The Story of Gray & Sons Builders.


Company History

Humble Beginnings

What began as a dream 52 years ago is now a thriving reality. For Managing Directors Patrick & Martin Gray, the idea of running their own construction business began as young boys, watching their father work hard and establish relationships at the very beginning of Gray & Sons Builders. They have led the company to where it is today, built on the principles their Father taught them, like integrity, trust, and hard work.

After decades of consistent quality, Gray & Sons are thriving as specialists in the trade and are well respected throughout the region. From the moment you contact us until the moment we finish a project, our promise is to meet our clients needs and raise their expectations. Below is a timeline of our proud history starting where it all began…


Gray & Sons Builders (Bedford) Ltd is founded by John Gray with a vision of the business being run on a maxim of a quality product for a competitive price. Previous to this, John had gone from working as a carpenter, to becoming General Manager of a national contractor in the UK & Africa, working on the Owen Falls Dam in Uganda adjacent to Lake Victoria.


Gray & Sons is appointed the main term contractor for Vauxhall Motors Luton, Bedford Commercial Vehicles Dunstable, Vauxhall parts facility Toddington, Vauxhall press shop Bedford and for GM Europe.


Gray & Sons become term contractors for Millbrook Proving Ground test facility for GM Europe.


The Company is appointed to build the new engine assembly plant facility for Bedford Commercial Vehicles (GM) in Dunstable. This is the first building in the UK to be constructed entirely in metric measurements and is opened by Lord Orr on the December 12th 1975.


The Company expands throughout this period and relocate their office in Bedford to High Town Road, Luton. The move guarantees the company’s efficiency and productivity for Vauxhall Motors Ltd.


Gray & Sons is appointed main contractor for the major refurbishment of Vauxhall Head Office, Osbourne Road – contract value: £8.6m. They are also awarded the construction of a new paint shop facility in Vauxhall Motors ltd – Contract value: £8m


Gray & Sons is appointed main contractors for the major refurbishment of the Vauxhall Motors Engineering Facility, Kimpton Road, Luton – contract value: £5m


Teresa Gray becomes Managing Director after the sad and unexpected passing of John Gray.


John’s sons, Patrick and Martin Gray are appointed joint Managing Directors of the Company. Patrick takes on the role as Commercial Director and Martin as Construction Director.


Gray & Sons acquires a larger premises at Kimpton Road Luton.


Gray & Sons is appointed the term contractor for works at Pre Star Ltd (part of the Camford Engineering Group). They complete works for their sites at Bedford, Luton, Letchworth, Stevenage and Cambridge.


Gray & Sons celebrate 25 years in business with an celebratory evening of dinner and dance held at Beadlow Manor Golf course. Over 250 employees, clients, construction professionals and supply chain representatives are in attendance.


BS EN ISO 9002 accreditation achieved (this would later change to ISO9001).


The company gains Investors in People accreditation.


Gray & Sons are appointed to commence initial design works on a new jet engine test facility at Luton Airport. The facility provided Luton Airport with the ability to test commercial jet engines on site without the need to outsource, thus streamlining their operations.


Gray & Sons carry out the re-modelling of the GKN Aerospace buildings at Luton Airport.


The company applies for NHBC registration for private development clients and the future internal plans for their own  private developments.


Gray & Sons expand their internal infrastructure to form a Design & Build department to meet clients future needs and expectations. They are awarded two Design & Build projects of a new 3 storey health centre (involving the re-development of an existing church site) valued at £9m. They are awarded a phase 1 and phase 2 office block development at Knowlhill Milton Keynes, valued at £10m.


The company further improves it’s internal infrastructure to accommodate the launch of it’s own private residential arm, Freshfield Developments Ltd.

The first private housing development commences of four grade 2 listed barn conversions in Colmworth, Bedfordshire.


Due to the demands of continued growth, Gray & Sons constructs its own bespoke office facility in Ravensden, Bedford, complete with a 379 m2 open plan office, meeting rooms and instigate plans for a future operations yard depot. The office is named ‘Cavan House’ after the founders birth place.


The Company complete the construction of a new 226 m2 mechanic’s work shop & storage facility at Ravensden, Bedford constructed for servicing their own fleet of vehicles and site plant.


Construction begins for a new operations yard and storage depot including a 2051 m2 bunded storage facility. This centralises and future proofs operations for the next 10 years.