In a planned succession, John Hartnett is taking over from John Wilson, who retires at Christmas after 24 years with the business.
At the same time, Phil Brown is joining the board of Eric Wright Construction as surveying director.
Group managing director Jeremy Hartley said: “John Wilson has done an excellent job leading the construction business through some extremely challenging times, not least the well-publicised challenges faced by the industry as a whole this year with Brexit and of course Covid. It is a situation no one could have begun to envisage.
“With a change of leadership under John Hartnett and Phil’s appointment further strengthening the board, we’re taking the opportunity now to respond to a very changed world and reshape the business to ensure it remains resilient and future-proofed to meet the continuing operational and commercial challenges which face the construction sector as a whole. Phil has a great deal of commercial expertise which will be invaluable as we deal with the economic challenges post-Covid.”
He added: “Despite all the issues 2020 has thrown at us, our construction team has delivered over £60m worth of key projects on time or ahead of schedule during the summer which is a remarkable achievement.”
John Hartnett joined Eric Wright Construction in 2015 from Lend Lease. He said: “We have in place a resilient and robust business structure which will take Eric Wright Construction through the next stage of its evolution. The construction sector as a whole has endured extremely tough times in recent years but we continue to benefit from the diversity of the group working across a wide variety of sectors including health, residential, commercial, industrial and education and being part of a wider group which gives us significant financial strength.
“We have a great deal of repeat business from external customers and collaborate with many of the other group businesses including Maple Grove Developments and One Partnership. We’ve implemented new systems and procedures throughout the business to meet the sector’s changing needs and I’m looking forward to leading the team on the next stage of our exciting journey.”
Eric Wright Construction, founded in 1979 by Eric Wright, was the original business of what is now the Eric Wright Group, which includes Eric Wirght Civil Engineering, Healthcare, Water and Facilities Management as well as Maple Grove Developments and residential development arm Applethwaite Homes.
Current projects include the £30m Gateway Altelier scheme in Salford for Muse and a £12m sports science project for Manchester Metropolitan University. It recently completed £45m of development work for Manchester Life and has delivered three new schools under the Department for Education Framework: Lotus SEN Blackpool, Fairfield Primary and Preston Muslim Girls High School.
Eric Wright Construction is also working with One Partnership to deliver two residential health projects in Lancashire to add to the existing portfolio and has recently completed a student accommodation scheme for Maple Grove Developments in York and Artis Park industrial scheme in Deeside.