Full speed ahead for William Coates

For the company , a job well done is a top priority, and successfully taking on new challenges has always played a crucial role in its growth and development.

The company was delighted, therefore, to be given the task of supplying the mechanical and electrical services for the restoration work on board the legendary World War One battleship HMS Caroline, at Alexandra Dock, Queen’s Road, Belfast.

Recently awarded a five-star visitor attraction rating, HMS Caroline is the last survivor of the 1916 Battle of Jutland, and the last remaining British WW1 light cruiser still afloat.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy and the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment have worked as partners to restore and interpret HMS Caroline and, with the help of a £11.5million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the ship opened to the public for the first time in June 2016.

Now preserved for future generations to act as a living memorial to the lives of those who died, visitors on board this legendary lone survivor have been enjoying a unique experience, visiting the restored engine rooms and crew spaces, as well as newly introduced interactive stations, classrooms, event spaces and a café. Although the ship closed again in October for hull conservation work, it is due to reopen again in spring 2017.

William Coates worked with main contractor, Blu Marine to help restore the ship to its former glory on what proved to be a long and challenging project, but ultimately a very rewarding one.

The mechanical installation was led by William Coates’ Senior Mechanical Contracts Manager, Adrian Campbell (who has recently been appointed a director at William Coates), and supported by a team of highly qualified and motivated mechanical professionals. Committed to understanding customers and their requirements, and executing projects safely to the highest level of quality possible, they carried out the installation to the highest standards.

“The mechanical works were quite extensive, and included the installation of a new potable water supply to the ship, new domestic services pipework throughout, a new potable booster and cold water storage tank, new sanitary ware throughout, and new supply and extract air handling units with heat recovery and air conditioning,” said Adrian.

“The installations themselves were works we carry out regularly, and which don’t usually present any problems,” continued Adrian. “However, HMS Caroline was, in fact, a very challenging project. We hadn’t carried out this kind of job on a ship before and, because of its historical importance, there were lots of structural issues, for example even the old paintwork had to be preserved – we weren’t allowed to remove any of it through the work we were doing.

“We had to run everything past the Royal Navy Museum and Caldwell Consulting. That took time of course, and meant that everything had to be carefully planned and coordinated. In order to ensure that no difficulties arose, we had regular meetings with the client on site. Thankfully, both the Royal Navy, and main contractor, Blu Marine were excellent to work with and the whole operation ran very smoothly. It did take twice as long as usual, but that was due to the nature of the environment and we learnt a lot from this job. It’s now another expertise we can add to our growing portfolio.”

Since the mechanical division was formed, William Coates has been providing clients with engineering services and solutions in a variety of sectors including industrial, commercial, educational, retail, healthcare and leisure. The company is experienced in providing tailor-made mechanical engineering services on time, within budget and to the highest standard of quality, adopting William Coates’ core values of quality, value, service and delivery when providing each and every mechanical engineering project.

William Coates promotes an attitude throughout the business in which quality is the responsibility of every member of staff, and a quality project is seen as a passport to achieving customer satisfaction and to securing future business. To ensure it achieves these high standards throughout the business, the company operates a quality management system that is certified to ISO 9001. It also works closely with customers, design teams and sub-contractors, to ensure that critical information and resources are in place to eliminate any defects before they occur.

In other news, the Board of Directors at William Coates recently appointed four new directors, with Adrian Campbell, Gary Coleman, Jonathan Hunter and Ryan Scott now bringing their expertise to the boardroom.

Over the last year the company has experienced significant growth, with further substantial growth forecast in the year ahead, making it essential that the right senior leadership is in place to cope with that growth and facilitate further expansion, along with laying the foundation for management succession within the company. Adrian Campbell has been instrumental in taking the mechanical department to unprecedented levels of success and, since joining the company in July 2014, has earned huge respect for what he has achieved as Senior Mechanical Contracts Manager.

For more information on William Coates Ltd, telephone (NI) 028 9034 2560 or (RoI) 048 9034 2560, e-mail info@williamcoates.com or visit www.williamcoates.com