On 18th May 1953, within weeks of the young Elizabeth II’s coronation and at a time of immense national pride and optimism, Captain James McCarrick registered a new construction company from his home in Crichton Avenue, Chester-le-Street. He subsequently dedicated his career to the development of McCarrick Construction Company Ltd, turning a fledgling enterprise into a thriving construction business, and employing a hardworking original team of local joiners, brickies and labourers, many of whom had fought on the front line of WW2.

Later, his son Michael took over and invested over thirty years of hard work into growing the company further. Among the company’s commercial works, Michael and his team built a huge number of high-quality residential developments across the region, often regenerating the landscape of the area as well as transforming the lives of the residents. The company continued to accrue an excellent reputation and built strong ties with local subcontractors and clients alike.

In 2023, with Michael’s son Matthew at its helm, the company is still operating successfully from its head office in Chester-le-Street, carrying out construction services for a wide range of clients from the commercial, education and healthcare sectors, and its maroon and grey branded vans are a familiar sight to everyone in the town and beyond.

To reach seventy years is certainly cause for celebration – the company is one of the oldest continuously family-owned businesses in the North East and has weathered many economic storms, most notably the crash of 2007- 8 which decimated many local competitors, and of course the pandemic, the effects of which continue to reverberate. The construction industry has changed immeasurably in recent years and Matthew has brought in, among other things, a new drive for education and continuous professional development which places McCarrick Construction among the more highly-qualified SMEs in the region.

To mark this milestone, Matthew took the whole team on a fantastic outdoor activities day in Northumberland, wearing specially-designed commemorative t-shirts and taking part in blind driving, axe throwing and quad biking among other things. “It seemed a great way to show all our lads how much they are appreciated”, he said. “Our team is everything to us – they work incredibly hard and we don’t get together as a group very often so it was great to see everyone having a bit of fun.”