A UK-based road and runway maintenance specialist has appointed the great great grandson of the founder as its new Managing Director.
Ian Foster is the fifth generation to run Foster Contracting Ltd (FCL), which was founded by Herbert Foster in the 1980’s as The Essex Steam Rolling Association Ltd. Ian has taken over from his father, Tom, who has overseen the company’s development during the past 40 years.
Mr Foster, 30, said: “It is a real privilege for me to build on the foundations of my predecessors. I have always been immersed in the family business as I grew up at my family’s home on beside our depot in Kelvedon, Essex. As a result, I helped from an early age, starting in the summer holidays when I could.”
The company also has a base in Perth in Scotland and specialises in supplying and laying geosynthetic membranes for crack prevention in asphalt surfaces, runway rubber removal, marking removal and other specialist surface treatments.
He studied Civil Engineering at the University of Limerick, before joining Ringway Jacobs as a graduate Quantity Surveyor. He moved to FCL in July 2020, initially focusing on growing the hydroblasting sector of the business. His innovative thinking has helped problem solve their larger projects. He said: “One of my first contracts was retexturing over 120,000m2 of Dublin Airport’s brand-new runway. This had laitance in the concrete which did not give sufficient friction levels for use, so our retexturing treatment ensured it was safe to open. This was a big achievement early on.
“By delivering specialist and innovative solutions for maintaining roads and runways, we can extend the life of the carriageway. This provides better value for the end user, is less disruptive and, very importantly the asset is significantly lower in its carbon footprint.
“My plans are to grow in our current sectors at a sustainable level while always looking at new areas, bringing new people into the industry and supporting them.”
The company has a track record of being innovative. In 1995, it successfully carried out the first Highways Agency end performance surface dressing contract which was on the Ramsey to Parkeston section of the A120.
FCL remains a family run business with Ian’s brother, Patrick, as Transport Manager. Other appointments include Sean Gibb as a Company Director, Bill Smart as Commercial Manager and Ray Wicks as Sales Consultant.
Tom Foster will remain on the board as a Director and focus on technical aspects. He said: “We intend to maintain and grow our current activities, while continuing to maintain exceptional standards of work and be at the forefront of any innovations. There is plenty of potential to further develop our hydroblasting work. We are also considering new activities which we will announce shortly.”