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6 February 2023 by Hannah Steel 0 Comments

Building Skills for Life at GS Contracts

This year we are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2023, an annual celebration of apprenticeships across the country.

This year’s theme for National Apprenticeship Week is “Skills for Life”, a time for us to reflect upon how apprenticeships positively contribute to a successful, skilful career.

National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect opportunity for us to appreciate and acknowledge our apprentices here at GS Contracts.
Over the last 30 years, we have been providing people with the opportunity to grow and develop through different apprenticeship schemes.

Currently, we have two apprentices, Freddy and Colby, undergoing their Level 2 Bench Joinery Apprenticeship Schemes.

What Freddy and Colby had to say

Freddy National Apprenticeship Week
Freddy- Bench Joiner Apprentice

We sat down with Colby and Freddy to discuss their Bench Joinery apprenticeships. Here is what they had to say.

We asked, “What made you choose an apprenticeship as the next step in your career?”.

“Definitely due to the more practical side of things, learning the skill on the job definitely helped me make my decision,” Freddy said.

Colby told us “As I’m 23 and slightly older than the typical apprentice, earning a wage whilst learning the trade was important for me”.

We then went on to ask, “What skills have you built since starting your apprenticeship?”

Freddy said, “My communication has certainly improved since starting the apprenticeship, and my maths too! Learning from more experienced Bench Joiners in the business has definitely elevated my skills!”

Colby continued, “Communication is a skill that has definitely improved for me too, but also learning from knowledgable and experienced people around me has allowed me to learn and develop new skills quickly, such as interpreting plans and designs”.

We then went on to ask, “What skills have you built since starting your apprenticeship?”

Freddy said, “My communication has certainly improved since starting the apprenticeship, and my maths too! Learning from more experienced Bench Joiners in the business has definitely elevated my skills!”

Colby continued, “Communication is a skill that has definitely improved for me too, but also learning from knowledgable and experienced people around me has allowed me to learn and develop new skills quickly, such as interpreting plans and designs”.

Colby Bench Joiner Apprentice

We agree apprenticeships are a fantastic way to support young people whilst learning on the job, surrounded by those that know the trade and are able to provide them with the skills they need to develop.

Are you considering an apprenticeship with GS Contracts? Get in touch today!

What have we learnt in the last 30 years?

Last year we celebrated our 30th anniversary here at GS Contracts.
Founded in 1992 by Gary Smith, we have grown from humble beginnings to the strong team we are today.
We have taken it upon ourselves to look back over the last 30 years to reflect on what we have learnt and the impact we have made.

The last 30 years have allowed us to learn from our mistakes, overcome many challenges and achieve spectacular things.

Here’s what we’ve learnt over the last 30 years…

The importance of building a good team

One of the most important lessons we’ve taken away over the last 30 years is the importance of building a good team around you.

We are proud to have built a dedicated and professional team around us, creating a high level of efficiency and collaboration in the workplace.

Not only internally but also externally, it’s crucial for us to have a reliable team around us, including material suppliers and subcontractors who all follow a similar ethos to ourselves.

Today in 2023, we have a strong and devoted team driving us to success that we are incredibly grateful for, and that is continuing to grow and evolve.

GSC Team

The right person for the job

Putting the right personnel on the right project is a skill we have learnt to perfect.

We understand that everyone has their own unique skills and abilities, which comes in handy when selecting the right people for a certain project.

Selecting a team of people who can collaboratively work together while bringing different strengths is pivotal to achieving the end goal.

GS Contracts Installation

Successfully planning ahead

This industry has taught us the importance of planning a job properly.

The planning process is principal for any one of our projects- no matter how big or small!

Planning thoroughly helps us eliminate unnecessary mishaps further down the line and ensures each project can run smoothly with a clear and structured method in place.

Once a project has gone live, our trusted project managers are always on hand to ensure everything operates fluidly and correctly.

GS Contracts Project Design

Listening to our clients

We spoke to our founder, Gary Smith, to discuss what he believes the most important lessons we’ve learnt over the last 30 years are.

Gary stressed the importance of listening to our clients, helping us to understand their requirements and exactly what they expect from us.

Spending time listening and communicating with each and every client helps to provide a successful result in line with their expectations.

Not only do we directly deal with clients, but we also spend lots of time integrating with architects and designers in order to provide the fabrication and solution to their ideas; therefore, it is important for us to build up good relationships with every designer to ensure the operational procedure will run smoothly and successfully.

Frescobaldi Interior
Pre Salons Retail Fit-Out Interior

Treat every project as our own

The final lesson we’ve learnt over the last 30 years, and arguably the most important, is putting ourselves in the shoes of our clients.

