Why are there so many Polish builders in London? There are three main reasons:
- Construction is the number 1 sector for Polish Businesses in the UK.
- London’s property boom makes it the place to be for ultra-competitive, motivated professionals in the business.
- Poles are now the largest group of foreign-born residents in the UK, more numerous than Pakistan- and Indian-born migrants, according to the 2016 report by the ONS.
Poles may be found trading as general builders, kitchen fitters, door and window fitters, electricians, etc., often working as sole traders or small limited companies.
However, an internet search for Polish Builders in London reveals that they are not confined to small businesses, toiling away to install damp courses or complete conservatories: they are also playing with the big boys. Golden Houses, five minutes’ walk from the Angel tube station in Islington, is unusual not just because it is a Polish major development company, specialising in construction of high-end residential properties, but because in the hyper-macho field of construction, this development company is led by a woman, Monika Slowikowska.
Similarly, Polish Building Construction, operating across the entire M25 area, is a highly professional company, members of the prestigious Federation of Master Builders.
The burgeoning Polish builders’ merchant chain: IBB, with its head office and main branch in London, has opened branches in Croydon, Birmingham and Manchester.
The positive stereotype of the efficient, reliable and competitively-priced Polish builder extends beyond the M25: Wikipedia has a curious entry under Polish Plumber, which reflects a mostly positive image of Eastern European tradesmen in countries across Western Europe.
The internet is buzzing with discussion on the merits of hiring Polish for alterations and extensions: even Mumsnet has a busy thread on the subject!
PBLink set up and ran the UK’s first 1st British-Polish Construction Forum in March 2017. The full-day event attracted big name backers, including Nat West Business Banking & Simpkins Solicitors, as well as keynote speakers from across the industry. The success of the well-attended event speaks volumes about the multitude of Polish Builders in London, as well as the thriving Polish community employed in related trades.
Want to find out more? Get plugged in to the national network via Polish Business Link, which offers advice and runs business networking events and seminars in English with expert Polish and British business speakers, diplomats and politicians. In addition, their members’ website is a treasure trove of resources, links and technical information about all aspects of Polish/British business, not just Polish Builders in London.