2021 – a year of challenges, and opportunities!

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Our Managing Director Andy, takes a reflective look at the year to date

As we emerge from the summer hiatus into the final part of 2021, we are taking the time to look back on the year to date, and how we have pulled together as a company to make CIC stronger.


While overshadowed by the lockdown in the first quarter, business levels were, unsurprisingly, not at pre-pandemic levels for the time of year. Nevertheless, our solid, long-term relationships with pub and hotel operators ensured that there was work in the pipeline, and we managed many projects.


These ranged from minor refurbishments with loyal clients, including updating outdoor pub and restaurant spaces to accommodate returning customers complying with Covid regulations, to larger-scale projects. This included the refurbishment of the trade spaces within Oakman Group’s The Woburn Hotel, and the total transformation of the Leather Bottle pub for our client, Admiral Taverns, worth over £250k. All areas of this village pub were refurbished and, due to the short timeframe to turn the site around to meet the reopening date, it was a case of all hands on deck to meet every expectation.


This would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment from our contractors.


We are extremely mindful of how challenging the last 18 months have been for contractors and the entire supply chain. However, over the two decades, we have been in operation we have acquired a network of contractors who have grown with us and support us on projects across the country. Through ongoing communication and collaboration, this network has been strengthened throughout the pandemic as we continue to support each other. It is paramount that all terms in a contract are adhered to, and we strive to ensure that we have cash resources to pay our contractors on time.


Along with fulfilling contracts, the lockdown periods gave us time to reassess processes and objectives to ensure the business was in a healthy, invigorated position to facilitate customer needs. This included two new senior appointments. Howard Thomas joined the company as Operations Director at the end of 2020, and Steven Collier came on board earlier this year as Senior Project Manager.


The decision to welcome both Howard and Steven into the CIC family has been fruitful. Both brought a wealth of industry experience and contacts to the business and, as a result, opened up new opportunities and doors into industries that have previously been untapped by CIC.  For instance, we have made our first foray into the retail sector with a new store concept project for the White Stuff.


While we continue to break into new markets, projects from sectors we have previous experience within have grown. From golf clubs to educational settings. While the former market has experienced a buoyant year through memberships, the latter has, unsurprisingly, had a difficult time and been constrained by restrictions and budgets. Nevertheless, we are delighted to see an uptick in the number of inquiries from educational establishments, including universities that are refurbishing their social spaces to attract a wider event audience.


There may still be challenges ahead, particularly around the supply and rising costs of materials, but we have a loyal customer base that is growing, and a number of exciting projects in the pipeline. So, both I and the rest of the CIC team are entering the autumn with renewed vigour, and look forward to seeing many more clients and contractors face to face again very soon.

Andy Teague, Managing Director, Creative Interior Contracts