Alfred McAlpine

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London-based McAlpine employs around 8,000 people and had sales in 2002 of £768m.[1] Since selling its homes business to Wimpey in 2001, McAlpine has spent £23.4m on buying back its own shares. It has changed its focus to public sector construction work and derives two-thirds of its revenues from the ensuing support services.[2]

McAlpine is now involved in a range of major projects, including government and road building work, while its infrastructure services division carries out work on behalf of UK utilities, including National Grid Transco.[3] One of its most recent contract wins was a £100m share in maintaining and refurbishishing 120 properties owned by the Ministry of Defence in south west England.

In 1987, a consortium including Mowlem, McAlpine and the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA is the US's first and largest provider of detention and corrections services to governmental agencies)[4] formed UK Detention Services (UKDS). UKDS run HMP Forest Bank, one of the worst prisons in England in terms of violence and drug use. McAlpine sold its shares in this in 1997.

UKDS also ran HMP Blakenhurst prison in the West Midlands. Company accounts for the year ended 31 December 1995 showed a pre-tax profit of £540,891.[5] In 1997, McAlpine sold its 50% share to CCA. In 2001, the prison was taken back into the public sector. In 2003 it was revealed that McAlpine lost out on the contract to build the Scottish parliament due to Sir Robert McAlpine's donation of money to the Conservative Party.[6]



  1. See: Viewed: 26.01.04
  2. 'Unison Companies Update,' Unison, 09.04.03. See: Viewed: 26.01.04
  3. 'Alfred McAlpine builds on success,' The Western Mail, 09.01.04. See: method=full_siteid=50082_headline=-Alfred%2DMcAlpine%2Dbuilds%2Don%2Dsuccess-name_page.html. Viewed: 26.01.04
  4. See: Viewed: 10.02.04
  5. 'Prison Privatisation Report International,' Prison Reform Trust, 01.10.96. See: Viewed: 10.02.04
  6. 'Fraser left baffled by Bovis deal,' Hamish MacDonell, The Scotsman, 05.12.03. See: Viewed: 23.01.04