30 years of taking pride in a job done right

A steady growth trajectory shows no signs of abating for H&A Group as it marks 30 years in business with a rebrand to reflect its expanding remit over the years.

Initially focusing on the core discipline of mechanical services, the last three decades have seen the family business diversify into electrical, renewable energy and building maintenance services.

Founded by Hugh and Anne McWilliams as H&A Mechanical Services in 1993, the firm has steadily built a client base ranging from private installations to social housing projects throughout Ireland, government schemes aimed at combating fuel poverty and commercial/industrial work for blue chip companies.

While offices have opened in Clane, Co Kildare, Mallusk, Co Antrim and the Pennyburn Industrial Estate, Co Derry to facilitate its expansion over the last 30 years, H&A retains its headquarters in Draperstown.

The majority of its workforce operates from two sites in Draperstown, with smaller teams at the satellite offices and others largely on the road, working out of their vans. 

The team has expanded from six people in 1993 to more than 200 staff, but H&A remains a family firm with Carlus McWilliams assuming a leadership role alongside Martin Collins after Hugh died suddenly from a heart attack in August 2020.

“When my father passed away, it left a huge hole for us as a family and as a company,” said Carlus. “He was our go-to man and someone a lot of people looked up too. Daddy was a big supporter of the community and did a lot of work to support it. It’s something we try to carry on and pride ourselves on.”

Indeed, H&A’s 30th anniversary celebrations this year have featured a series of fundraising events, including a Rampage mud run at The Jungle NI in May, golf day at Moyola Park in August and a family fun day at the Draperstown headquarters in September. 

A total of £30,000 was raised across the events and split between Air Ambulance Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke.

With his family firm since 2012, Carlus has served as a director since 2016.

Martin has been with H&A since its inception, starting out as a plumber but quickly progressing up the ranks as the firm grew.

“Martin has played a huge part in H&A over last 30 years,” said Carlus. “He has been with the business from the start as a plumber and worked his way up through the company to become a senior manager. He has now been a director for over 17 years.

“One of H&A’s strengths is we have a really good senior management team and group employees who all strive to do the best job they can.”

The 30th anniversary rebrand, in March, represented a significant investment by the firm, including new uniforms for its workforce, signage across its locations and decals for its fleet of more than 100 vans. 

“We are always investing in the company, be that new vehicles, plant or equipment,” said Carlus. “It is ever moving.

“As a family-run company, we have a strong personal stake in every project we undertake, so we take pride in a job done right. 

“The ‘getting it right first time’ approach is a fundamental approach to our business. We talk to the people we are working with and find out what they want and need.

“As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we would like to thank all those who have supported the growth of H&A over the years from our workforce across Ireland to our supply chain and customers.”

For the full feature on H&A Group, check out Plumbing & Heating Issue 117 Jan-Feb here.