South London based contractor Walter Lilly celebrates 100 years as a premier provider of construction and maintenance services

South London based contractor Walter Lilly celebrates 100 years as a premier provider of construction and maintenance services

Showcasing a legacy dating back to April 1924, Walter Lilly’s excellent reputation in recent decades stems from its commitment to delivering exclusive homes, iconic landmark and heritage buildings, and state-of-the-art science and higher educational facilities. This impressive milestone marks not only the company’s continued success, but a hard- fought journey of growth and unwavering dedication.

Members of the Walter Lilly staff team with Walter Gent Lilly (third from right) and
Walter Gordon Lilly (fourth from left).

Since its establishment the company has evolved from a modest family business founded by tradesman, Walter Gent Lilly, who capitalised upon his good fortune after winning the freehold of a London builder’s yard in a game of cards, to a prominent leader within the specialist construction market. To this day, the family business spirit at Walter Lilly lives on, having continued trading under this name since it was acquired by Y.J. Lovell Group in 1955 and who later became Renew Holdings plc. The company’s portfolio has since expanded to include some of London’s most prestigious buildings including Café Royal, Southwark Cathedral, Palace of Westminster, 1 Cornwall Terrace – Britain’s most expensive terraced property at the time – and 100 Park Lane, one of the few surviving aristocratic townhouses in London.

More recently, the company delivered its largest project to date, the £84m Laboratory of Medical Sciences for the Medical Research Council, which has garnered industry wide recognition including a victory in the Integration and Collaborative Working category at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards.

As the focus across the industry shifts towards the UK Government’s 2025 net zero target, Walter Lilly is working alongside their clients in providing sustainable project delivery. Examples include the reservicing of a number of Grade I London Palaces to assist in achieving carbon neutral estates including a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Walter Lilly’s reputation for delivering the finest quality projects has resulted in remaining profitable year on year despite challenging and fluctuating market conditions. With only nine Managing Directors in its 100-year history, and the average length of staff service being 10 years, the Walter Lilly name continues to strengthen across the industry.

Managing Director Chris Butler, said “We are extremely grateful to our loyal clients, dedicated employees, and trusted supply chain partners who have been integral to our success throughout this remarkable journey. This anniversary represents not only a century of hard work, determination, and continuous improvement, but also the immense potential that awaits us as we look to the future.”

Visit the dedicated centenary website for more details of the company’s rich and expanding history including book and documentary –

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