of the directors during the pandemic. Virtually all staff worked from home thanks to an efficient IT system and additional equipment being delivered to people’s homes if required, so they could continue their work. Since being able to return to the office, staggered working days have been introduced  along with stringent health and safety measures.

What attracted you to a career in construction?

At school, I was good at drawing and maths, and this led to me joining a structural engineering practice as a trainee, with day release at college. After a year, they sponsored me to go to university to do my engineering degree.

After gaining my degree, I was part of a team designing the structural alterations and refurbishment of a disused resident block in the heart of London. This then developed into designing new structures and alterations to existing buildings ranging from dockside warehouses to multi-storey offices. Now, when I walk around London, I’m amazed at the number of building I’ve been involved with either through design or refurbishment.

I’ve always enjoyed the intricacies of construction along with the innovations that are making buildings safer, more sustainable and future proofing them. Not every new building or refurbishment is the same and requires careful thought and planning, which makes the construction industry so interesting to work in.

What advice would you give to others considering a similar role?

Work methodically, rest well and play hard.

Work methodically and manage your time well. Gain an all-round knowledge of construction, keep up to date with the latest innovations and methods of working, and keep a record of answers.

Learn to work with others and gain a greater understanding of the works, whatever it may be. This will help you to progress, build relationships and your knowledge.

Rest well and have time away from work. You’ll always be thinking of it and how you could do things better, but don’t let it take over your life.

Play hard, and as with everything, be the best you can. Winning is not everything but competing to your best ability will shine through in your work.

This is a great industry with many opportunities. Consider what you want to achieve. I’m proud to tell my friends and family, I helped design or built that building as I walk around London.

What will you be saying?

Client: London Borough of Hounslow

Architect: Acanthus

Value: £1.7m

Duration: 48 weeks

Location: Great West Road, London W4

Diamond Build PLC delivered a refurbishment and extension at Hogarth’s House, including a new ‘exhibition’ garden and multi-purpose studio space.

The Brief

Hogarth’s House was built between 1715 and 1719. From 1749, it was the country home of the great painter, engraver and satirist William Hogarth (1697 – 1764).

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Mulberry Garden Project was a joint initiative between Hounslow Council, which is the trustee of Hogarth’ House, and the William Hogarth Trust. The aim was to create a new and accessible studio space for hosting community events, seasonal activities and learning programmes, and to re-landscape the garden to highlight historic planting and themes.

Enhancing facilities and learning opportunities

Diamond Build was responsible for constructing the new single-storey studio, which was subtly connected to the existing House. The ground floor of an existing kitchen was altered to accommodate the new building and a new reception area, corridor and disabled toilet constructed.

The studio’s impressive structure was created by installing a Glulam frame, comprising triple and double columns. The structure was then clad in glass and linked to the House with a curtain walling system. The green roof of the new studio featured an integrated Bauder roofing system comprising a number of different finishes, including zinc and slate.

Inside the new building, Diamond Build laid a timber floor and stone paving was installed around the perimeter.

To provide a base for the garden team, a new timber bothy was also built along with storage facilities.

Conserving and restoring the historic garden

As part of the project, an historic Grade I listed garden wall was repaired and restored by Diamond Build and an exhibition garden was created, presenting aspects of the site’s history. New paths were laid, and a frame installed over the ‘nut walk’ to the new studio, incorporating serpentine bars and iron mulberry leaves.

Extensive landscaping was carried out, including the planting of orchard trees and flower beds displaying varieties of floral and edible plants popular in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Throughout the works, an ancient mulberry tree, located in the heart of the garden, had to be protected. A small greenhouse was also relocated.

Overcoming challenges

The site’s limited access meant that effective sequencing was crucial throughout the works. The majority of the scheme had to be completed before the landscaping could begin, and for the first part of the project, the House remained open to the public.

Diamond Build worked closely with the architects to help co-ordinate and manage the complex design, which featured a variety of components, finishes and building materials that had to be carefully integrated.

A further challenge was the mechanical and electrical solution, which required services in the House to be disconnected while the new ones were installed. Alterations to the existing underground drainage were also needed.

The outcome

The refurbishment is enabling visitors to discover all aspects of the garden’s history, has created a more appropriate setting for the House and provided an impressive multi-purpose space for school visits as well as event and functions for the whole community.

Diamond Build Group has joined The 5% Club, an industry-led initiative focussed on driving the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and sponsored students.

Initiated in 2013 by Leo Quinn, Group CEO of Balfour Beatty, The 5% Club is a movement of more than 500 employers providing ‘earn and learn’ opportunities. The aim is to help people develop the skills and talents they need to become more employable and create meaningful careers.

As a member of The 5% Club, Diamond Build Group has committed to raising the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal programmes to five per cent of its total workforce within five years. Members are also asked to publicly report their progress.

John Gray, Chairman of Diamond Build Group, said: “Joining The 5% Club reflects our commitment to developing our people and providing opportunities to help strengthen careers in construction. We have provided traineeships and apprentices for 40 years, so becoming a member will cement what we’re already doing and ensure we keep building momentum.

