News-Keenwood – Celebrating 25 Years !-Apr - 2022
Keenwood – Celebrating 25 Years !
Keenwood was officially incorporated in 1997, but the journey began long before then…..
In the mid 70’s as a young teenager, Seamus Keenan (now owner and MD at Keenwood), worked with his father Seamus senior on a wide variety of local construction projects. This gave Seamus a taste of the building site environment and started a lifelong passion. From the beginning, Seamus had a keen interest in the building processes from design through to completion. Formal training commenced in 1979, a five-year apprenticeship with Master Craftsman ,Hugh Scullion. Hugh was a gifted tradesman with vast knowledge, skill and patience. This apprenticeship was a rock-solid foundation to build upon.
In 1984, a 22-year-old Seamus took his first flight to New York City, on his own with a suitcase and $300! The was the start of a quick education about survival, and two years later he had his own carpentry company in Manhattan. Between the mid 80’s and 90’s Seamus worked and studied both in New York and San Francisco, gaining a wealth of commercial experience and knowledge from construction industry experts, university professors, business owners and master craftsmen and women. In 1996, Seamus… with a shipping container full of advance construction tools, newfound knowledge, skills and ambition, left California and returned to Ireland to start the Keenwood business.
After a few small jobs, the 1st real commercial opportunity arrived in 1997. Keenwood tendered and won the complete joinery package for the 4* 130 bed Stakis Hotel Golf and Country Club (now the Hilton) in Templepatrick, close to Belfast International Airport. This project was a full joinery package including roofing, 1st fix, 2nd fix and front of house fit out. From this challenging start, Keenwood pulled together a small team of 12 top-quality craftsmen.
Working mainly in the Belfast area, Keenwood’s reputation for delivering high specification joinery projects on time, on budget and to the highest standards quickly grew. In a few busy years, Keenwood was working for all the major commercial building contractors in Northern Ireland and winning repeat contracts. The focus was on new hospitals, schools, universities, hotels, apartment and office blocks. In 2000, Keenwood started their own apprenticeship programme, hiring and training 10 plus apprentices per year. Some of them are still working with Keenwood today, either on the tools, or in senior management positions.
In 2006 Keenwood took on their 1st UK job, a double hotel project in Milton Keynes. This was quickly followed by 20 more new office, hotel and apartment projects from the Shetland Islands, down through Scotland, North of England, Midlands, Cardiff, Plymouth, across the south coast, into Brighton and up into London. The Apprentice Programme was rolled out throughout the UK, hiring as many local apprentices as the projects could facilitate.
Since 2010, Keenwood’s main focus has been in the Greater London Area, sourcing great opportunities suited to the expanding management team and skilled work force. Strong and lasting partnerships have been built with some of the UK’s largest construction companies like Mace, Ellmer, Willmott Dixon, McAleer and Rush, Galliard Homes, Gilbert Ash, Berkeley Group, Ballymore, O’Shea, Vistry Partnerships and many more.
With offices in London and Belfast, and a strong experienced management team, Keenwood now provides a full design, manufacture and install of all commercial joinery, plus a complete fit-out service. The Apprenticeship Programme is thriving in London with up to 12 new boys and girls every year, as well as trainee graduates in the offices and in-house H&S Officers.
As the opportunities have arisen, the team has grown; training craftsmen and women with traditional skills and modern technology, to perform quality craftmanship for the years ahead. Keenwood will continue to build their profile in the Greater London Area for the next 25 years plus, building lasting relationships and business trust.
Our company moto is “Delivering Quality Craftsmanship” We train our own people. We stand over our service. We put our people and clients first.