The Construction Project

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Construction Project's best practice article

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 The Construction Project is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Structurally perfect and the best
on the market
A football air-dome
The Construction Project (TCP) are based in Sheffield, where
they were founded in 2013, but they have been operating
internationally for much longer than that. In the wake of
the Gulf war, they worked in the Middle East helping to rebuild
parts of Kuwait. Soon after, they branched out into America and
central Europe. Five years ago, they began serving the British
market. With a workforce comprising 64 members of staff across
separate design, manufacture and installation teams, they utilise
British materials and a domestic pool of highly skilled individuals
to build completely unique structures. Paul Barthorpe, their
managing director, has been with them from the beginning.
These types of structures are prominent in the Middle East, but have never really
been popular in the UK up until now. We are the only people in the market who
can offer these kinds of services – we are entirely and wholly unique. In simple
terms, we design, manufacture and construct air domes, which are inflated tensile
membrane structures held up purely by air pressure. We build to the highest
specifications in the world, and, importantly, own our supply chain – we’re in
possession of exclusive distribution rights for the highest-quality materials. Put
simply, we can provide the best possible structure for the lowest possible cost, and
tailor everything to a client’s unique requirements, be they size, shape or structure.
Our unique guarantees
As we offer the highest specifications across everything we do, our after-sales
package can afford to offer complete guarantees. This includes the highest quality,
the lowest price, the longest warranties on the market and the best service possible
»Managing director:
»Established in 2014 in the UK,
2002 in the UAE
»Based in Sheffield
»Services: Total turnkey
construction projects
»Number of employees: 64
»Has the exclusive UK
distribution rights to highest-
specification materials on the
The Construction
Highlighting best practice
– on all of these, we offer clients their
money back if they can be beaten. Our
design team are among the highest
paid in the sector, because they’re
the best. That’s how we work. It’s all
about ensuring the best possible level
of quality – something reflected in our
ISO 9001 and 14001 accreditations.
We have invested over £250,000
a year into our research and
development team and have had
to stop, purely because we’re so far
ahead of the market. We’re able
to do this as a result of substantial
organic growth. We are profitable,
but we do reinvest a vast majority
of this profit to ensure we’re at the
absolute forefront of our industry. It
might go towards increasing the size
of our service fleet, new materials
or, as mentioned, research – it’s not
about creating something to purely
squeeze every penny of profit from.
It’s about building something that is
simply unmatchable in every dimension
Celebrating partnerships
We have some of the biggest
corporate partners in the world on
board with our work. Our attainment
and progress really can’t be doubted
– we’ve gone from no staff to 64 in
five years, from no turnover to over
£25 million per annum. Around 70 per
cent of our business is in the sporting
sector; this includes football clubs,
such as Hull City, Bury, Peterborough
United, Rangers and Watford, just to
provide a few examples, along with
other top-flight league clubs across
Europe. We have also liaised with the
LTA, the British governing body for
tennis, and even organisations beyond
the sporting world, such as Disney.
We are additionally working on some
truly groundbreaking community
projects with the knowledge of the
English Federation of Disabled Sport.
We want to provide high-quality
sporting opportunities for the groups
that might not normally feel they’re
accessible. It’s entirely self-funded,
high-specification and open to those
who would typically have little to no
access to sports.
We attract and retain such partnerships
through not only our quality, but also
our cost-competitive nature – market
presence and word of mouth has
helped us expand to this point. Going
forward, however, we are investing
heavily in our website, SEO and
A stand-out feature of
the landscape
Our basketball centre of
It’s about
something that
is simply
unmatchable in
every dimension
Challenge ourselves to maintain
While a lot of companies in our sector
might be concerned about Brexit
and the future, we consider it to
barely be a hurdle. Everything we do
is British – designed, manufactured
and engineered in the UK. As Brexit
hurts our competitors, who will
import materials, for example, we will
actually see a benefit from it. For us,
however, the greatest obstacle just
lies in maintaining our own standards
and staying at the forefront of the
industry. We pride ourselves on being
the best – the biggest challenge is
staying there.
In a legislative context, for us, the
largest issue is the UK tender process.
It is not geared towards getting the
best products at the best price, and
is open to manipulation, in a sense.
Our industry sees a lot of import from
eastern Europe, and while a lot of large
general contractors can tick all the
boxes in the tender process because
they’re established and of greater
size, they might not deliver the best
quality, or even have any experience in
Allowing people to ship poor-quality
products at a premium just because
they’re household names is not only
wrong, but also counter-intuitive.
Whoever sets the tender inevitably
ends up paying a higher price for lower
quality, and, as a result, we end up
spending a lot of time correcting other
people’s mistakes. It’s an institutional
and cultural issue – one that everyone
has to deal with. We’d like to be the
A constructive future
The structures that we build aren’t
common in the UK, and a lot of the
existing examples, for that reason,
are ones of subpar quality. People will
often look for the cheapest product
they can find, as it’s a specialist area, it
will be low quality. That, in turn, gives
the industry a bad reputation. We’re
having to educate people before we
can even think about selling to them,
and getting the message out, but it
really isn’t easy.
We want to see a change – the
specifications in the tender process
help neither the customer nor
the supplier. Until that changes,
we’ll continue to see poor-quality
structures, which are naturally
dangerous. If it takes a serious injury
for things to change, that’s already
too late. We do have to ask why, if
we’re the best for quality and price,
we’re not getting every job. People
are cutting corners to beat us to the
punch – and it isn’t goodenough.
Until the process evolves, however,
all we can do is guarantee and
deliver cost-competitive products of
the absolute highest quality, while
hoping things change. The future
certainly looks good for us – we want
to maintain our standards, keep our
client base happy and carry on forging
valuable partnerships both within and
outside of the sporting world.
Everything we
do is British
– designed,
engineered all
here in the UK
No internal supports or

This article was sponsored by The Construction Project. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister