Our Story

From our humble beginnings, on the 12 January 1909, when George Balfour and Andrew Beatty opened for business in a small office on the first floor of 22A College Hill near Cannon Street Station in London, we have grown to become an international business and a leading infrastructure group.

Our early days

During their time at the helm, George Balfour and Andrew Beatty seized every opportunity to grow the business, with our first contract to construct the Dunfermline and District Tramways opening in November 1909. The construction of the gravity dam in Blackwater, completed in 1917, marked the start of our delivery of major civil engineering works across the UK. As World War II began, our focus shifted to supporting the war effort, playing a key role in Britain’s defences through the construction of the Churchill barriers, a 2.3km series of causeways between Orkney and Ronaldsay that closed off the vital strategic harbour of Scapa Flow to enemy attack.

1960’s – 1990’s becoming an international group

Paving the way to becoming the international infrastructure group we are today, in 1969, we became part of BICC. This saw us diversify into new markets including motorway construction, building and property development and, in 1976 we broke ground on our first project in Dubai – the largest manmade harbour in the world, the Jebel Ali Port.

In 1986, we broadened our international footprint further as we entered the US market through the acquisition of Heery, an Atlanta based architectural and engineering business. This significant milestone laid the foundations for our substantial presence in the US civils, buildings and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) markets today. Just a few years later, in the 1990’s what is now our Balfour Beatty Investments business was formed to raise and structure finance to help customers achieve their project goals.

2000's - our growth continues

The start of the new millennium saw the Balfour Beatty name return to the fore as we sold our cable operations. Throughout the 2000’s, the group continued to grow, with acquisitions including GMH’s Military PPP accommodation business and Centex Construction in the US, and in the UK - Mansell, a construction services business, and Birse, a civil engineering contractor.  In 2004, we entered the Hong Kong market with the acquisition of our 50:50 joint venture, Gammon Construction, establishing our presence in what is today, one of the three geographies we operate in.

Over 110-years later, much like we did in George Balfour and Andrew Beatty’s time, the modern Balfour Beatty continues to shape society through the delivery of critical national infrastructure and projects at the heart of local communities.

Highlights from our history include: