Meet the people of Pembroke Port - R&M Williams

31 January 2022

We like to regularly shine the spotlight on the people involved in the business community at Pembroke Port. This month, we introduce you to Darryn Parry who is Managing Director of R&M Williams.

R&M Williams has been appointed as main building contractor to redevelop the Hangar Annexes, as part of the infrastructure we’re creating as part of the Pembroke Dock Marine project.

The Hangar Annexes development is part of the Swansea Bay City Deal-backed Pembroke Dock Marine project which is funded by UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public and private sector. It is also part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Name: Darryn Parry
Business name: R&M Williams
Job role: Managing Director
How long have you worked here? 12 years

Please tell us about your company, your products and services, and your team

R&M Williams is a privately owned family construction business, established in the early 1960s we are now nearing our 60th Anniversary. Our business has grown to £40 million annual turnover operating across all sectors of construction with aspects of private residential development. We operate from two offices at Neath and Cardiff with satellite facilities in Tenby and Bristol. Our key areas of operation are Wales and the south-west of England.

With a large direct workforce, we focus heavily on apprentice and professional training with circa 25 apprenticeship posts generated annually. Our management team of 50 staff is made up from construction professionals from the backgrounds of Engineering, Quantity Surveying and Project Management. These are supported by our 400 tradespersons and preferred supply chain.

Our Chairman, Mark Williams, has worked within the business for 35 years having taken over from his father Ron in the late nineties. The business is managed by the directors day-to-day and as Managing Director, I support the client at the Port of Milford Haven.

Whilst we are very much focused on new technologies and modern methods of construction, it would be fair to say that R&M Williams is very much a traditional general contractor working across a value band of contracts from ten thousand pounds to ten million.

The work at the Port of Milford Haven sits well within the business capabilities, having worked previously with other Port Authorities and Aviation sectors, which hold similar constraints and challenges.

What is the best thing about being a business based at Pembroke Port?

Our site Team are delighted to be working at Pembroke Port as the refurbishment and repurposing of the Hangar Annexes offers the R&M William team a unique insight into the port’s history and future development plans.

The challenge of working within the live port environment is also a refreshing change to the city centre development we often manage on a regular basis. Having commenced on site in late November we are very much looking forward to seeing the seasons change and how this affects the port and its customers, as we head through into spring and summer.

However, any workplace is also very much about the people who you interact with, and we have received a very warm welcome from both the Port of Milford Haven team and other contractors on site, who have made us feel very welcome and part of the team from day one.

A further ambition for the business this year whilst we are based at Pembroke Port, is to break ground on our residential site that overlooks the Milford Haven Waterway, having recently sold the last of 19 units built at Narberth in 2021 we would hope to bring much needed new homes to the locality of Pembroke Port.

What has been your business’ biggest achievement?

Whilst all businesses have milestones or events that define their success, for R&M Williams its success is very much down to its people and the continued development of both existing staff and new entrants to our industry. If this aspect of ‘people power’ had to be set against one achievement it would be the refurbishment of the listed Penarth Pier Pavilion in 2015. This scheme received critical acclaim with R&M Williams winning the ‘RICS National Project of the Year’ and David Challenger, who is our Port of Milford Haven Project Manager, receiving MCIOB gold medal for ‘Building Manager of the Year’.

This scheme represented all that is good within our industry, a quality scheme at the heart of the local community, which was delivered to the highest standards, attaining a lasting legacy for the community and future generations.

What’s next for your business?

The construction sector is an ever-changing landscape with peaks and troughs in sectors from housing booms to new investments within areas such as health and education. However, despite how we manage our built environment the constant challenge that faces all business now is climate change.

For R&M Williams, this has resulted in investment into training and development of our staff and operatives and exploring new technologies backed with new investment. As a business we are focused on becoming a carbon neutral organisation, whilst also becoming market leading in the renewable sector particularly within the residential and commercial sectors where changes in legislation and people’s expectations are growing with pace.

What has been your favourite and/or most memorable day in work, and why?

For me, one day that always stands out as my most memorable was 1st Oct 1999 and the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup at the then Millennium Stadium. Having been the Project Manager on the stadium for the previous 18 months, seeing the combined efforts of all parties come together in an event that was showcased around the world was a truly unique and humbling experience.

I can also justifiably claim it was a workday as I simply hadn’t been home from the day before as we completed a 48-hour shift to ensure the stadium was fully operational, meeting all safety standards before we opened the gates. Wales certainly delivered on that day as a nation and team, defeating Argentina 23-18, and much to the annoyance of my wife, it was well into the early hours of the Saturday when I did make it home!

A truly memorable day(ish!)

Is there anything else that you would like readers to know about your company?

R&M Williams is very much a family owned but equally family oriented business, we have staff with near 40 years’ service in the business. We have multiple family groups within our business and one such family from Tredegar who have three generations employed over 35 years.

As with all aspects of construction though, we need to focus far greater on diversity and equal opportunities within our business and industry. R&M Williams are achieving results in this area and well above industry norm, however there is room for further improvement.

We hope to achieve higher levels of diversity over the next few years through improved training and career opportunities alongside job fairs and engagement with universities and colleges.

The Hangar Annexes development is part of the Swansea Bay City Deal-backed Pembroke Dock Marine project which is funded by UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public and private sector. It is also part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Swansea Bay City Deal

Pembroke Dock Marine logo


Darryn Parry, Managing Director of R&M Williams
Darryn Parry, Managing Director of R&M Williams