Willmott Dixon was named Building magazine’s Major Contractor of the Year at its annual awards, the second time in three years it has achieve the prestigious accolade.

The award is one of the most sought-after prizes in construction, recognising a company’s quality and achievements in what has been a very difficult market in recent years for contractors. The judging panel noted a number of key elements that helped Willmott Dixon stand out in 2012:

“With significant growth in the last three years, highlights include work for Tesco at Woolwich Central and its work on standardised schools design. The judges were particularly impressed with the company’s care for and investment in its staff, with the creation of the Willmott Dixon 4Life Academy training facility for up to 2,000 people a year in Birmingham.”

Woolwich Central is one of the biggest ever capital investments by Tesco, involving construction of an 80,000 sq ft supermarket and 260 homes, with the supermarket completed in November ready for the Christmas trade. Other notable highlights include the growth of the Sunesis standardised design concept to give clients ‘more for less’ in their new projects and building the UK’s first zero carbon ‘in use’ school for the London Borough of Islington.

Another highlight was the investment of £1million to create the 4Life Academy in Birmingham, a dedicated training facility that will equip up to 2,000 people a year, both within the company and outside, with new career-enhancing skills.

Group chief executive Rick Willmott said, “Being Building’s Major Contractor of the Year for a second time in recent years is a great source of pride. It’s important recognition that we are delivering the quality, innovation and know-how our clients expect from Willmott Dixon. Winning is down to the hard work and tireless effort of everyone across the business, who can rightly place a hand on the trophy and say ‘I helped win that’; our people really do make us. We’ll use this accolade as a platform and spur to further invest in innovation and develop new ideas to bring value for our clients.”