Our History


We were founded as a partnership in 1923 by Alfred Bowmer, a joiner and Robert William Kirkland – a bricklayer. They undertook general building works and based themselves in the village of Heage in Derbyshire


Robert Kirkland died at the very young age of 40 and his son Jack, then 15, had to leave school and start earning to support his family. He joined the company as an apprentice joiner in 1928.


The company flourished and in 1941 Bowmer & Kirkland (Plant) Ltd was formed. This company grew to have over 50 mobile cranes, with one of the biggest in the country – the 110-ton Lorain – within our fleet.


In 1955, Jack Kirkland was appointed Managing Director and six years later the Bowmer & Kirkland partnership was formed into a Limited company. Since then the company has enjoyed growth and success:




Jack Kirkland appointed Chairman


John N Kirkland (son of Jack Kirkland) joined the company


Bowmer family left the company


Minster Trust acquired Bowmer family interests


Lindley Plant joined the Group


Bowmer & Kirkland (Plant) Ltd sold to J D White Ltd and Minster Trust interest in company acquired by Kirkland family


Johnsons (Chopwell) Ltd joined the Group


John N Kirkland appointed Managing Director


Group turnover £2m


B&K Steelwork Fabrications Ltd formed


Robert M Kirkland (son of Jack Kirkland) joined the company


Jack Kirkland died.


John N Kirkland appointed Chairman


Group turnover £8.3m


B&K Building services Ltd formed


Kirkland Associates Inc formed in USA


Peveril Securities Ltd formed


Group turnover £20.8m


Peveril Decorators Ltd formed


Key Joinery Ltd formed


Peveril Homes Ltd formed


Group turnover £143.7m           


Peveril Interiors Ltd formed


Derry Building Services joined the Group


KB Group joined the Bowmer & Kirkland Group


Group turnover £151.8m


Integrated Building Management Systems Ltd (IBMS) formed


Group turnover £160m


Melvin Sheldon appointed to Board of Directors


Group turnover £220.5m


Group turnover £263.3m


KeyBemo Ltd formed


Ralph Jones appointed to Board of Directors


Paul Lomas appointed to Board of Directors


Key Building Finishes Ltd formed


B&K Property Services Ltd formed


Cell Security Ltd joined the Group


Group turnover £486.5m


Soncell Ltd (Holding company) formed


Sonic Communications International Ltd joined the Group


TransVisual Media Ltd joined the Group


Panoptech Ltd joined the Group


TW Engineering (San Diego) joined the Group


Group turnover £894.5m


Decatur Electronics Inc (Illinois) joined the Group


AEP North America joined the Group


Jack Kirkland (son of J N Kirkland) and Michael Kirkland (son of R M Kirkland) appointed Directors


Christopher Kirkland (younger son of R M Kirkland) appointed a Director.

2011 Soncell Middle East established in Dubai
2013          Celebrating 90 years in the construction industry


Bowmer & Kirkland has grown to become one of the UK’s most successful privately-owned construction, engineering, development and communication groups.


Our headquarters are in Derbyshire and regional construction offices are in Manchester, London, Sunderland and Glasgow.


There are 29 companies in the group – predominantly construction related -  and we employ 1600 in the UK and USA.


We gained Investors in People accreditation in 2001 and were re-accredited in 2004, 2007 and 2011 demonstrating our commitment to our staff and the clients for whom they work.


In 2006 we established Soncell International Ltd –our Homeland Security and Public Safety Division.

This includes UK-based Cell Security, Sonic Communications and Panoptech. This was closely followed by Soncell North America – our US-based Public Safety Division which incorporates American Emergency Products, Dactur Electronics, Patrol Power and Soncell Dynamics.


In 2011 we established Soncell Middle East in Dubai to service existing and future clients in that region.


We established B&K Timber Structures Ltd ( now B&K Structures Ltd) to develop composite timber and steel structural frame solutions – enthusiastically received by our retail clients and the company won the Business Innovation of the Year Award in 2009.


We are Associate Members of the Considerate Constructors Scheme – only a select number of high performing contractors achieve this.


Our sustained commitment to health and safety is proven with numerous Gold Awards from RoSPA and we have established policies for Quality, Management Systems, Ethical Employment, Training and Development, Sustainability and Environment and a Sub-contractors Code of Conduct – helping our supply chain adhere to our high business standards.