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G F Tomlinson
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Forward Thinking

For over 125 years the family firm of G F Tomlinson have been building its formidable reputation as a client-oriented construction business.


It is a reputation with its roots in traditional values; personal service, high quality work, value for money and that element at the heart of every successful contract – trust. They are principles that have served well in the past and will be even more valuable in the future, both to us and our clients.

Our company was formed in 1892 and although we are very proud of our history and traditions, we embrace new ideas and ways of thinking so that we can deliver your project to you in a way that is innovative, competitive and sustainable.

Dynamic Timeline


  • 1892_960x720px1892

    Company was formed by George Frank Tomlinson. The closing years of the 19th Century saw George Frank Tomlinson leave the employ of his uncle, Joseph Tomlinson, to make his own way in the world of construction. Since this was the dawn of a new age of transportaion, with Derby soon to become a major centre for the railway network, George Frank Tomlinson was soon heavily involved with the construction of several major bridges in the region.

  • 1920_1_960x720px1920

    Sons George Tomlinson (Jnr) and Cyril Tomlinson join the business.

  • 1920_2_960x720px1923

    The company grew rapidly in the formative years with a workforce of some 300 undertaking a wide range of projects. The first contract was to build a new brick culvert, dug out by hand, from the “Coach and Horses Inn” on Derby’s Mansfield Road to the junction of Nottingham Road and Stores Road.

  • 1920_3_960x720px1926

    The building of a new cupolas at the Parkgate Iron and Steel Foundry in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Railway bridges in Swadlincote, Coalville and Chesterfield were constructed to herald the arrival of the age of the train.

  • 1928_960x960px1928

    G F Tomlinson & Sons Ltd becomes an incorporated Limited CompanyThis decade saw the company at the forefront of civil engineering innovation as mechanisation gradually consigned the horse and cart to the history books. A petrol driven Model T Ford lorry, a Foden Steam lorry and a giant steam roller were acquired, with the latter ending its days in glorious style in the much loved British film “The Titchfield Thunderbolt”. The company also imported only the third Caterpillar tractor from the USA.

  • 1935_960x960px1935

    Bridge construction was a major aspect of the work with schemes such as Eggington Bridge and Ford Lane Bridge at Allestree.

  • 1947_960x720px1947

    Death of Mr. George Frank Tomlinson, and George Tomlinson (Jnr) becomes Chairman and Managing Director of the Company. A wide range of factory building work was undertaken during this period including the Pirelli Tyre Factory at Burton, Internaltional Combustion (part of Rolls Royce) and the Coutards Chemicals building. The company also excelled in the construction of water and drainage engineering schemes for the Local Water companies in the region.

  • 1951_960x720px1951

    Peter Tomlinson, George Tomlinson (Jnr’s) son, joins the company as a Director. Start of 8 year programme to construct the Mackworth Estate in Derby.

  • 1958_960x720px1958

    Barry Sewards (Current Chairman) joins the company.

  • Martin Tomlinson1968

    George Tomlinson (Jnr) dies and his brother Cyril Tomlinson becomes Chairman. His son Martin Tomlinson joins the company as a Director.

  • 1968_960x720px 21970

    Barry Sewards launches a forward thinking policy of hiring out equipment to other contractors when not in use and City Plant Hire (Derby) Ltd was formed.

  • 1974_960x960px1974

    G F Tomlinson Building Ltd was responsible for some of the best known buildings in the East Midlands such as BBC Radio Derby and HQ of British Midlands Airways.

  • 1975_960x960px1975

    City Plant & Tool Hire Ltd was formed.

  • 1976_960x720px1976

    Death of Cyril Tomlinson, and nephew Peter Tomlinson becomes Chairman of the company.

  • 1980_960x960px1980

    G F Tomlinson Group Limited is formed as a holding company to manage the growth in divisional activity, providing management services to it’s civil engineering, building and development divisions.

  • 1982_960x960px1982

    Alpha Construction Limited is formed.

  • 1987_960x960px1987

    Edward Thompson Limited is acquired.

  • Tomlinson Building1989

    G F Tomlinson Building Limited is formed as a seperate company.

  • 1990_960x960px1990

    Grand First Contracts Ltd is formed.

  • 1992_960x960px1992

    Celebration of our Centenary, 100 years in business 1892 - 1992.

  • 1993_960x960px1993

    City Plant and Tool Hire Ltd is sold.

  • 1995_960x960px 11995

    Andrew Sewards joins the company.

  • 1995_960x960px 21995

    G F Tomlinson & Sons secure the AMP framework with Severn Trent Water, which continued for 15 years valued at £200m.

  • Total Hire Depot_11996

    Total Hire & Sales Limited is formed.

  • Pride Park Stadium - 19971997

    G F Tomlinson partnered with Taylor Woodrow to deliver the long awaited new football stadium on Pride Park for Derby County FC.

  • 1998_960x960px 51998

    Barry Sewards is made Chairman following the retirement of Peter Tomlinson.

  • 2000_960x960px2000

    Alpha Construction Ltd is sold.

  • 1997_960x960px 32002

    Martin Tomlinson retires from the business, and Andrew and Barry Sewards buy the company.

  • 2004_960x960px 12003

    Birmingham office relocated due to expansion. Successfully winning the 7 year, £350m Birmingham Construction Partnership for Birmingham City Council.

  • 2004_960x720px 22004

    G F Tomlinson successfully completed the restoration of the £15.0m Grade II Listed Devonshire Royal Campus at Buxton for the University of Derby.

  • NCF-logo 22006

    Securement of the 4 year Nottinghamshire Construction Framework for Nottinghamshire County Council valued at £80.0m.

  • 2007_960x960px2007

    G F Tomlinson Building Limited move from the City Road premises to new purpose built offices on Alfreton Road, Derby.

  • 2008_960x960px 12008

    After 116 years at City Road G F Tomlinson & Sons Limited and the Group relocate to new purpose built offices in Little Eaton, Derby.

  • 2008_960x960px 22009

    Successful delivery of the fast track (30 weeks) refurbishment of the £13.0m LG Arena at the NEC in Birmingham.

  • 2010_960x960px2010

    Secured the 4 year East Midlands Property Alliance Framework valued at £80.0m.

  • 2011_960x801px2011

    Secured the Derbyshire County Council BSF Framework starting with the construction of the new Heritage School at Clowne valued at £23.0m.

  • 2014_960x960px2014

    Re-secured a second term on the East Midlands Property Alliance, valued at £90.0m.

  • 2015_960x960px 12015

    Secured a place on the 4 year Education Funding Agency Regional Contractors Framework for the Eastern Region, valued at £80.0m.

  • 2015_960x960px 22015

    G F Tomlinson successfully deliver two iconic buildings in the City of Derby, the £10.0m iHub Centre on Infinity Park, Chellaston, and the £8.0m new Sports Centre on the Kedleston Road Campus for the University of Derby.

  • 2016_960x720px 12016

    Successfully deliver a major £14.0m education project “The Heart of the Campus” at Clifton for Nottingham Trent University.

  • 2016_960x720px 22016

    Successfully delivered a major £15.3m, state of the art factory extension for German car parts company Brose Ltd, at Bedworth, Warwickshire and Phase 2 is now underway.

  • Tomlinson-1252017

    G F Tomlinson proudly reaches an important milestone in the firms history by celebrating a 125 years in the construction industry. This is testimony to the sustainable business strategy and quality delivery across a wide range of sectors and a wealth of experience.