“We currently have six apprentices working towards recognised qualifications in quantity surveying, IT, and accounting. Two will finish their training this year and continue to be part of our team helping us to expand our business.  We want to build on this and recruit more apprentices in the coming year, including quantity surveyors, commercial managers, construction managers, carpenters and administrators.”

Gill Cronin, Director of Operations of The 5% Club, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Diamond Build into membership. The 5% Club provides a fantastic network of HR professionals, sharing and learning from each other. All our members share an ethos of creating a skilled workforce through ‘earn and learn’ development programmes, helping people to develop meaningful career paths.”

Client: London Borough of Islington

Architect: Islington Architects

Value: £3.5m

Duration: 34 weeks

Location: 49 – 59 Old Street, London EC1


Diamond Build PLC has transformed a seven-storey building into a suite of stunning new offices, including three roof terraces.


The Brief


Constructed in the late 1950s for office use, 49 – 59 Old Street was formerly home to the Post Office and spans seven storeys plus a basement. It is flanked either side by two single storey retail/restaurant units.


Building on a long-standing relationship, Islington Borough Council appointed Diamond Build PLC to refurbish the property into high-specification office space. The aim was to maximise the building’s rental potential in an area of Islington that has become a hub for the creative industries.


A New Lease of Life


The brick facing façade was repaired and the interior reconfigured and refurbished to provide a total of 18,823 sq. ft. of office space. Floors one to six each comprise two self-contained offices and the parquet flooring has been restored throughout. Part of the ground floor has been constructed to allow for light industrial use.


A new improved lobby has been created to mirror the building’s original design with oak panelling and Swedish-designed Bolon flooring.


The project also included the construction of two new roof terraces on the first floor with timber decking and glazed balustrades. A further roof terrace was created at the top of the building providing views over the London skyline. This required the construction of a new dedicated lift, staircase and kitchen area.


Overcoming Challenges


The retail unit attached to the property remained open throughout the works, so Diamond Build liaised closely with the occupier throughout the project to minimise disruption, particularly during the scaffolding stage.


One of the biggest challenges was the design and installation of building services for the refurbished property. Diamond Build had to redesign the MEP infrastructure to increase capacity and managed the installation along with the new service supplies from UK Power Networks. This work also meant the team had to consult closely with the occupier of the retail unit as it shares the same services.


Another complexity was the construction of the large roof terrace at the top of the building along with the staircase and new lift, which ran from the sixth to seventh floor at roof level. This required the roof to be broken out on the top floor but the structure in this section of the building was too unstable to safely complete the work. To overcome this, Diamond Build developed a design with the architect that offered structural integrity without comprising the original design aim.




Speaking about the project, Fiona Monkman, Design Team Leader at Islington Architects, said:

“I have recently completed 49-59 Old Street with Diamond Build and found them an exceptionally professional company to work with. They were extremely conscientious in organising their operations to meet a challenging programme. This was down to the excellent quality of both site management and head-office support services.

“The quality of the workmanship was particularly high and their willingness to collaborate with the design team to resolve site matters in a timely and cost effective manner was outstanding. I would not hesitate to recommend them.”


John Gray spent nine years training with a national contractor and honed his skills with an SME in North London before setting up his own building company in 1977. Since then, he has steered Diamond Build through challenging times and created a multi-million-pound group of construction companies.

With a client list that includes local authorities, housing providers, NHS Foundation Trusts, academies, universities, schools, the Police, Fire Service, and other public-sector bodies, the Group will be moving into a new HQ next year to support further growth and expansion. The accommodation is part of a new £30m development that is currently being built by Diamond Build.

Here, John reveals more about the history of the Diamond Build Group, its recent successes and plans for the future.

How and why was Diamond Build set up?

I was a director of a small, specialist refurbishment firm in Camden involved in both pre and post contract operations. I had worked there for five years and was very ambitious, so I decided that the time was right to try and set up my own building company.

I was already doing part-time freelance estimating and surveying work for other small builders in the evenings and at weekends.  They were working for Hackney Council and I won them so much work that they could not cope.  They needed a helping hand and I saw an opportunity to help them contain their heavy workload by taking the work from them as a subcontractor and carrying it out using my own company.

Peter Diamond was one of my site agents at the Camden firm and after some discussion we set up P. J. Diamond (Building Contractors) Ltd to deal with the workload that my clients could not handle.

After three years, we applied to go on the approved contractor list for Haringey Council and fortunately, were accepted. We set up our first office in a shop premises in Stapleton Hall Road, Stroud Green in Haringey.  Good times followed. We expanded and bought a derelict site in Berkley Road, off Seven Sisters Road in Haringey and built our first offices and yard. After outgrowing that facility, we bought a larger site that was used by a roofing company at 60 – 68 Stamford Road, Tottenham and over a period of 10 years acquired the whole plot that we are on today.

In 2000, I became the owner of all the shares in P. J. Diamond (Building Contractors) Ltd and decided to change the name to Diamond Build. Peter, whose real name was Patrick Joseph (P.J.) by the way, retired to live in Ireland, having hailed from Ballina, Co. Mayo.

How has the business changed in recent years?

We have evolved a lot in recent years, growing from a refurbishment contractor into a group of construction companies offering a vast range of services to public-sector clients across London and the home counties.  The Diamond Build Group PLC comprises Diamond Build PLC, Diamond Special Works Ltd and Diamond Fire Safety Ltd.

We developed Diamond Fire Safety to fill a gap in the marketplace as there is a lack of experienced contractors with the skills to upgrade buildings to be fire compliant.  To do this, we have invested time and money in training people to create a team that knows the subject in depth, both in pre and post-contract areas. The company now has the capacity to carry out a wide range of fire improvements works, whilst being supported by the Diamond Build Group.

Diamond Build has taken on the mantle of a medium-size contractor and we have brought in a new operational team with the expertise to control larger new-build schemes ideally in the £5m to £20m range.

Diamond Special Works undertakes the smaller works below that limit.  We still have a direct labour force to carry out small works and to back up our subcontractors on larger contracts.

All of these companies are supported by the Diamond Build Group, which provides all of the administrative, accountancy, ICT, buying, logistics, marketing, business development, bid writing and office support to enable the companies to concentrate on their operational roles.

The Group also has sister companies – Diamond Education Service, which provides services to local authorities, schools and colleges that run work experience and training programmes and Diamond Facilities Support which is a national maintenance and facilities management contractor based in Birmingham.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced?

We have come through three recessions and of course, have had to contend with the global pandemic over the last 12 months. Economic uncertainty and most recently, managing new ways of working has required us to re-evaluate the way we operate and put measures in place to ensure we remain financially strong and can continue to deliver projects to the highest safety standards.

Building is an industry built on people and the biggest challenge for all building contractors is to attract competent staff. The better qualified people tend to remain with the larger companies. All SMEs struggle with this issue and that is why we have invested heavily in training. We constantly ensure our people keep up to date with the latest trends and legislation, sending them on both external and internal courses.

Every recession affects contractors in the building industry. All clients look at capital expenditure and curtail spending money on that first, which risks leaving contractors to cope with a sudden loss of workload. We have survived because we have always maintained enough funds to see us through difficult periods.

What have been the Group’s biggest highlights?

To enable us to maintain standards, we have invested heavily in training and have just attained the Investors in People gold award, which is quite an accolade.

To complement that, we have upgraded our ISO 18001 (Health & Safety) and 14001 (Environmental) to the new 45001 standard which together with our quality management system ISO 9001 forms our new IMS – Integrated Management System ensuring that everyone who works for us follows the same procedures.

What factors have helped Diamond Build to succeed?

Diversification is the key. We had reached the peak of what we could achieve as a small works / refurbishment contractor. To grow, we had to bring in new people with different skills or to train people – that’s why the makeup of the Group is what you see today.

Why is training so important to the Group?

I will always be grateful for the training I had in my early years with one of London’s largest building contractors at the time, a firm called Trollope and Colls (now Skanska UK). This stood me in really good stead and is one of the reasons why I continue to give school leavers the same opportunity I was given all those years ago.  We have provided traineeships and apprentices for 40 years, a number of our trainees have moved on and are now holding prominent positions in various construction firms in London and the South East.

Diamond Build Group now offers training and opportunities to people at all levels whether that is a trade apprentice, trainee student, or someone who wants to change their career. The time apprentices spend with our company is incredibly valuable and helps bring our teams to life.

I also strongly believe that training and education should not be limited by age or time. We make sure all our employees are given the tools to keep on top of industry changes and to do their jobs to the best of their ability. This approach is one of the reasons why we were awarded an Investors in People gold award.

What are the Group’s plans for the future?

Work is already underway to create our new head office. We are completely transforming our existing site into a new development, which will provide our team with high-quality office space.  Above the office space, we are building 48 new homes for the local community with the whole development designed to maximise energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

The work should be completed by next summer and put us in a strong position to continue to grow our team and the business. I see strong growth opportunities for each of the Group’s companies and am confident we can achieve this through our expanding team. We are recruiting new talent and expertise to complement our teams and lay the foundations for a secure and successful future.

Diamond Build Group has achieved the prestigious Investors in People gold accreditation.

The building contractor, which specialises in public-sector construction projects, was presented with the award following a rigorous assessment. The process looked at the company’s performance across a number of areas ranging from the way employees are managed through to training and development opportunities.

John Gray, chairman of Diamond Build Group, said: “Only 17 per cent of accredited organisations achieve gold, so we are extremely proud to have received this accolade. This success is testament to our supportive culture and the significant investment we make in our team.

“Construction is an industry built on people and we ensure that every employee gets the tools they need to do their job to the best of their ability and further their career. This means we offer a wide range of training and education opportunities for people at all levels, and which aren’t limited by age or time. This approach was one of the key performance factors recognised by Investors in People.”

