Bradfords is one of Canterbury’s longest-serving construction companies with a reputation for high quality, technical innovation and sheer hard work. Operating for more than 60 years, the Ashburton-based Bradford Group construction and project management company incorporates three complementary, but independent, divisions: Bradford Precast, Bradford Building and Bradford Painting. Bradford’s Building division has built almost all of the major buildings in Ashburton, as well as many large commercial and industrial structures in Canterbury. The Group’s Precast division supplies concrete components to many of Christchurch City’s significant buildings including, recently, the International Airport Terminal Building and Control Tower, and the award-winning Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre and is currently supplying panels and stairs to the new Justice Precinct development.
Bradfords Precast also supplies to the rest of the South Island with significant volume into the Central Otago market. It’s painting division operates independently and has been involved in work from historical homes to large commercial projects.
The Bradford Group and its operating companies take their names from Arch Bradford who partnered with Alec Reddecliffe in 1945. Reddecliffe and Bradford Limited was formed in 1951, with each partner holding 50% of the shares in the new building company. Alec Reddecliffe retired and Arch Bradford bought out his half of the business, setting up a painting division soon after in 1954. The growing company’s name was changed in 1958 to Bradford Construction Limited.
On Arch’s retirement in 1974, his son Rodger was appointed General Manager to handle the big industry change caused by the introduction of metric measurement. Because of Rodger’s specialist training and experience in precast concrete in the UK, an opportunity arose for Bradfords to tender for the precast concrete cladding panels for the Christchurch Public Hospital. The company was successful in its bid, setting up the precast concrete division as a fully-owned subsidiary in 1987, which became an independent trading company in 1997. The three independent operating companies within the group remain today.