Successful Contracting Firm has proved a stepping stone into many other diverse business interests for Kinross based entrepreneur, Daniel Webster
With a multi million pound turnover, and forty one employees to its name, contracting firm Webster Developments has reached ten years in business. The Kinross based business, launched by Daniel Webster in his mum’s spare room when he was just nineteen years old, initially started by fitting kitchens and small extensions throughout Perth & Kinross, before carrying out full new build homes to private clients.
Daniel, who trained as a joiner, then grew the business from a multi-trades construction company, to one carrying out larger more ambitious projects, such as a Church conversion, plus construction of affordable housing under several prestigious Housing Association contracts. Webster Developments additionally began to deliver new build homes all over Scotland, stretching from Perth & Kinross, to Ayrshire and the Isle of Skye.
In 2014 Daniel went a step further, established his own private housebuilding division, Webster Homes. The business, utilising the skilled workforce of Webster Developments to create luxury country housing, has made a significant in-road into the high end developments market, with recent developments including Gairneybank, Kinross, and luxury steadings development, The Paddocks at Powmill, which was reserved entirely from plan.
Keen to pursue other business interests as well as construction, Daniel soon added a plethora of exciting young subsidiary companies to his Webster banner, including self storage company, Webster Storage, a hot air ballooning venture, Webster Adventures, which is now Scotland’s premier provider of hot air ballooning experiences, and, in a move to create a sustainable business which ploughs all profits back into buying beehives, the launch of Webster Honey in 2015.
Along with selling its locally produced, organic honey in farm shops all over Scotland, and online, Webster Honey carries out a very successful educational programme with schools and nurseries. It offers bee and hive adoption opportunities to both businesses and individuals, with hives currently hosted by several Hotels and Shopping Centres across Scotland, all keen to play their part in saving bees.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be celebrating ten years in business with the division that started it all for me, Webster Developments,” said Daniel Webster.
“It’s been a very busy time for us recently, working under challenging post Brexit conditions, where we have faced shortages and delays in getting materials. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my team for their continuing hard work and commitment which has seen us pull together as a team and overcome these challenges on a daily basis. I simply could not have got to this point without each and every one of them.”
“I’d also like to thank our local building merchant in Milnathort with whom we have a really good working relationship,” added Daniel. “They have really helped us get through the pandemic by helping push material orders through, it’s been an absolute godsend for us.”
Despite the pandemic, Daniel remarked that Webster Developments had still continued with its Apprenticeship scheme, with six apprentices across a number of trades. “It’s so important to train young people in this industry to create the skilled workforce of the future,” he said.
Webster Developments has recently handed over the £1.3 million contract for Caledonia Housing Association, which, when it was secured back in 2019, was the firm’s largest ever contract win.
“It’s been our pleasure to deliver six new apartments, together with a renovation of an existing building to create an additional apartment, at Crieff Road, Perth,” said Daniel. “We worked for Caledonia Housing Association before, in 2017, constructing five new build flats at Wester Loan, in Milnathort. We very much hope to work for them, along with other leading Housing Associations, again in the future, as this type of contract gain work has been key to the growth and success of Webster Developments.”
He went on to say that establishing Webster Homes was a natural progression from Webster Developments: “it made sense to establish our own division specialising in the top end of the market.”
“We hope to launch a new Webster Homes development in 2022. Meanwhile, we are continuing apace at The Paddocks at Powmill, where seven homes – five steadings properties together with two large detached country homes – are under construction. All include optional paddock land, with first completions planned for ..,” said Daniel.
“We’ve always liked to do something a little bit different in the marketplace, taking more of a bespoke approach. Our detached properties at Gairneybank for example, offered the flexibility of either an additional Games Room or a separate apartment above the triple detached garage. This was very well received by our buyers, looking for a “forever home” in an established rural location.”
Daniel explained that in the course of his work with private clients, who often had storage needs whilst waiting to move house, he spotted a gap in the market for a new self storage company servicing Fife, Tayside and Perthshire. Hence Webster Storage, which now has fifty two units at Bridgend Industrial Estate in Kinross, was born.
“It’s still a very vibrant sector for us which has been well used over the pandemic,” said Daniel. “Particularly with the prevalence of home working, clients have had to make room for home offices, with, in some cases, multiple family members home working. The units can be used to store furniture which is not needed at the moment, and likewise we are seeing businesses who have developed online shops using them to store stock.”
Also on the cards for 2022, and with workmanship once again to be carried out by Webster Developments, is the further progression of the new Webster Group Head Office, also in Bridgend Industrial Estate.
The project, comprising of a state of the art, architecturally eye catching Head Office building with a low carbon footprint and sedum roof, is currently held up due to material shortages, with almost all of the materials needed to complete it, held up in Italy.
The complex will also house a series of small eco friendly office pods for hire to small businesses, social enterprises, and sole traders. These will be marketed under the new business banner of Webster Spaces.
“The delay in getting our materials for the Head Office complex is very frustrating, as it’s going to be a fantastic asset when completed,” said Daniel. “The innovative offices will have low rent, low running costs, a state of the art spec-ed interior, and the most supportive like minded neighbours. We’ll even make sure we room for some bee hives dotted around the complex which local businesses can adopt if they wish.”
“Having reached ten years in business it will be great news to finally house all our business interests in the one location. It will make for more effective working for us all. Being from Kinross, I am proud to be creating this cutting edge eco Head Office complex here in my home town. I enjoy having many diverse platforms to develop, it keeps it fresh for me, and I believe that each sector of the Webster Group has potential, exploiting many current trends.”
As for Webster Adventures, the ballooning business, “it was started as a fun opportunity to do something different, flying the balloon all over the world,” said Daniel. “We were out of the sky completely for around fifteen months due to the pandemic before we could get permissions to resume flying again, and this was a sector that completely missed out on any Government help or funding. We got back in the air over the summer though which was great, with several marriage proposals to boot. We’ll have a full season starting again in the spring of 2022, so please look out for our distinctive orange balloon!”