Based in Tottenham, Diamond Build Group comprises three companies – Diamond Build PLC, Diamond Special Works and Diamond Fire Safety. This enables the Group to offer a wide spectrum of works ranging from major projects through to smaller contracts and ensuring buildings comply with the latest fire safety standards.

Operating across London and the South East, the Group has run a successful apprenticeship scheme for more than four decades.

It’s National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) and as a business that’s been hiring apprentices for four decades, we’ve enjoyed showing our support.

I’m passionate about training and offering opportunities to people at all levels whether that’s a trade apprentice, student, or someone who wants to change their career. The time apprentices spend with our company is incredibly valuable and helps bring our teams to life.

As a business owner, you have to accept there will be some who will eventually leave the company. However, that’s often a natural progression, reflecting the skills you’ve helped them to build. Many of our past apprentices have gone on to become senior directors in building companies, some have started their own business, and there are others who have returned to work for us – indeed one is now a Director of Diamond Special Works.

Our trainees are involved in a wide variety of roles, supporting teams across our business and making a huge difference. We currently have eight apprentices working towards recognised qualifications in quantity surveying, plumbing, IT, accounting, and office administration.

Two will finish their training this year and continue to be part of our team helping us to expand and build our business.  We’re also seeking to recruit more apprentices, including quantity surveyors / commercial managers, construction managers, carpenters and administrators.

Courses can be anything from one to five years but of course, we never stop learning in life, so an apprenticeship is just the start. That’s why we’re Investors In People and continually train all our staff in topics ranging from new computer systems and building regulations through to materials and safety processes to make sure we keep on top of industry change.

Reflecting our commitment to training, we set up a specialist company four years ago called Diamond Education Service, heading up by Dr Linda Prince an educationalist and former Director of Education at Ealing Council. This has enabled us to build closer ties with a number of local schools allowing us to offer work experience to youngsters coming out of the education system.

Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, we’re looking forward to becoming more directly involved with schools again, attending careers fairs and giving talks to young people about the huge number of opportunities in construction. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping the momentum going through virtual opportunities and continuing to support our current apprentices to help them be the best they can be.

Throughout NAW, keep an eye on our social media channels for more insights into our commitment to training at Diamond Build Group, including thoughts from members of our senior team as well as our trainees.

And if you’re thinking of starting a career in construction and the chance to learn while you work and earn, we’d love to hear from you.

John Gray, chairman of Diamond Build Group

Diamond Build PLC has begun work on a new £28m development in Stamford Road, Tottenham.

The existing site, which is owned and occupied by Diamond Build Group, comprises an office block, builders’ yard and storage facility. It will be transformed into a 51,000 sq ft scheme offering 13,000 sq ft of office space and 48 new homes.

Located on the ground floor, 50 per cent of the office accommodation will be used as Diamond Build Group’s new head office with the other half available to local businesses at affordable rent.

A mix of one and two-bedroom apartments as well as three-bedroom duplex houses will be built above the office space and available for sale. Each home has been designed with an open-plan layout and private balcony with access to a communal courtyard.

Externally, the architecture will reflect the site’s industrial surroundings featuring exposed brickwork and metal cladding.

The development has been sustainably designed to maximise energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions below those required by Part L of the Building Regulations 2013.  Air source heat pumps, solar panels, green roofs and high-quality insulation will be incorporated, and entrance doors will be draught proofed.

Demolition works have recently been completed and excavation and piling are underway.

John Gray, Chairman of Diamond Build Group said: “We’ve owned and occupied this site for 30 years, so the time is right to regenerate it with a new scheme delivering benefits both for the local community as well as our business.

“We’ll be providing much needed quality housing which will lift this part of Tottenham.  The London Borough of Haringey will be helping to nominate local businesses to occupy the affordable office space.

“The Diamond Build team will have a significantly higher standard of accommodation that better suits our needs enabling us to stay in Tottenham and expand our business.”

Designed by ACG Architects, the development is due to be completed by summer 2022.

Diamond Build PLC has completed the first phase of an £8m project, which will transform facilities at one of England’s oldest preparatory schools.

The successful handover provides Homefield Preparatory School with a new building comprising 14 classrooms. The completion was celebrated with the burial of a time capsule under a glass pane in the floor.

Staff and boys at Homefield Prep chose the items to include in the capsule, which range from photos and poems through to footage showing current classroom technology. The plan is for the boys to come back to the school in 50 years’ time to reveal the capsule to its future students.

The Diamond Build PLC team has now begun work on phase two, which will see an existing teaching block demolished and replaced with a two-storey performance hall and dining room. New music facilities, an ICT room and library will also be created. The final phase will include the construction of an all-weather sports pitch as well as extensive landscaping and access improvements.

Michael Celoro, project manager at Diamond Build PLC: “This project involves a significant amount of demolition work, so it has been very carefully phased to minimise any disruption. We are working to a programme that enables pupils and staff to safely relocate into new parts of the scheme, so that we can seamlessly deliver the other elements.

