R G Carter was founded by Robert George Carter.
Prior to WWI, he had trained and worked as a carpenter, and following his time with the Royal Engineers, worked with a large building firm as a general foreman. By 1921 he had established his own business, starting with the building of local housing.
The Firm was first located in R G Carter’s grandfather’s former carpenter’s shop on Low Road, in the Norfolk village of Drayton.
The original workshop still exists today as part of Carter Academy, our in-house training centre, as a carpentry workshop.
The first major contract undertook by the Firm, was for the Norwich City Corporation, to construct 300 homes on the Mile Cross Council Estate, Norwich.
This estate and others were built as part of the UK housing scheme ‘Homes for Heroes’, offering better living conditions for returning soldiers.
It was in this year, that R G Carter was first listed in the Norwich Telephone Directory.
The telephone number for the office in Low Road was “Drayton 16”.
The Artichoke public house was one of the many recognisable pubs built by R G Carter across Norwich city during the 1930’s.
All of these public houses were built during a period of rapid social change, and a rise in the need for community buildings. Other examples included Constitution Tavern on Constitution Hill, and The Barn, at the foot of Grapes Hill.
R G Carter purchased Herbert Bullen & Son Ltd. of Cromer, an established building business with joinery shop.
Contracted to help build a series of prefabricated buildings across Norfolk, R G Carter helped post WII, to reconstruct damaged homes across Norwich.
The work was part of Churchill’s temporary housing programme, the Emergency Factory Made Scheme ( EFMS ), for returning British soldiers and homeless families.
In this year, R G Carter celebrated it’s Silver Jubilee.
To commemorate this, the Firm held a formal dinner, which also celebrated the welcome home for returning soldiers.
R G Carter relocated to larger purpose built buildings on Drayton High Road in Norwich.
The site remains the company’s registered office and home to R G Carter Drayton Ltd.
On the 18th December, Bob Carter, son of the founder of the Firm, became Managing Director of R G Carter Ltd.
Bob Carter visited Toronto to look at Canadian building styles and methods, including the use of concrete in buildings and trends in industrial architectural design.
He returned in 1971 to look at further building development.
R G Carter were now the largest building company in Norfolk, and ran subsidiaries including Bullens, Fishers, Blackburns and Drayton Stone Pits.
The Firm’s first multi-million contract, was a factory built in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, for famous soup brand Campbell’s.
The first office in King’s Lynn opened alongside this contract.
The early 1960’s, saw the start of a long lasting client relationship with the University of East Anglia, starting with the building of educational blocks, a medical centre, banks, shops and offices.
Bob Carter, due to a passion for supporting employees and developing a skilled workforce, appointed the first Group Training Officer to place focus on company training and to create a comprehensive Group Training Scheme.
Norfolk County Hall was completed and was officially opened the following year by HRH The Queen, greeted by Bob Carter.
The R G Carter Group acquired John Youngs, a Norwich-based building company.
John Youngs and Son founded in the mid-19th century and were renowned builders of many prestigious landmarks in the City of Norwich, including Thorpe Station, The Royal Hotel and the Royal Arcade.
R G Carter’s Golden Jubilee anniversary was celebrated in this year, marking 50 years of success.
Due to the expansion of Blackburns into commercial and industrial work, the first office in Ipswich was opened.
Boughton Builders of Thetford became R G Carter Thetford.
R G Carter constructed the first major building designed by architect Sir Norman Foster, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, located at the University of East Anglia.
The building won several awards, including Ambrose Congreve Award for Architecture.
First of the new Norwich City Football Club stadium stands, The River End, is completed.
R G Carter went on to build all four main stands and corner links across the next two decades; City Stand ( 1988 ), Barclay Stand ( 1992 ) and South Stand ( 2004 ), which replaces that first built by the company in 1935.
The company started to develop expertise in the retail sector, winning contracts for a variety of major retail stores and supermarkets, as expansion and store sizes began to increase across the UK.
Robert Carter becomes Group Chairman.
Son of Bob Carter, the former Chairman, believed that the company’s strength was its building expertise, skilled work force and trustworthy reputation.
The first R G Carter office in Peterborough was opened.
The largest single span aircraft hangar in Europe was built for Marshall at Cambridge Airport.
Later in the summer of 2000, the company also built the new control tower.
R G Carter won the contract to build the new terminal building at Norwich City Airport.
This was opened by The Queen Mother on 25th July, 1988.
The rise in Business Parks in the decade, led to the development of many projects in Norfolk, including Norwich Business Park, St Andrews Business Park and Longwater Business Park.
The refurbishment of Maitland Robinson Library at Downing College was completed, with a new library built at St John’s College to create more space for the many valuable books and manuscripts in the collection.
The official opening was held for the award-winning Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Forum, designed by Michael Hopkins and Partners.
This city landmark was built to replace the original library, destroyed by fire in 1994 and opened by Her Majesty The Queen, in her Golden Jubilee year.
Norwich Cathedral awarded the build of its new Refectory to R G Carter, the most significant structure added to the building since the middle ages.
Designed by Hopkins and Partners, the building was praised by the Fine Art Commission for grafting the future on to the past, enhancing not harming it.
R G Carter Projects was established, with offices opening in Bury St Edmunds.
The Firm’s in-house training centre becomes Carter Academy, its location remaining at the original founding location on Low Road, in the village of Drayton, Norfolk.
The original workshop is still used today for carpentry apprenticeship training.
Environmentally Award winning EPIC centre, was completed at the Lincolnshire Showground for the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society.
This project demonstrated key green credentials, allowing visitors to explore new technologies and learn about the benefits of developing a low carbon world.
Fisher & Sons (Fakenham) Limited merged with H.Bullen & Sons (Cromer), to become Fisher Bullen Limited.
Norwich City’s Grade II listed War Memorial was refurbished for Norwich City Council, located in the centre of the city, facing the historic Norwich City Hall and the iconic market place.
The first R G Carter office in Northampton was opened.
King’s Lynn Innovation Centre ( KLIC ) was completed, and became home to new and growing businesses; the largest brownfield regeneration project ever handled in West Norfolk.
At the University of East Anglia, R G Carter completed the 514-bed residential development, known to students as Barton and Hickling House.
The building comprises of two residential blocks, arranged around a central courtyard, with a café, launderette and office provision.
The Aerospace Integrated Research Centre for Cranfield University, was completed. ARIC partnered with Rolls-Royce and Airbus to help provide these high-spec new facilities.
New offices were built in Chelmsford, its first premises in the county of Essex.
Attleborough in Norfolk, became home to R G Carter Engineering, in a new purpose built facility for R G Carter Civil Engineering, GM Piling and Ground Technology Services.
The historic University Arms Hotel, at Parker’s Piece in Cambridge, opened the doors to its first customers, after an extension and refurbishment of the existing 1920s and 1900s hotel.
Showcasing many traditional skills, the completed project provided Cambridge’s oldest hotel with 192 bedrooms, a library, bar, function rooms and restaurant.