By our team treating every project as their own, we are able to ensure that each job is managed professionally and handed over to the highest quality.

It’s our job to understand your goals and turn your visions into a reality, which is why our team are trained to deliver each unique project to an exceptional standard.

Manufacturing a counter

So, what have we learnt?

The last 30 years have taught us many valuable things, all of which have led us to the success of where GS Contracts is today.

We are committed to providing the best quality spaces for our clients and dedicated to continuing to develop and hone our skills this year.

Thank you to everyone for supporting our journey over the last 30 years, and we look forward to what the next 30 have in store for us!

Get in touch with us today to kickstart your fit-out project this 2023. 

Our GS Contracts Success Stories in 2022

Once again, another year has flown past.

2022 has been a very successful year for GS Contracts; we have been fortunate to secure some fantastic new clients providing us with a wealth of opportunities.

With 2022 coming to a close, we thought- what better time to share and celebrate some of our favourite projects and events throughout the year?

Completed Projects

We kicked off 2022 with the completion of both One Crown Place and Ottolenghi in Chelsea.

GS Contracts fitted-out this residential and commercial marketing suite for the new One Crown Place housing development in London back in early January 2022.

This 7-week project soon came to life, creating something visually spectacular to set the tone for the rest of the complex.

One Crown Place
One Crown Place
Ottolenghi Chelsea Interior
Ottolenghi Chelsea
Ottolenghi Chelsea solid surfaces
One Crown Place
Ottolenghi Chelsea Interior

Ottolenghi opened their new Chelsea branch in January of this year, one of their largest delis to date.

Ottolenghi’s Chelsea deli has a unique design that doesn’t follow the ‘typical’ Ottolenghi look, but still incorporates their distinctive Corian counters and displays throughout the restaurant.

The GS team carried out works from an empty shell unit, to deliver this bright and stylish deli.

The Thin White Duke

Later, at the start of 2022 we also welcomed The Thin White Duke, a unique bar and recording studio in Soho.

Inspired by David Bowie’s persona, The Thin White Duke, we worked with Caffeina Consulting to transform an existing recording studio unit into something truly spectacular.

The recording studios and bar are full of life and character, from glass-stained artwork to hand-painted murals- The Thin White Duke isn’t a spot to miss!

The Thin White Duke recording studio

Martello Café Felixstowe

Later in May of 2022, we delivered Martello Cafe in Felixstowe. Working with Plaice Design, we delivered this brand new 1.5 million-pound cafe on the seafront of Felixstowe.

The opening of this café has been hugely successful for Felixstowe, attracting both local people and new visitors.

Unsurprisingly, this spectacular space has been awarded a RIBA Suffolk design award, with thanks to Plaice Architecture, Barnes Construction, East Suffolk Council and GS Contracts!

The Kitchen @ Felixstowe Exterior
The Kitchen @ Felixstowe Interior
The Kitchen @ Felixstowe Interior
The Kitchen @ Felixstowe Joinery

Other Project News

This year, we’ve ventured back to our roots, working on fast rollouts for some chain businesses. We are excited to reveal these projects in due course.

More recently we’ve completed the fit-out for ‘Pacific Wine Bar’ in Islington. Pacific Wines is both a store and an events space for wine tasting. Stay tuned for our case study and completion photos on this project!

New Starters

This 2022, we have welcomed many new faces to the GS Contracts team. Due to our continued expansion, we needed to take on some new team members to help support the successful growth of the business.

We have many new Site managers, Contracts Managers, Estimators and Workshop Staff to introduce you to in the New Year. Make sure you’re following us on social media to keep in the loop with company updates and new news!

Celebrating our 30-year Anniversary!

This year we are celebrating our 30-year anniversary!

Founded in 1992 by Gary Smith, we have grown from humble beginnings to the strong team we are today.

We’d like to thank you all for your continued support over the last 30 years and we look forward to what the future holds.

As you can see, 2022 has been an extremely productive year, and we can only see a progression from here onwards. With the positive growth and development of the business, we can’t wait for what 2023 has to offer!

Start your 2023 off right by getting in touch with us today.

21 October 2022 by Hannah Steel 0 Comments

We became ISO Certified for Quality, Environmental & Safety!

GS Contracts is delighted to announce that we have become ISO Certified for Quality, Environmental & Safety.

With a collective effort from the GS team, we underwent an audit by Alcumus ISOQAR for GS Contracts Ltd to become ISO certified.

ISO is the formal recognition of an independent body, that the company operates to international standards set-out to standardise practices in Quality, Environmental and Safety. It streamlines systems and shows that we meet the specific requirements within our management systems.

