Transforming communities: Aston Group’s legacy of sustainable building solutions 

London-based building services firm Aston Group is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, marking a significant milestone. Thanks to a dedicated focus on service excellence, innovation, and sustainability, the company is as prosperous as ever six decades on. Having gone from strength to strength, Aston Group currently boasts a talented team of 130 people, an annual turnover of £23 million and a portfolio of high-profile clients, including Waltham Forest Council, Hackney Council, Harlow Council and University College London. In 2023, Aston Group achieved yet another remarkable feat by upholding 100 percent gas safety compliance for more than 8000 homes for 12 consecutive years while servicing and maintaining the gas and heating at Waltham Forest’s residential properties.  

Alan Thomas
Alan Thomas

Company expansion 

Managing Director, Alan Thomas, reflects on what the past year has been like for the business. “It has been a busy time as we dedicated ourselves to increasing our turnover. Still, as an SME in a very competitive industry, we have encountered our share of challenges. The fact that we operate as a contractor adds an extra layer of difficulty. Despite securing long-term contracts at historical prices due to heavy inflation in the marketplace, maintaining a profitable business in such an environment continues to pose challenges. As we approach our 60th year in business, we’re making great strides to expand the company into the retrofit and low carbon energy markets. Julie Dunn, our Strategic Communications Manager, has been heavily involved in making that happen. Indeed, we have completed multiple projects within those segments in 2023, such as delivering 140 SHDF properties for external insulation as well as equipping 60 properties with solar energy,” he begins.  

Significant project 

Notably, Aston Group has commenced a £3.8 million retrofit project, which Julie is keen to discuss. “This project involves a deep retrofit of a 40-flat hostel that is of particular interest to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). Recently, the DESNZ approached the council, asking for resident feedback, as projects of this nature don’t come to fruition through wave one funding very often and they want to ensure the residents are pleased with it. I believe that the complexity of this project and our willingness to undertake it is what makes us unique in the industry. With everything progressing smoothly and the works expected to be completed in April, this project serves as a testament to our ability to succeed even on complex endeavours. Throughout the duration of the project the residents have been in occupation, and we’ve had to approach this in a sympathetic way. This task was no easy feat, but so far so good, and we are still on track to finish the project on time,” she enlightens. 

Growth and adaptability Aston group 60 years celebration

Alan reveals what Aston Group’s 60th anniversary means to him. “Contracting is a tough industry and there have been many companies falling by the wayside over the last six decades and during my 34 years working at Aston Group. I believe that one of the reasons we have remained successful is that we have been flexible in our approach to managing the business and are highly adaptable. We started out as a central heating company and did that for a long time until we ventured into commercial heating. Our success in this area opened new opportunities and from 2010 onwards, we were invited to undertake gas servicing works. Subsequently, we managed several other projects, notably for Waltham Forest Council and L&Q, where we were responsible for managing multiple M&E contracts as part of their frameworks. Diversification truly helped grow the business. If we hadn’t gone down that road, I think Aston Group would certainly be a lot smaller today. In essence, what this anniversary represents to me is our journey of growth and adaptability, done without compromising on our core values which is difficult for a lot of companies to achieve. Our staff – including Julie and myself – are driven by a strong desire to conduct their work in the best possible way. This commitment to excellence is ingrained in our business DNA, empowering us to attract and retain workers who share the same mindset.  

“Lastly, this anniversary serves as a reminder that no matter how much we have grown, we have maintained our commitment to affordability, reflecting our caring nature. As we expanded, we’ve implemented a social value plan that helps us give back to the communities in which we work, with our staff playing an active role in the successful delivery. All in all, throughout our six decades in business, we have remained true to ourselves. We still understand the importance of fostering strong relationships, prioritizing quality, customer satisfaction and fulfilling our corporate social value commitments,” he highlights. 

As Aston Group looks forward to more milestones, Alan unveils the company’s aspirations for the year ahead. “Our priorities are to deliver our works in accordance with our core values, while operating at a sustainable level of profit. With an expected increase in turnover for this financial year and a full order book for 2024/25, the future looks bright,” he concludes. 

By upholding its commitment to adaptability and social responsibility, Aston Group is set to celebrate many more milestones on its trajectory of success and leadership in the sector.