“The completed buildings and facilities will provide the highest standards of accommodation for the boys and transform the whole estate.”

Designed by architects Ingleton Wood, the redevelopment marks the school’s 150th anniversary and is scheduled to be complete by late summer 2021. To enhance the school’s environmental credentials there will be solar power, low energy underfloor heating and a green roof.

John Towers, Headmaster at Homefield Prep added: “The whole project was developed on the proviso that the school needed to remain a working entity throughout the build, with as little disruption to the daily school routine as possible. We are thrilled with how things have progressed so far.”

Based in Sutton, Surrey, Homefield Prep in an independent day school for boys aged 4 – 13 years.

December 11th, 2020

Apprentice profile: Rahul Tank

“I feared I’d never get a job after university and now I’m on a proper career path in construction.”

Rahul Tank left university with a degree in business and law. Unsure about what he wanted to do for work, he struggled to find a fulfilling job until he was offered work experience at Diamond Build PLC. Two years on, he is forging a career in quantity surveying and working on multi-million-pound construction projects.

“Although I’d gained a good degree, I couldn’t help thinking I’d wasted my time at university,” he explains. “I lived with two friends who studied construction management and quantity surveying. I found I was more interested in their course than mine but felt it was too late to do anything about it.”

After graduating, Rahul spent three months applying for various jobs and then a family member introduced him to Diamond Build Group. Chairman, John Gray, offered him three-weeks work experience at the company’s head office in Tottenham.

“John suggested that if I was serious about getting a job in construction, I should come and work for the company and see how I feel,” Rahul recalls. “I spent time in different departments including accounting, marketing and construction. But when I told him that I was particularly interested in surveying, he put me straight onto a building site which I’d never experienced before.”

The site was Kingsdale Foundation School where Diamond Build PLC was responsible for a £2.4m expansion. Rahul spent a week shadowing the site manager and surveyor, learning about their roles, the construction process and how the development had progressed.

Rahul says: “My experience at Diamond Build confirmed that I wanted to focus on surveying. The challenges of the job combined with the chance to play a key role in creating new buildings, was really appealing to me. Then over Christmas, I received an email from the company offering me a permanent role with training, and I couldn’t have been happier.”

Rahul joined Diamond Build PLC on a permanent basis in January 2019. The opportunity is enabling him to gain practical skills and experience while working towards a degree in quantity surveying and commercial management, paid for by Diamond Build.

Rahul continues: “I spend one day at the University of Westminster and four days in the office, and I really enjoy that mix of training, working and studying. I’ve also found that my previous degree has provided me with lots of transferable skills and those have really helped me progress, particularly when dealing with more contractual issues.”

The first major project that Rahul worked on was the refurbishment of offices located at 49 -59 Old Street on behalf of the London Borough of Islington. He was mentored by one of Diamond Build’s surveyors and worked as an assistant. He is now part of the team leading one of the contractor’s largest schemes. Located in Holloway, the £10m project will see 24 new council homes built on the Harvist Estate near Arsenal’s football stadium.

“I’ve been given a huge amount of responsibility for the Harvist Estate project and I’m really grateful for that progression,” he says. “I get involved in a variety of different work, including managing sub contractors, placing orders, organising valuations, payments, and procurement issues.”

He continues: “Rewind two years and my life was very different. I feared I’d never get a job after university and now I’m on a proper career path in construction. That’s testament to all the support I’ve received from Diamond Build PLC and the trust and flexibility they’ve given me from the start.”

To find out more about what it is like to work at Diamond Build, including its apprenticeship schemes, please email: careers@diamondbuildgroup.com

Diamond Build has completed a £5.7m project that will provide enhanced facilities at a school for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Located in the London Borough of Merton, Cricket Green School welcomes children aged four to 19 with complex and varied needs. Diamond Build was appointed as the main contractor for the project, which included the construction of a new two-storey building featuring nine new classrooms. Two existing buildings were also extended to create a new reception, meeting room and play therapy area as well as a larger school hall and music hub.

Targeted to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating, the new building has been constructed with a highly insulated building fabric, a green roof and solar panels.  As dismantling, recycling or reusing building components is one of the performance criteria outlined in BREEAM, Diamond Build sought to do this throughout the construction process, including recycling timber to create a new allotment shed for the children.

The construction programme spanned 20 months and the school remained open throughout the works, so was delivered in phases.

Michael Celoro, Project Manager at Diamond Build, said: “Working on a live site required careful coordination with the school to prioritise health and safety and ensure any disruption was minimised. As children with SEND can be more sensitive to sound, noise was another important consideration. It was vital that we made the school aware of any loud construction work so that they could prepare by taking the children off site when necessary or by providing headphones.”

Diamond Build’s site team also rolled out an engagement programme to help sensitively engage and involve the children in the building work.

Michael continued: “At the beginning of the programme, we sat down with the teaching staff to discuss and agree a programme of carefully planned and tailored activities. These were aimed at involving children of all ages in the building journey and enhancing their learning experiences and life skills.”

