Barnsley concrete specialists gain award for work at Glasgow School of Art

9 December 2014

A Barnsley construction company has gained a top industry award for its work on an iconic new concrete building at the Glasgow School of Art.

The Reid Building, designed and built in part by Cidon Construction, stands opposite the historic Charles Rennie Mackintosh building which was devastated by fire earlier this year.

Cidon’s concrete structure was awarded a Certificate of Excellence at the recent Concrete Society Awards 2014. Judges described it as an ‘excellent’ extension to the existing Art Nouveau building.

Cidon’s operations director Steve Simpson, who collected the award at a London ceremony, said: “It was a great privilege to work beside such as an internationally important building as the Glasgow School of Art and be involved in construction of a bold new extension with such high aesthetic values.

“The Concrete Society judges actually inspected our work just days before the fire at original Mackintosh building in May.

“We were very shocked to hear about the blaze in the news and will follow progress of the restoration which began there last month with great interest.

“Our new-build was not affected by the fire and it is now being used as an exhibition, learning and events centre by the university.”

Concrete specialists Cidon were called in to design and build the complex concrete structure of the Reid Building two years ago, spending 44 weeks on site and completing in May 2013. The certificate of excellence recognises their expertise in constructing innovative architectural features with meticulous attention to detail and a high standard of finish.

Steve said: “The concept for the building was to produce a high-quality modern, artistic structure which was complimentary to the original School of Art and impressive in its own right. We helped construct some very complex geometrical shapes within the structure which were designed to draw in lots of natural light and create interesting internal spaces reflecting the university’s commitment to creativity.”

Cidon Construction, based in Platts Common, near Hoyland is a growing company and is being supported by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) through the Enterprising Barnsley programme, which is funded by Barnsley Council.

Set up by managing director Ciaran Donnelly in 2000, Cidon has sustained steady growth since then and, with the recent upturn in construction, has seen its turnover increase to reach £10 million over the last two years.

Cidon currently employs more than 100 people throughout the UK and, this year, it launched its first multi-trade trainee scheme engaging eight 16-to-21-year-olds from the Barnsley area.

The Glasgow School of Art job, worth about £6 million, is just one of an increasing number of high profile contracts across the UK. These include a two year contract at Ferrybridge Power Station; a 168-apartment block for students on Walmgate in York, and its fifth building at Edinburgh’s Quartermile retail and office development site.

Closer to home, Cidon is about to start work on a new office block and car park on Arundel Gate in Sheffield. And, in a departure from the company’s core work with concrete, it is managing a stone-built residential development on a former sawmill site in Penistone. Cidon is using all local suppliers and sandstone sourced from the near-by Hillside Quarry to deliver this development.

Enterprising Barnsley has been helping Cidon manage its current expansion by providing specialist professional development coaching for its management team.

Kevin Steel, Enterprising Barnsley’s business development manager at BBIC said: “These are very exciting times for this growing Barnsley company.

“Cidon’s national reputation for its expertise with reinforced concrete is going from strength to strength, as evidenced by the recognition it has gained for its work at the Glasgow School of Art.

“We are delighted to support development of Cidon’s management team in Barnsley and look forward to seeing their on-going growth in the UK construction market.”

Notes to editor

Attached photograph shows Cidon’s operations director Steve Simpson (centre) with general foreman Stephen Auton (left) and technical director Rob Smith (right) at the Concrete Society Awards 2014.

For more information, please contact Imogen Brook at Cidon on 01226 360622 or

For more information about the Enterprising Barnsley programme, funded by Barnsley Metropolitan Council and delivered by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), please contact Kevin Steel on tel: 01226 249590 or

BBIC is committed to assisting economic regeneration in the Barnsley borough. It aims to stimulate, promote and encourage the development of innovative technology and knowledge-based businesses in order to create jobs and economic growth.

BBIC’s programme of Enterprising Barnsley support is part of a wider Enterprising Barnsley programme, part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.

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