Contractor of the Year

This category celebrates the achievements of geotechnical contractors or specialist geotechnical divisions within general contracting firms that can demonstrate achievement of clear business milestones over the last year. The award will celebrate firms that have continually delivered innovation, quality and value between January 2023 and January 2024, while improving the business and making it more profitable.

Bachy Soletanche

Bachy Soletanche had a strong year, increasing turnover and profit through successful project tendering and delivery. Technical excellence was displayed across a range of projects where the teams used 17 different geotechnical solutions throughout the year, showcasing the depth of methods offered. Projects were delivered nationwide ranging from small technically complex works through to major schemes on HS2 and Tideway. During the year the company strengthened relationships with existing clients and supply chain partners, whilst at the same time seeking out new relationships to bring different methods and solutions to the industry. Employee engagement was present throughout the year as the whole company came together to develop a strategy for the business, one which is driven from the bottom-up. 

Bam Ritchies

2023 was BAM Ritchies 60th birthday, our most successful year in our history. Demonstrating that our strategic approach to selecting the right customers to work with, projects to deliver and people to work for us, delivers our business goals. 2023 was the year of our largest investment in new plant. We invested in training our people to deliver exceptional work with the new equipment and latest operating systems. We implemented a number of Business Improvement programmes to formalise and capture the way that we deliver excellence to our customers, including Departmental Operating Management Plans, Grouting Manuals, and bespoke procedures for high-risk activities. Our 9 disciplines have a pivotal role to play in delivery of renewable energy tomorrow as they are supporting critical infrastructure today. We are building a sustainable tomorrow, today and shifting our focus away from the fossil fuelled present, towards the Net Zero future. 

Cognition Land and Water

Cognition Land and Water, a leading specialist contractor in brownfield remediation, ground engineering and complex civil engineering focusses on derisking challenging sites, backed by a commendable track record of on-time, on-budget project delivery. With a focus on sustainability as a Zero Carbon company, the firm has achieved significant growth over 20 years, reaching £35M turnover with 150 staff, prioritising innovation, quality and value. Noteworthy 2023 projects included decommissioning power station infrastructure, gasworks remediation, ground improvement on large land development projects and redevelopment of historical landfill sites. Their change to an EOT and the associated business improvements have resulted in enhanced recruitment and retention, greater scope and scale of work, and increased profitability. The company's initiatives for staff retention, well-being, and community contributions align with their Social Value principles.

Dawson Wam

DAWSON-WAM, a family-owned ground engineering specialist, prioritises its people, embedding skilled individuals in client projects early on. With over 110 directly employed staff, including apprentices and engineering graduates, the company fosters long-term relationships, evident in a 99% turnover from repeat business. Financially, 2023 surpassed the record-setting 2022, boasting an increase in turnover, profit and overall financial standing. This year DAWSON-WAM has excelled in major infrastructure projects like HS2 and Smart Motorways, Flood Protection, Water Management, and Emergency Rail Response, pioneering AI Human Recognition and Digital Rehearsals. The company is a leader in geotechnical solutions for top UK contractors, emphasising safety with a 0.0 accident frequency rate. Committed to sustainability, this year DAWSON-WAM achieved PAS2080, carbon neutrality, and plans to transform Flitwick Moor into a Natural England designated area. Recognised by industry awards, the company stands out for its Considerate Constructors Scheme partnership and environmental initiatives. 

Fortis Foundations

Within one year, turnover soared from £1.6 million (2022) to an impressive £3.6 million (2023), a testament to our visionary leadership, spearheaded by husband-and-wife duo Will and Alice Temperley. Safety is paramount and the business surpasses standard industry practices. Offering additional training through HSG47 on Avoiding Danger from Underground Services. Showing the business’s dedication to keeping employees as safe as possible. Construction managers hold Level 7 CSCS Management Professionals certification with SMSTS Site Management Training, while supervisors boast Level 6 Gold Card accreditation with SSSTS Site Supervisor Safety Scheme. Furthermore, the entire Fortis workforce is qualified and competent for their roles in NRSWA Street Works. Traditional civil engineering, the launch of Fortis EV, specialising in electric vehicle charging solutions, showcases our commitment to innovation and sustainability. Winning this award would affirm our commitment to team support, industry modernisation, environmental sustainability, and staying ahead in the ever-evolving field of civil engineering.

Marshall Drilling

Marshall Drilling are a geotechnical and geo-environmental drilling contractor that has continued to build on the recognised success of 2022. Solution-based plant and machinery innovation was the focus for 2023, driven by an ongoing determination to provide an advanced and bespoke service to meet the needs of our clients. Increasing the scope of site services has been a key part of this years growth; demonstrated by the development of several new, specialist low ground pressure machines and our new, revolutionary multi-purpose rotary drilling mast. This innovation not only exhibits the broad capabilities of the company but also the flexibility to react to our client’s requirements. Due to this investment, 2023 has provided a significantly increased workload, allowing Marshall Drilling Ltd to continue reinvestment in its staff, plant and business strategy. The company reached its 5-year trading anniversary in March ’24 and although still in its infancy, has grown considerably within this time. The company now operates a fleet of 12 rotary drilling rigs across the UK, employing 27 members of staff, an organic growth achieved with no external investment resulting in a turnover in excess of £4M, year to date. This growth has moved the company to the position of becoming one of the UK’s largest independently owned “drill only“ contractors.


In 2023, Menard has continued its upward trend of revenue growth whilst maintaining market leading profitability. Our people are the catalyst of our growth, they take pride in the way we meet the challenges presented to us by our customers and our success is undoubtedly built on our ability to deliver technical solutions which provide cost, programme and carbon footprint benefits. Our growth has been supported by investment in technology (OMNIBOX – all in one digital solution for data handling and analysis), which improves business efficiency and provides our customers with a real time assurance of quality. Our most important development of 2023 has been the embedment of our culture, where passion, creativity and ownership are encouraged. We are proud that our staff have embraced our Personal Choices behavioural safety programme which has helped us maintain high safety and well-being standards in our work environment.