Speaking about the construction process and new facilities, Celia Dawson, Headteacher at Cricket Green School, added: “Our experience with Diamond Build was very good from day one. Thanks to the project manager’s skills and knowledge we felt included in the process and listened to if we had any issues or concerns.

“We particularly benefited from the way our pupil’s needs were considered. The Diamond Build team engaged all children in the build and in many different and imaginative ways, and always age appropriately.

“We now have a wonderful new building, which is not only smart and fit-for-purpose, but which is universally appreciated and enjoyed. We feel so proud of all that has been achieved and the positive messages it gives to our pupils, parents, staff and the wider community.”

The school’s expansion was designed by architects Hamson Barron Smith.

A project delivered by Diamond Special Works has been recognised at the London LABC Building Excellence Awards.

The Tailoring Academy at Finsbury Park was crowned Best Small Commercial Project at the awards, which praise building excellence and the people who go the extra mile to deliver their work.

Designed by Jan Kattein Architects, the Tailoring Academy was developed through a partnership between Haringey Council and social enterprise, Fashion Enter. It’s a new working and learning environment aimed at helping to bring garment production for high street brands back to London.

Diamond Special Works was responsible for transforming the ground floor of an existing warehouse into the new contemporary space, which features a folded timber and glass screen that surrounds pockets of workspace. The refurbishment comprised exterior and interior work, including installing new heating and partition walls.

Paul Hoskins, Managing Director at Diamond Special Works, said: “This is a great achievement for the whole project team. The Tailoring Academy is a fantastic new space, which has been expertly designed and delivered, so we’re delighted that it has been recognised as a winning project at leading industry awards.”

Diamond Special Works is part of the Diamond Build Group and specialises in building works for the public sector, delivering projects ranging from £50k – £1m across London.

Building schools for children with special educational and disability needs requires project teams with specialist skills and experience. Paul Hoskins, managing director of Diamond Build PLC, explains the key considerations and the importance of tailored engagement programmes.

Read the full article here.


Diamond Special Works is in the running to win two awards at the London LABC Building Excellence Awards.

The London-based contractor has been recognised for its role in creating the Tailoring Academy at Finsbury Park with the project reaching the final in two categories – ‘Best Public Service or Educational Building’ and ‘Best Small Commercial Project.’

Developed through a partnership between Haringey Council and social enterprise, Fashion Enter, the Tailoring Academy aims to bring clothing manufacturing back to London and enable Londoners to hone their tailoring skills.

Diamond Special Works was responsible for transforming the ground floor of an existing warehouse to create the new contemporary space. The refurbishment comprised exterior and interior work, including installing new heating and partition walls.

Paul Hoskins, Managing Director at Diamond Special Works, said: “We’re really proud to see this fantastic new facility be recognised in two categories.

“It’s a shame that because of Covid-19, we won’t be able to celebrate in person with the other finalists but look forward to finding out who the winners are and wish everyone the best of luck.”

The LABC Regional Building Excellence Awards are the largest business-to-business awards in the building control sector and recognise quality in all types of project. The winners of the London region will be announced digitally on 17 August 2020.

Diamond Special Works is part of the Diamond Build Group and specialises in building works for the public sector, delivering projects ranging from £50k – £1m across London.

We are currently developing our new website for the group and will release a post in due course once published. Thus please note some of the information on this website may be out of date and apologies in advance.

August 5th, 2019

We’ve Evolved

June 24th, 2019

Local School Careers Fair

On Thursday 20th June Robert Hawker, Director of Marketing for Diamond Education Service, and Anna O’Sullivan, PA to the Chairman (John Gray) of Diamond Build Group, attended a careers fair at Harris Academy Tottenham.

Robert and Anna spoke to students aged between 11 and 17 about their roles within the Diamond Build Group, as well as their personal career journeys. Both answered questions from the students; for example: ‘Do you enjoy your job?’, ‘What qualifications are required for your role?’. ‘Did you have to attend university?’
Although not all students knew what careers they wish to pursue; it was a great opportunity for us to offer advice and guidance whilst promoting the construction industry.

A good sign of the interest was shown in the fact that we ran out of our apprenticeship and careers in construction leaflets!

The school was very happy too and in their thank you email they included some of the students’ feedback:

“They were kind and welcoming and taught me about apprenticeships” – Alex
“It helped me a lot” – Remi
“They told me things I was interested in” – Elisar
“They were nice and explained what I need to do” – Jean
“I hope that I will be like them!” – Lanna
“They were extremely kind and helpful and understood our potential” – Cristian-Andrei
“I really enjoyed all the conversations, it helped me really think about my future” – Davika
“Good explanation of what they doand how to get there” – Sian
“Very kind and informative” – Furkan


June 20th, 2019

Interested in Construction?

Click the links to discover fun facts, information and guidance about careers in the construction industry:

  • Discover roles to suit your personality type:



  • Want to spend the day on a construction site?:



  • Construction is not just for men! Discover a list of influential women throughout history and how they have made their mark within construction:



  • Explore construction-based courses offered at our local college in Haringey, the College of North East London:



Two careers fairs were held in Tottenham schools on 6 and 7 December 2018 and on both occasions Harry Moore, one of our current apprentices, represented the company.

The first event, at Harris Academy Tottenham featured 25 employers who met small groups of pupils from years 10 and 11 to talk about their profession, work and career routes.

Harry met many pupils who were interested in construction and was asked questions ranging from how did you get his current job; how many days does he study for day release; is his job interesting, to what kinds of buildings does he build and where are they?

The event was also an opportunity to promote Diamond Build’s apprenticeship scheme for all school leavers who may wish to start working at 18 rather than go straight into higher education.

The second careers event was organised by our sister company, Diamond Education Service, and hosted over 30 employers, sixth form colleges, universities and advice agencies, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, the University of Westminster and various local companies, all wishing to promote their career / study / work opportunities.

At both events it was really not surprising to hear students say they still had no idea what they wanted to do for their career. All we could advise was to encourage them to work hard to get good grades and then they would have more choices and options when leaving school.

We’re seeking the next generation of construction trainees and are keen to hear from you if you want to earn and learn while studying for a degree on day release. If you’re enthusiastic, committed and have completed your L3 and/or A levels then click through to apply to join us on our established training programme, and also read about current and past trainees.

You’ll work in all our departments at HQ and also on-site while attending university on day release to study a construction related degree. We will pay all your fees.

We are also offering a competitive starting salary, regular reviews and benefits plus you’ll have no student loan or course fee debts to worry about.

We hope to hear from you. Apply now.




Apply for two exciting new opportunities: Accounts Graduate and Assistant Surveyor/Estimator/Financial Manager

We’re recruiting to two new positions at Diamond Build Group of Companies: we’re seeking an Accounts Graduate for the Group, and in Diamond Fire Safety we are seeking an Assistant Surveyor/Estimator/Financial Manager.

Job descriptions are available on our sister company’s website, Diamond EducationService: click through to download the job descriptions and details on how to apply.

Applications close on 20 July 2018. and we hope to arrange interviews shortly after this date.

If you need more info then do get in touch. We hope you’ll want to join a great company going places.

As part of our commitment to encourage staff involvement in CSR and charitable activities, we are once again delighted to support Duncan Forbes, an enthusiastic member of the Rotary Club of Wellingborough Hatton, by spotlighting this year’s “Family Fun Day,” after 2017’s successful fundraising event.

One of the Club’s key annual activities, their “Family Fun Day” at Bassetts Park in Wellingborough, NN8 4JQ on Saturday 2nd of June, promises excellent entertainment for all the family with stalls, fairground rides and amusements.

Entry is free and the fun starts from 12pm in the afternoon.

Rotary International is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad, with over 35,000 community based Clubs.

Diamond Build are delighted to have maintained their Quality Assurance Accreditations, to the updated new Quality Management standard ISO 9001:2015 and Environmental Management System standard ISO 14001:2015.

The new standards aim to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of our QA systems, including processes for improvement and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

The transition period from old to new has allowed us to reassess the company’s business strategy and review systems and processes that are integral to all of our operations. The outcome following consultation with Diamond Build’s leadership team has been the development of a new integrated management application.

Consequently, our new system aligns the entire organisation with our businesses objectives and promotes quality in all aspects of our operations, with a commitment to continuous improvement as defined by the new international standards.

We are now reviewing and updating our H&S systems as the occupational health and safety management system standard OHSAS 18001 has also been revised. Companies have until March 2021 to successfully migrate to the new ISO 45001:2018 standard.

Diamond Build PLC are delighted to confirm we have successfully secured the construction contract for the new fitness studio and gym expansion block for Kingsdale Foundation School.

The project value is £2,400,000 and will be undertaken over a period of 28 weeks. The new facility is both progressive and innovative, and will undoubtedly help promote meaningful exercise development and enhance further the school’s reputation for sporting excellence.

Tom Weal, Diamond Build’s senior contracts manager for this scheme, commented: “Diamond Build are delighted to be working in partnership with the Foundation and Barker Associates on this prestigious new project. The external facade design will certainly bring a very contemporary look to what will be a fantastic new facility”.

As a keystone event marking our 40th anniversary, we are proud to announce the formation of two new companies within the Diamond Build Group – Diamond Fire Safety Ltd and Diamond Special Works Ltd.

Both companies have already accomplished comprehensive industry experience as divisions of our flagship organisation, Diamond Build PLC. Now with dedicated management overseeing their estimating and contract teams, they look forward to providing truly bespoke and targeted solutions to their new and existing client’s specialist requirements.

Diamond Fire Safety Ltd are a highly experienced, long-standing and dependable partner working within this vital field, having successfully delivered fully compliant contracts for over a decade.

They have a proven track record of meeting their client’s requirements, in a climate where the choice of a trusted and experienced contractor has never been more important.

Each member of Diamond Fire Safety Ltd’s staff are trained to the highest standards, in addition to their extensive experience within this highly specialised sector.

