Stonbury: A 40-year legacy

As the company celebrates four decades of delivering specialist civil engineering solutions for the water and environmental sectors, Stonbury reflects on its remarkable achievements and shares its inspiring vision for a sustainable future.

Humble Beginnings

Founded in 1983 as a family-run contractor to various industries, Stonbury quickly recognised the opportunity to offer highly specialised skills within the water industry. After obtaining its first framework contract in the 1990s, Stonbury began to work exclusively within the sector, strategically locating offices to serve water companies across the country with the aim to become the number one specialist contractor to the water industry.

Since then, Stonbury has remained a trusted framework partner and contractor to the industry, continuously evolving to meet the challenges of managing clean and wastewater assets throughout all seven asset management plan (AMP) periods. Most notably, Stonbury was a key player in helping clients reduce operational costs and extend asset lifespans during the Ofwat drive to upgrade UK water facilities after privatisation.

Formally best known for its presence in potable water, Stonbury became renowned for encouraging industry best-practice at its annual Drinking Water Conference. The event, which ran for ten years, brought together water companies, suppliers and industry experts nationwide to share knowledge and help safeguard quality drinking water. During this time, Stonbury drove innovation within the industry with market-leading concepts such as its online client-contractor interface Client Portal.

Rapid Growth

Strategic development resulted in steady growth until the acquisition of Simpson Civil Engineering and Kingcombe Aquacare, in 2012 and 2017 respectively, which further elevated the business and enabled Stonbury to expand its geographical coverage and cultivate a direct specialised workforce. These changes led to the delivery of major civils projects, such as new build reservoirs, and enhanced environmental engineering offerings in time to align with the ecological protection goals of AMP 7. Working closely with the Environment Agency, Stonbury began to cross-pollinate standards and close the loop between water companies and the regulator.

Trebling turnover in the past ten years, Stonbury is now a market leader in the potable water, wastewater and water environment sectors. Stonbury has grown from a regional family business to a national company, employing over 300 people and serving more than 26 framework agreements with UK water companies and the Environment Agency. This growth has been underpinned by a reputation for providing high-quality, specialist services facilitated by the amalgamation of its acquisitions into one cohesive brand.

Stonbury has since nurtured a positive corporate culture and a clear direction where all employees can be passionate and contribute, fostering an environment that values a diverse workforce and empowers its people to develop their own opportunities to fulfil their aspirations. The result is a happy and highly specialised workforce that is motivated and equipped to deliver superior attention to detail. 

“I joined Stonbury as a Project Manager and have witnessed the business flourish over the past 20 years, providing a variety of roles that have contributed to my progression to Chief Operating Officer. Stonbury is a fantastic place to work, never standing still and always looking for new ways to support clients’ needs; I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.”

Ian Mellor, Chief Operating Officer

Now and Beyond

CEO Trevor Hoyle joined Stonbury in 2021 and re-evaluated its purpose, vision, and strategic goals. The company relaunched its mission statement with a dedicated commitment to growing its current services and becoming a leading sustainability specialist within its chosen markets. It continues to support clients in AMP 8 and beyond with building, maintenance and refurbishment services that celebrate nature, deliver social value and provide exceptional value for people and the planet.

“We are proud to have become the leading Water & Environment Sustainability Specialist and thank all of our outstanding people, supportive clients, suppliers, and investors for allowing this to happen. We are excited to continue to help our world become a more sustainable one. Here’s to the next 40 years!”

Trevor Hoyle, CEO

Putting the focus on greener outcomes, Stonbury is excited to expand its sustainable energy sector after recently delivering the infrastructure for its first group of pioneering biomethane harvesting lagoons in the southwest of England. New investment from LDC will facilitate its strategy to grow blue-green engineering capabilities, supporting the industry to embrace approaches that value natural capital, achieve longevity of assets and create biological net gain.

As Stonbury continues to adapt to change, it extends its focus toward the broader national and global impacts of its operations – considering environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and the legacy it leaves behind. Embedding this awareness into the fabric of its cultural identity, Stonbury is looking closely at how it manages its supply chain and delivers services to ensure it responds to the challenges ahead in a way that is both ethical and sustainable.

With a 40-year legacy and a clear vision for the future, Stonbury remains a reliable and innovative partner to multiple sectors within the water and energy industries. Its long history of investment in the business and its people has positioned Stonbury to deliver comprehensive solutions for water and energy assets throughout the entire catchment.