We achieved ISO standard 9001 for Quality Management, certifying our strong management system, operating procedures and risk management strategies.

We also received a positive certification for ISO 14001, relating to our competence, skills and abilities to carry out procedures whilst avoiding potential environmental impacts.

GS Contracts also received the international standard ISO 45001 for the management of Health and Safety; and have been certified in the reduction of occupational injuries and diseases.

Thanks to the hard work put in by the GS team, we were thrilled to receive the news and announce that we have received a positive recommendation for certification.

If you are searching for a reliable contractor to carry out your future project, why not get in touch today?

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

The best bits from GS Contracts 2021

2021 has been a busy year full of new opportunities, and with it swiftly coming to an end we wanted to share and celebrate some of our favourite projects and events along the way.

Throughout the year we have worked on some incredible fit-out projects encompassing  some impressive bespoke joinery work, manufactured by our in-house team. Take a look at some of the work we have provided within each quarter.

Quarter 1

We kicked off the first quarter of 2021 to a fantastic start, working with many new clients in various different sectors.

In early February, our team successfully helped bring a first-time shop owner’s vision to reality with men’s retail store, Seven Layer.

Seven Layer Retail Interior
Seven Layer
Acacia Green Room Interior
Acacia Training Offices
Maido Sushi Interior
Maido Sushi
Frescobaldi Interior

We later worked in partnership with Gaysha to provide another valued member of the MBH Corporation, Acacia Training, with a brand-new multi-zoned collaborative office space.

Undoubtedly, we have continued strongly in the hospitality sector, carrying out two impressive restaurant fit outs within the first quarter for Maido Sushi and Frescobaldi.

Q1 Joinery

Maido Sushi Interior
Seven Layer Retail Interior
Frescobaldi Interior

Quarter 2

Quarter 2 turned out to be a successful few months with many new concepts and ideas from new and existing clients.

In June we fitted our first ever HIIT Pilates studio for Tempo 301, a unique project we loved watching piece together for our client.

The second quarter also brought us another hospitality fit-out for Colicci located in Chiswick Park, a beautiful project delivered with help from the Article Design team.

Tempo 301 Interior
Tempo 301
Chiswick House Cafe Interior
Colicci Chiswick House Cafe

Located at 325 Upper Street, we successfully provided first-time beauty salon owner Mimi Gaston Kennedy with her very own Pre-Salons.

In June GS Contracts and the Gaysha team completed a luxury, high-end residential fit-out for a client in Sugar Quay, full of bespoke joinery items and overlooking beautiful cityscape views.

To wrap up the end of quarter two- we were lucky enough to fit out Ottolenghi’s latest venture deli in Marylebone.

Sugar Quay
Sugar Quay
Ottolenghi Marylebone Exterior
Ottolenghi Marylebone

Q2 Joinery

Chiswick House Cafe Interior
Ottolenghi Marylebone

Quarter 3

In Quarter 3, we had two new members join the GS Contracts team.

Steve joined us as an experienced Contracts Manager, managing the general running of live projects. Freddy also joined us as an apprentice in L2 Bench joinery in our workshop.

Gaysha delivered another commercial refurbishment project in Bloomsbury, directly next to the building refurbished back in 2020. Once again, we were able to supply and install the joinery and metalwork for this spectacular project.

New Team Member: Steve Curley
Joined the NAS

Towards the end of quarter 3, we fitted out our clients’ second premises, a Scandinavian wellness store & Café located in the Seven dials food market court.

We were also delighted to have joined the National Association of Shopfitters in September, the UK’s dedicated professional association for shopfitters, fit-out and interior contractors- and are so proud to have featured in their shopfitting excellence week 2021! We are looking forward to working with the association and its fellow members.

Gaysha Bloomsbury Residential Refurb
White Pine Interior
White Pine

Q3 Joinery

White Pine Bespoke Joinery

Quarter 4

Towards the end of the year, we were joined by Peter, another fantastic new team member who can be found in our estimating office.

Within the last quarter of the year, the team successfully delivered one of our continued clients with their third restaurant, El Norte. This Spanish restaurant and bar is certainly a spectacular project to wrap up 2021.

New Team Member: Peter Kelleher
El Norte

With the year drawing to a close, our team and subcontractors are currently on-site delivering a new wine bar in an affluent Kent town, a quirky David Bowie themed bar and recording studio. Ottolenghi’s newest branch in Chelsea, and a marketing suite in the heart of the City of London.

We look forward to sharing the success of these fantastic projects in the New Year

Q4 Joinery

El Norte Interior
El Norte Interior

Looking Forward into 2022

Despite an unsettling start to 2021 due to the uncertainties of the COVID-19 virus, we progressed through the year very positively, getting multiple fantastic jobs over the line.