FIRAS accredited, and meeting the latest legislation and standards, Diamond Fire Safety Ltd work closely with their clients, protecting residents, staff, pupils and occupants, within their homes, schools, colleges and business premises.

Diamond Special Works Ltd combine a main contractor’s insight with the personal approach of a tightly integrated and well-established team to deliver their customer’s more compact commissions, up to a value of £1m, and primarily within the public sector.

An integral aspect of Diamond Build PLC’s vision since 1977, Diamond Special Works Ltd offer specifically tailored solutions incorporating a tried and tested response to managing the intricacies and challenges of their client’s smaller projects, until delivered to their complete satisfaction.

They have successfully delivered contracts across the entire special works spectrum, including conversions and expansions to schools, DDA upgrades to resident’s dwellings, hospitals and educational premises, together with photovoltaic installations to fire and police stations and the remodelling of council offices.

We are both excited and proud to be celebrating our 40th year, successfully supporting local Government in the delivery of Residential, Educational and Public building projects in London and the South East of England.

This is a significant milestone that could not have been reached without the help of all our employees, past and present.

Since its incorporation in 1977 the business has grown from what was initially a small builder to that of a well established multi-million pound construction company, offering a high standard of service in refurbishment, renovation, new build and passive fire protection.

The consistent growth over the years has been due to our ability to adapt and be flexible in meeting the changing markets and subsequently our customers’ needs.

The continued success of the business comes from our extensive knowledge and openness that has gained the respect of customers, subcontractors and suppliers. This in turn has promoted the development of integrated teams committed to the successful outcome of each project.

In our 41st year, exciting plans are afoot to expand into new markets to provide our customers with an increasingly comprehensive service.

Thanks to all our customers, employees, subcontractors and suppliers for the past 40 years of success, and we look forward to working with you for the next 40 years.

Diamond Build are delighted to announce they have been awarded the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) London low value band framework for projects £1million to £4.5 million.

The four-year framework can be used by the Agency, Academies, Local Authorities and Colleges to commission new-build and refurbishment projects.

Paul Hoskins, Joint Managing Director, said:

‘The process of securing a place on the framework has been intense and we are delighted with the outcome. The award is testament to Diamond Build’s strength and reputation for the delivery of contracts in the education sector. We look forward to working closely with the ESFA to ensure future generations benefit from the stimulating learning environment’.

Diamond Build were pleased to recently complete a £2.3m contract for the Woodberry Down Primary School, in collaboration with the London Borough of Hackney.

The works included a new build canteen/dining hall extension, new kitchen and three new build classrooms with connecting glazed corridor. A new lift was also installed together with ramps and handrails, classroom and office refurbishment undertaken, new toilets installed, and a structural party wall rebuilt.

We always seek to work closely with our Clients and we enjoyed the good working relationship that developed with the School’s senior and teaching staff, together with Hackney’s representatives.

Woodberry Down School - Exterior of new build classrooms

The pupils and teachers at the School are really enjoying their new facilities and have created a “time-lapse movie” of our construction works. Feedback from the School’s Headmaster on Hackney’s newly completed works and additional facilities has praised the “…exquisite dining room, kitchen and fabulous classrooms.”

The whole Diamond Build team (including our Project Manager, ‘Michael the Builder’ Celoro, as he was known by the School) would like to say how proud we are to have delivered these new facilities for Woodberry Down.

Diamond Build always seek to provide continuity of service and we were therefore delighted to be able to re-assign our successful team, already familiar to the London Borough of Wandsworth’s Residents from other similar contracts, to this recent £900k contract on the Convent Estate. As with a number of our similar previous projects for Wandsworth, we completed the works ahead of schedule – by a full eight weeks on this contract.

The scope of works included PVCu window renewal, external concrete, render / brickwork repairs, and communal redecorations, which were all undertaken to occupied residential blocks. Extract fans were also installed within kitchens and bathrooms.

Convent Estate - Wandsworth

As part of this project, we also completed window replacement and communal redecorations to the Frances Snary Lodge. While our Resident Liaison Officer looked after all the addresses within the scope of this contract, particular attention was paid to the Lodge’s sensitive environment where the majority of the occupants were elderly and often infirm. We therefore met daily with the staff to ensure our planned works would not disturb their routines and activities.

Positive feedback from our Client Satisfaction Completion Questionnaire has included the Wandsworth Project Controller reporting “Good communication from the site team” and a “Quality service completed ahead of programme, very well planned upfront.”

We have since been awarded an additional £2.4m contract by Wandsworth for similar works on the Alton Estate, a location on which we have previously worked, and to which we have once again assigned our dedicated contract team.

Following an intensive selection process which saw 282 applicants whittled down to a final group of 25, Diamond Build, as part of the Kind Diamond Build Consortium (KDC) successfully qualified for two Lots in the LHC Schools and Community Buildings framework.

These are £0-£2M (new-build) in which we are one of two contractors covering the London area, and £2M-£4M (new-build and refurb) where we are one of three.

Potentially worth £500M, the framework is due to run until 2021.