Brown & Carroll London

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Brown & Carroll London is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Highlighting best practice
Brown & Carroll’s state-of-the-
art factory at Basildon
Brown & Carroll was founded in 1994 by Steve Brown and
Paul Carroll to serve the London fit out market, with a
specialist joinery facility located in Basildon, Essex, just
half an hour from central London. They work alongside main
contractors, professional teams and leading architects, keeping
sustainability and corporate agenda a high priority for clients
such as Google, Linklaters and Bloomberg. What sets Brown
& Carroll apart is their ability to coordinate every element of a
fit out, from design through to manufacturing and installation.
Paul Carroll, director and founder, here discusses how they
constantly stay ahead of the curve.
Ninety-seven per cent of our work is repeat business. This figure speaks for itself;
our unrelenting commitment to client satisfaction, our can-do attitude whatever
the demands of a project and our outstanding reputation for meeting every
handover date since 1994 have all contributed to us standing out in our field.
Our operations are based exclusively in London, serving both corporate and residential
markets. After all design and manufacture takes place at our state-of-the-art sustainable
factory just 30 minutes from central London, we then install on-site, working closely
with their main contractors, professional teams and architects throughout the process.
Repeat business for steady growth
When Brown & Carroll was founded in 1994, we had just five employees. Today,
our Basildon headquarters alone employs 120 people – a figure which can easily
»Founders: Paul Carroll and
Steve Brown
»Established in 1994
»Based in Basildon, Essex
»Services: Commercial joinery
and fit out
»No. of employees: Over 120
»Specialist joinery facility
»9 apprentices in training
»Named a Top 100
Apprenticeship Employer in
»Turnover: Circa £50 million in
ȣ3 million invested in
sustainable factory,
incorporating state-of-the-art
green technology
Brown & Carroll
(London) Ltd
double when the number of individuals
on-site at any one time is taken into
consideration. Growth across the
years has been steady and secure, and
we are now looking at a turnover of
How have we achieved such growth
over 24 years? In short, it’s all about
one thing: the Brown & Carroll
track record. We’ve dealt with huge
corporate names on multiple projects.
We have worked with Google on their
new King’s Cross headquarters, helped
convert the Athletes Village following
the London Olympics in 2012 and are
currently working on Centrepoint and
other residential schemes in the West
End and City. We also hold preferred
client status with London’s leading fit
out and main contractors.
A reputation to maintain
In a field as competitive as ours,
building an exceptional reputation
is one feat; maintaining it is another
entirely. It takes a serious, personalised
focus on the client through every
stage of a project, alongside the co-
ordinated efforts of our entire team.
We have also evolved to meet the
demands of increasingly complex and
bespoke fit outs. In the beginning, we
specialised only in traditional joinery
– a craft which still lies at the core of
all we do. Today, however, we have
the capability to carry out multi-trade
packages if required.
A responsibility to invest in
the future
It’s little surprise that such high-
quality service requires outstanding
staff, and our investment in our
employees is something we take
seriously. In the last two decades, 35
apprentices have honed their trade
with us, something which involves
serious commitment of both time and
money. The training requirements to
become a bench joiner are rigorous,
with the whole process taking up
to three years. It is, however, a
commitment we are prepared to
undertake to maintain our workforce
and keep the time-honoured skills of
the industry alive.
This dedication has not gone
unnoticed; we were recently
named one of the UK’s top 100
apprenticeship employers. A number
of Brown & Carroll apprentices have
succeeded in national events, including
the prestigious Worshipful Company
of Joiners and Ceilers Competition.
Furthermore, 90 per cent of former
apprentices remain with the company
today in some capacity, with many
having undertaken further HNC
qualifications and some now in
management roles.
Time4Trees: an
indigenous tree-planting
programme supported
by the company
What sets
Brown & Carroll
apart is their
ability to
coordinate every
element of a fit
out, from design
through to
and installation
John Baron MP meets
Paul Carroll and Brown
& Carroll apprentices
Highlighting best practice
Led by blue chip client demand and the
need to achieve exceptional BREEAM
and LEED ratings for new buildings,
we also play an important role in
developing the use of new techniques
and technologies to reduce waste
and enhance sustainability across all
of our activities. More recently, we
have embraced the latest modern
slavery legislation, training staff to
actively manage the risks that face the
construction industry.
Challenges on the horizon
Of course, Brexit will bring its
own challenges and issues for us
to navigate; as a company which
imports many of its products,
fluctuating exchange rates and
market uncertainty are far from
ideal. Furthermore, financial services
companies indirectly support a huge
portion of the London construction
industry; Brexit is a threat to them,
and as a result, a threattous.
We additionally employ a number of
highly skilled staff from Europe, many
of whom joined over a decade ago.
Their contribution to our work is vital,
but Brexit now places a question mark
over their future. What’s more, we
have already seen a noticeable drop
in the number of skilled applicants
from abroad, and are thus concerned
that the UK is creating its own skilled
labour shortage.
We are, however, ready to deal with
those problems as and when they
arise. After all, there is little more
we can do than survey the changing
landscape and respond innovatively
and appropriately. I personally think
that people sometimes underestimate
just how resilient London is. The capital
will always endure – if this city has
survived the past 1,000 years, it can
survive Brexit.
Remaining at the forefront
Whatever lies ahead, our aim is to
maintain our current position in the
market. Of course, continual growth
is something we would like, but we
remain conscious that this should
nonetheless be steady and controlled.
Our aim is not to aggressively chase
turnover each year – a risky manoeuvre
in anyone’s book – but to maintain
the high standards and quality of our
work, no matter what.
The company
has also
evolved to
meet the
demands of
complex and
bespoke fit
Building this facility in the
heart of the City of London –
while preserving the ancient
artefacts uncovered during
excavation – was a monumental
task requiring an extraordinary
level of coordination. The
outstanding efforts of Brown &
Carroll made it possible, and I
am grateful for everything they
did to bring this complex project
– Michael R. Bloomberg
on the Bloomberg European
Bloomberg European
Headquarters: One of
many high-profile fit

This article was sponsored by Brown & Carroll London. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.