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Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd.
Type Private company
Founded 1869
Headquarters Hemel Hempstead, England
Industry Engineering / Construction

Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. is a private British company headquartered in London. It carries out engineering and construction for the oil and gas, petrochemical, power generation, nuclear, pharmaceutical, defence, chemical, water and mining industries.



The company was founded in 1869 by Sir Robert McAlpine, who was known as "Concrete Bob". In 1935, Sir Robert's son Alfred established a separate construction company Alfred McAlpine that operated in the north-west of England while Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. operated in the rest of the United Kingdom.

The company constructed the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane in London. When the client was unable to pay for the construction works, the company took possession of the completed building and operated it on its own account.[1]

From the 1930's onwards, the company employed large numbers of Irish who had come to England looking for work. The harsh working conditions with which McAlpine's management treated their labourers has gone down in Irish emigrant folklore. The song "McAlpine's Fusiliers" (written by Dominic Behan and made famous by The Dubliners) described the realities of life on the building site for many ex-pats.[2]

In 2003, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. sued Alfred McAlpine plc over the use of the family name and won.[3] The dispute centred around Alfred McAlpine's intention to trade under the name "McAlpine". There was previously a long-standing agreement within the McAlpine family not to make such a change but, following the death of Alfred McAlpine, the board of Alfred McAlpine sought to make the change in any event. The effect of the judgment was to prevent Alfred McAlpine trading under the name "McAlpine".


The company is organised on a regional basis.[4]

It has offices in Hemel Hempstead, London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The plant section is based in Kettering.

Major projects

Projects undertaken by the company have included the Glenfinnan Viaduct completed in 1901,[5] the Maine Road Stadium completed in 1923,[6] the original Wembley Stadium completed in 1924,[5] the Dorchester Hotel in London completed in 1931,[5] the St Enoch Centre completed in 1989,[5] the Millennium Dome in Greenwich completed in 1999[5] which the company also redeveloped to The O2,[5] the Millennium Bridge in London completed in 2000,[7] the ExCeL Exhibition Centre completed in 2000,[8] the Eden Project in St Austell completed in 2001, the Bullring in Birmingham completed in 2003[9] and the Emirates Stadium completed in 2006.[10]

In October 2006, they were announced as developers for the £60m White River Place development which aims to regenerate St Austell town centre.[11]

In July 2007, they signed a memorandum of understanding with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) for the construction of the £630m Olympic Stadium for London 2012.[12]


  1. ^ "Sir William McAlpine talks to Andy Milne". Railway People. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2009-05-16.  
  2. ^ "McAlpines Fusiliers". Free Lyrics. Retrieved 2009-05-16.  
  3. ^ Mark Milner (2004-04-01). "Court verdict finds for Sir Robert". The Guardian.,3604,1183294,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  4. ^ Will Mann (2007-12-14). "Sir Robert McAlpine boss Benny Kelly to step down". Contract Journal. Retrieved 2007-07-11.  
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Sir Robert McAlpine Project Archive". Sir Robert McAlpine. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  6. ^ "Maine Road". Structurae. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  7. ^ "Millennium Bridge". Structurae. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  8. ^ "News from Worldwide". Worldwide Exhibition Specialists Ltd.. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  9. ^ "Building the BullRing" (pdf). Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  10. ^ "First ball kicked at Emirates Stadium". Arsenal F.C.. 2005-08-25. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  11. ^ Rebecca Froley (2006-10-02). "Sir Robert McAlpine wins St Austell redevelopment". Contract Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  
  12. ^ Tom Bill (2007-07-24). "ODA signs Olympic Stadium deal with Sir Robert McAlpine". Contract Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-11.  


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