We want to thank all our clients, subcontractors, designers, and our incredible team for their continued support and hard work this past year.

We are looking forward to 2022 and what it holds, with many exciting new projects on the horizon.

Can our team help you? Give us a call or drop us a line and make our team your team.

An eye for detail brings luxurious results

Occasionally a project comes along which allows us to showcase exactly what GS Contracts can achieve – and Latin American restaurant Zuaya in South Kensington really is one of those. 


Although this impressive fit-out was carried out a while ago, we couldn’t resist taking the chance to revisit what turned out to be a really stunning end result. 

Zuaya Interior

With sumptuous décor and a range of luxurious finishes, customers are transported to what feels like a terraced garden in sunnier climes the second they step through the door. 


Designed by Harp Interiors, the independent family-owned restaurant is pretty unique. Lush planting features throughout while a sumptuous marble bar is hugged by striking black and white chevron tiling. Ambient lighting and exposed brickwork finish the look. 


Venture downstairs to the basement, past a sign in gold neon lettering saying, ‘Welcome to the jungle’ and you will find further seating plus an elegant private dining area.  

Zuaya Interior
Zuaya Interior

Air conditioning, kitchen fitting, bar installation, flooring, and electrics – GS Contracts did the lot, showing just how versatile our team really is.  


Luxurious finishes such as the brass trim used between the wallpaper joins bring a high-end feel to the space, while detail such as moss-covered brickwork really make this restaurant stand out from the crowd. 


As often happens with the refurbishment of an old building, some hidden issues were discovered while onsite, such as complications with wiring. However, the team quickly and effectively rose to the challenge to get the project back on track. Access was also a quandary that the team had to overcome particularly when getting bespoke joinery work down to the basement area. Fittings had to made and transported in flat pack form or as components to be built on site to tackle this issue. 

Zuaya Interior
Zuaya Interior

Although the fit-out was carried out a while ago the restaurant still looks just as good today as you can see from this recent short film, showing you around.

Alberto and Arian Zandi, the brothers behind Zuaya, came up with the concept as their first step into the restaurant trade. The project was very personal to them and they were keen to ensure every detail was spot on. They were in fact so pleased with the results they invited us back to work on their next venture, Como Garden, which has recently opened next-door! You can read more about Como Garden here

Can our team help you? Give us a call or drop us a line and make our team your team. 

31 July 2020 by dom_admin 0 Comments

Gaysha acquires GS Contracts (Joinery) Limited

GS Contracts (Joinery) Limited is delighted to announce its recent acquisition by Gaysha Limited, a refurbishment contractor based in London. Founder Gary Smith will remain in the business as Sales Director and will continue to focus on generating new business and maintaining client relationships. Sue Smith will be retiring from her active involvement in the business and we wish her all the best for her retirement.

The Gaysha board will be working closely with Gary Smith & Operations Director, Michael Sullivan, in the day-to-day running of the business.

Gary Smith commented “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of GS Contracts by Gaysha Limited and to secure the future of the business for our staff and our valued clients. Working alongside Gaysha will give us the support to help us grow as we look to take the business to the next level. We will continue to offer our specialist interior fit out service, coupled with our in-house joinery manufacturing. Our partnership with Gaysha will now allow us to offer refurbishment services to our clients and a full turnkey fit out and refurbishment solution, giving us a competitive advantage amongst our competitors.”

“GS Contracts is a perfect addition to our current offering at Gaysha. Our clients want us to deliver more and to do so it is integral that we have a robust supply chain to support us. The construction industry is also becoming increasingly competitive so by acquiring GS Contracts we will look to benefit from the synergies and the efficiencies across both businesses” said Ian Elsey, Chief Executive Officer, Gaysha Limited.

Formed in 1992, GS Contracts is an established fit-out and manufacturing contractor with extensive experience operating across the leisure, hospitality and commercial sectors. Based in Colchester, GS Contracts works with clients from the initial inception of an idea through to completion. GS Contracts benefits from an in-house manufacturing facility, which produces bespoke joinery and metal work, supporting both fit out projects and stand-alone joinery projects. With all manufacturing in-house, GS Contracts has full control of its supply chain.

14 December 2018 by dom_admin 0 Comments

GS Contracts Family

The GS Contracts team are celebrating 2018 – with 12 months of the year coming to an end and those 12 final hours fast approaching! Our family of employees have achieved success not only for GS Contracts but with their families, bringing 12 beautiful babies into the world.

With new life comes new aspirations for us all!